Berkeley, Aug. 1

I take my pills with breakfast, when I remember to that is. I hide each tablet in a chewed up mouthful, just like a puppy, except I’m swallowing my sanity.

One pill to increase my energy level. Check!

Two to fight my depression. Check!

One to even out my cycles of extreme mood drops. Check!

And those are just my morning pills. At bedtime, there’s another pill for depression, another for motivation, and a seventh for sleep.

I’m 38 years old and I subsist on seven pills a day just to function.

Mendocino Grove, July 21

Over coffee at the picnic-table in our campsite this morning, J and I discussed The Handmaid’s Tale, which we’ve been avidly watching. He noted, ironically of course, how the show has ruined so many things for him.

“Like what?’ I asked, semi-judgementally.

“These cars for instance- the Mercedes G-wagons they drive. I used to like them.”

“Ah,” I said. “I wonder how Mercedes feels about their branding these days after formerly being known as Kardashian-wagons. What else?”

He sat a moment and sipped his coffee.

“The color teal?” I offered.

A smirk.

“The name Lydia?”

A nod of agreement.

“Rape, perhaps?”

A look of utter shock and disgust.

“Corporal punishment then?”

“And cattle prods,” he added.