This evening I didn’t go to the symphony. Work has been very busy; I am overrun with paperwork and telephone calls. I am two or three days behind. I also need to write a letter in response to a patient who registered a complaint against me. (The patient wrote I am rude to her every time she met with me. I have seen her nearly thirty times. It makes me wonder: if this is so, why the heck has she bothered to stay?  Whatever, I need to respond to this by tomorrow. Which gets me back to the canceled symphony. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it, knowing I had to work afterwards into the wee hours of the night. So, I came home.

Someone is in Chicago. Harper is overnight at the kennel, arranged to allow me to go to the symphony. So I came home to a house dark, quiet, and empty. This is the first time I can remember coming home to nobody. It is a bit spooky, but mostly it is a relief, for I am in a despondent mood this evening.

Ever since I was a little boy whenever the world grew too scary or sad, or I felt inadequate, I would retreat from it. I would find a literal hiding space and withdraw into the inmost compartment of my mind. It was a sort of mental fortress where I would go when I could not bear to be a part of what was going on. In it I was safe from without. Sometimes it was the only place I felt free of the horrors and disappointments of the world. No one has ever entered it.

I am growing more pessimistic about the world. I was born into a world of people, and now it has become a kennel of mad dogs. I needn’t look any further than the politics and problems of the nation. The Yahoos are winning.  The things I hold dear – maturity, manners, reason, and kindness to others – all seem to be dwindling.

Alas, I’ve lost my way into that mental fortress. I have the key, but the door leading inward is lost. I can’t get out of the world anymore. And I don’t seem to have the fortitude to deal with it all.

There is work to be done. I need to return calls, write notes, and compose that letter. I need to get some sleep. This too shall pass. Harper comes home tomorrow, and Someone next Monday. It won’t seem so bad then.