Guest post by
I am a 39 yo freelance author married to my 27 yo wife Layla, an illustrator of children’s books. We have two young boys, 19 months and 2 months, both of whom are being home-schooled. My wife and I share child-rearing responsibilities equally. She feeds, clothes, bathes, dresses, educates, and changes the diapers. I play with them every day for at least 15 minutes. Sharing responsibilities equally in this way works out well for both of us.
Working from home has made our household nearly immune from the COVID crisis, although I have been unable to spend my few hours a night at the local pub — to get ideas for writing. The island pubs have been closed for several months now, and perusing web forums and news sites for ideas is a very poor substitute, I can tell you.
Anyway, besides my family and my writing career, I take an active interest in national politics. I must say that the current US President* is a sorry thing. In my opinion you could take a can of beans, open the top, pour out all the beans, and place the empty can in the Oval Office — and you would have a better president in every way than that empty can of brains that the country has now. Just my opinion, you understand.
When I think that Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Wall Street, and the swamps of Washington DC cooperated with the Soros/China complex to put that empty brain case in the White House… it puts me into a strange state of mind that I don’t like. Fortunately I live and work here on the island with Al Fin, who is teaching me how to meditate. The skill of meditation may get me through these dystopian years.
My family and I live across the street from the Fins. It took me a while to get used to that android, Valerie. And that talking robot dog psychiatrist, Eliza, can be very entertaining for about fifteen seconds. But it was the two live-in ex-wives, Ingrid and Julia, who took the longest to get used to. Just the very idea! I mean, my wife Layla is a dear and I would not trade her for anyone in the world. But marriage is a compromise in the best of times. Helping to raise our children is exhausting, and I can only imagine how much energy it would take to placate two ex-wives along with a very lovely but dangerous-looking third wife Nadia, three teenagers, and two know-it-all robots clanking about. Not to mention the cook, the housekeeper, the gardener, and the girl’s governess and the boys’ tutors.
In addition, Fin’s next-door neighbors are more than a bit curious. No, not the Spitzers. You have already met them, and they are about as conventional as an Amazon.com shipping container. I am talking about the new neighbors on the other side, the Schmidts. Since this is Al Fin’s blog, I will let him tell you more about the Schmidts at his leisure. But until they moved in next door to him, I had never seen Fin walking around his property with a side arm. I am not the only one on the street who has noticed this, and I am thinking about calling a neighborhood meeting to discuss the matter.
Oh! I am being summoned by my wife to help take the boys on a walk to the beach. That will have to be all for today. It has been my pleasure to contribute to a local blogger in his attempts to maintain a certain level of professionalism for his publication. It cannot be easy for him as an amateur writer to try to do a thing that comes so easily to those of us who do it for a living.
And listen: These are difficult times to be sure, but if you develop what I call “skills for dystopias,” you will make it through in good shape. Good luck.
Charles’ top five favorite meditation books: