Well, as always, I’ll start with my numbers for the month …
Media consumed # (remaining/total)
Comics Read: 53 (273/355)
Trade Paperbacks/Graphic Novels Read: 1 (63/74)
Books Read: 7 (138/153)
Movies to Watch: 5 (68/78)
TV Shows Completed: 0 (17/17)
Podcast Episodes Remaining: 74
I’m actually surprised that I only read one graphic novel/trade paperback. I guess that I am not taking them off the shelf with as much frequency as I am taking comics out of the longbox. I do know that there are a couple of them that are part of a collected series or run that I could be working my way through, but I have been holding out to maybe get the one or two books that I still don’t own. This is definitely the case with Brian Wood’s DMZ. Here’s a series that has 12 trades, of which I am missing #11. That one is on eBay for around $20 and I’m holding out like a stubborn bastard for one to pop up at a lower price.
Granted, there isn’t a ton of activity on eBay right now because we all practicing what’s been “social distancing” right now. One of the auctions for that trade paperback that I had been watching had been taken down because the seller was “Away”, and I’ve noticed similar notices on long-watched items. Last week, I sold three out of the five auctions that I had up and I was pleasantly surprised (the other two are still up and are for items I have tried to sell several times before, so it’s not a big loss if they don’t sell), so some commerce is moving. But I don’t see that happening too much in the future, especially as this goes on for several more weeks and the economy continues to adjust and probably get worse. Nobody is going to be interested in the last six issues of the 1980s Vigilante series when they’re worried about paying their bills.
Worry is one of the states of mind I seem to shift in and out of. I am fortunate that my wife and I will continue to get paid during these closures, but I worry what the world will be like beyond this. Watching the news and following social media certainly doesn’t help because there are too many pundits playing armchair prognosticators, and I cannot stand “What the future of ________ will be” think pieces, especially ones that read with the drooling enthusiasm of a vulture circling roadside carrion.
Routine is another state of mind I am doing my best to stay within. It helps that I am working from home, and I am glad to get up at my regular time and go to “work.” I even wear normal clothes (a T-shirt and jeans) and have been able to keep track of the days of the week. When the routine has been followed, that is when I feel most energetic. Work gets done, the house gets cleaned, and I can head into the evening feeling as if I did what I was supposed to.
Still, there are the struggles, which are mental and emotional. I am very good at isolating myself, so not going out for a prolonged period of time is something I can handle. However, I carry with me a guilt complex for doing so because I have been conditioned to think that not going out or being social is a fault or a bad thing; by extension, I have spent much of my adult life being on the fringes of work or social groups. I avoid getting in touch with people because I feel like I’m bothering them. Simultaneously, I get these waves of the blues when it seems like nobody is reaching out to me and their social media feeds are full of wonder and conversation.
I feel a substantial amount of guilt for the fact that I wrote that last paragraph, by the way. I am in a position of privilege here and I’m whining about other people not texting me or some shit. So please ignore that navel gazing because there’s no need to be concerned and I’ll take care of myself like I’m supposed to.
But please, do check in with those you know are going to be having a hard time–anyone who is at risk, on the front lines of healthcare and retail, or might be unemployed because of this lockdown. I’ll make more of an effort to do the same and then enjoy the distractions that I do have while finishing the work I need to.