This is the first paycheck in a few I haven’t had to suppress the urge to tattoo myself with something small and mostly meaningless. This is an impulse I’ve had for years, and of all of my tattoos, only two (the second, and the one I got, ultimately, to cover up the fifth or sixth or… you know, I quit keeping track) were not the result of my dumb ol’ brain settling on paying someone to mutilate me (gross) as a decent alternative to some other maladaptive coping strategy.

This week was a long and stupid one, and it wasn’t long and stupid only for me, but it seemed that way for a lot of people in the office, so it felt at times like there was no escaping what built over the course of five days into a work environment heavy with existential doom and anger aimed at so many targets it got all tangled up and hung around and tried to bury us.

Or maybe just me. And maybe I’m reading it all wrong.

And it’s weird that this didn’t have anything to do with the Angry Orange’s impending (and now passed, since it’s Friday afternoon now, and oh my god I’m tired) inauguration – nothing beyond the general dread that’s crept into everything since early November, anyway –

It has instead been more local; uncomfortably so. And I don’t want to talk about it, not really, but suffice it to say I spent longer than I should have – longer than I wanted to – thinking about people and my relationships with people and my past relationships with different people and how



It’s over now, sort of. Or not at all, but I’ve resolved to see things differently. Because that’s all it takes, right? Seeing things differently? And not getting stress tattoos?