Wage Slave

I’ve been feeling very quiet these last couple of days; maybe it’s because the weather abruptly shifted from unbearable to almost cool. I’ve been cooking good things—saag paneer (but without the paneer, because I don’t like it) and chana masala and white chili and maple cornbread—and I’ve been feeling tired all the time. Any outing, however small or pleasant, is exhausting. So I’m upping my iron intake just in case it’s anemia and not the weather (unlikely, as I get plenty of iron in a vitamin, but my best idea aside from “nap more”).

I’ve been making more of an effort to really cook because my husband is having a hard time; he hates his job, which is reasonable, but it haunts him even in off hours and days away, and I don’t know how to really help with that. We talk, and I both listen and give useless advice; I’ve started buying beer because he likes to have one in the evening after work, and it’s a small thing, but I want to heap small good things up all around him. “I never thought I would be one of those guys, you know—” he said to me.

“The kind who like beer? I think that’s most of them, cookie pants.” I like watching him enjoy himself, and I am also privately amused by the picture of myself, visibly pregnant, lugging a box of beer from the bus stop home.

If there is a way to make Mr. Book feel better about life, I’ve got to find it. He has a terrible job, and while we have two possible exit strategies, they seem awfully distant and unreal to him right now. I had a job for awhile in college that was pretty bad for me—it finally got to the point where I had panic attacks walking to it every day, and I still wouldn’t quit, and finally being fired was almost a relief. I know what it’s like to have the kind of job that actually makes you want to kill yourself, and that you’d feel like an idiot for actually killing yourself over. But I was mostly able to leave it at work, and my husband can’t. I don’t know whether I can teach him to draw a line around work and step away from it, but it’s my best idea so far and it isn’t working right now. I should say that this isn’t a sudden change; he has been sad and hurt about his work for a long time. But right now I’m thinking about it more.