Week 25: Vicious Cycle
Sewing machine, PJs, and potato gun: the tools of our trade
If there were Pregnancy Police, I’d be calling 911 right now. As it turns out, my wife’s not really respecting the laws of the bed rest. She’s using the extra time to launch all kinds of complex projects involving sewing and reorganizing bookshelves and figuring out why our bathroom smells like a hungover moose. I can’t stop her, and she can’t stop herself.
Then, after a few hours of activity, she crashes in agony and exhaustion, too wrecked to sleep, and she couldn’t anyway because my enthusiastic snoring has bored a hole into her brain. Whereupon her only remaining options are apparently watching 31 consecutive episodes of The Office and forwarding me things like this.
Can’t say I blame her. In our ridiculously overprogrammed days, most of us believe that we’d welcome six to eight weeks of nothing. (In parts of Europe, this is called life.) In America, though, the only times in life most of us get such moments are due to sickness, unemployment, or tragedy, none of which are particularly fun. Sarah’s so miserable, The Office may as well be Schindler’s List. She’s not laughing at Steve Carell—she’s staring at his face with heavy existential dread, pleading with her eyes, begging him to speed up the hours so she can go back to being the dynamic woman she always was. This is not Steve Carell’s long suit.
When she finally falls asleep, she dreams of beating the hell out of me. I have the same dream.
And when she wakes, it starts all over again. The projects, a flurry of unchecked ambition more manic than before, followed by a dramatic collapse and more episodes of The Office. (“Would I rather be feared or loved?” Michael Scott recently asked her. “Um . . . Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” Didn’t even rate a smile for Sarah. In fact, it seemed to anger her.)
Photograph: Courtesy of Jeff Ruby