“I began to see her mind like an old television set,
one with a dial you had to turn to change channels.
she had gotten stuck between channels,
and all that was broadcasting in her mind
was crackling white noise,
which drove her mad and scared me to death.
The medicine was like turning down the volume.
The channels might still be stuck,
but at least the set was no longer spewing the deafening static.”
— Mark Lukach, “My Beautiful Wife in the Psych Ward”
That’s it. It’s that deafening static.
The news has become so overwhelming, so all-encompassing, that it’s always broadcasting in our minds. It’s impossible to turn off, to change the channels. We’re stuck in this horrible endless re-run. Another cascade of virus records, another flurry of warnings, another round of blues.
How does one avoid ending up in the psych ward, beautiful or not?
Maybe the key is finding the right distraction. For Mark Lukach, dealing with his wife’s mental struggles, it was running. Me too.
Thirty minutes of fartlek in the heat today. Part suffering, part strolling, all bliss. No thinking about elections or state flags or masks or why you call them Oreos if they’re not chocolate on the outside. Running turns down the volume, tunes out the madness.
The channels might still be stuck, but at least the static is gone for a while.
Plus you get to giggle every time you say fartlek.
Sanity restored, if only for a little while. Now if I could just do something about the troll night light in the bathroom giving me the Stink Eye …
2.4 miles, 30:18 (12:35-139)
long chap, 5:30 p.m., 97
168 0.76 3.5 v38
12:29 (130), 12:29 (144), 5:20 (148)
blue kazoo 75.6