Ramadan Diaries, Day Eleven

Bowl, ca. 1635-1458 B.C. (Upper Egypt, Thebes). The Met.

3:45 a.m.
Two pieces of rye sourdough toast with vegan butter, almond-milk cheese, six Castelvetrano olives, ginger-mint iced tea, a glass of water. I can’t stomach any of the cooked food in the fridge this early in the morning. A snack for the cats.

4:16 a.m.
The gray overcast sky tinges the day with a melancholy lacking a referent. I lie in bed reading, conscious that the desire to make the most of the early hours competes with the instinct for surrender to these pillows. But my body is hungry—desperate—for sleep. O sleep! I set an alarm for 7:00 and let sleep carry me on its back.

9:03 a.m.
I overslept. I have a meeting at 10:30, multiple deliverables throughout the day, and a feverish inbox. Taking pleasure, not pain, in these imperatives is an option, but I miss coffee right now.

10:14 a.m.
A headward blast of hot water. A hoodie. Sneakers. Small attempts at comfort that anticipate an uneasy day.

I text W. that I will be late for our meeting. A text from N. about a group iftār dinner tomorrow. I protest. “Have capoeira, let’s see.” I hate missing training but the overlap, especially near the weekend, does hamper social plans. In the end, you have to own your choices.

10:47 a.m.
The “Ocean Waves” sound on the Rain app. Quickly approaching my meeting, which will take place in a library room we booked so I can avoid coffee shops. W. is already there. We have just under two hours to work on a commissioned piece together, brainstorming the direction of the writing and planning additional summer studio visits.

11:36 a.m.
I am struggling in this meeting. Words floating out of my mouth seem to make coherent sense. But my body feels weighty and downward-moving, like rocks in the pocket of a swimmer. “You just need coffee,” W. says.

12:43 p.m.
The collaboration ends abruptly because W. has a coop shift. I tell her I’ll walk there with her and grab some supplies before heading back to work. I’m fighting the urge to sleep hard today.

1:16 p.m.
GRANOLA-GOLDEN TEMPLE, BLUEBERRY
…………………………………1.50
0.48 lb @ 3.13

STONYFIELD O’SOY BLUEBERRY…………………………………………………..1.04

STONYFIELD O’SOY BLUEBERRY…………………………………………………..1.04

OLIVES – PICHOLINE – FRANCE…………………………….………….……………1.94
0.51 lb @ 3.81

Bananas-organic………………………………………………………………………….………………1.75
1.94 lb @ 0.90

Apple-candycrisp IPM………………………………………………………………..…….………1.08
0.92 lb @ 1.17

Peaches. yellow…….…………….………..…………………….…………………………….…………1.10
0.71 lb @ 1.55

Oranges-navel………………………….…………………….……………………………………………1.42
1.46 lb @ 0.97

2:49 p.m.
The idea that food could stun my gravitationally subsumed brain awake occurs to me now. So could rest. So could water.

Why is it so much easier on some days and not others? I had been so affected by the early days’ sharpness and mental clarity that deciding to continue to fast after the formal month was over was a no-brainer. Today, however, takes every ounce of every motivational poster’s worth of maxims to keep on, press on, wage on…

3:13 p.m.
Deliverable submitted. Listen to some voice memos and reply to texts. The jumbo-sized emails will need to wait a few more hours.

4:56 p.m.
More work. More. More.

6:39 p.m.
Sound of my neighbors having sex as I climb the stairs home to grab gym clothes. There is some sort of audio response loop because they seem to stop as footsteps squeak by their doorway. Then their volume resumes louder, comically louder, the instance my foot trails away.

Virginia Goldner:

Sex trades on the thrill of discovering (over and over again) that we are unknown to ourselves… What makes for the adventure is not only the novelty of the Other, although that helps, but the Otherness of the self.

7:20 p.m.
Warm up. Twenty minutes of drill practice. Front squats. One-leg hip thrusts. A headache pierces my skull too forcefully to endure box jumps, so I jump rope instead.