Slept poorly last night. It was cold and dark. Raging hunger gnawed at me like a live rat in my belly. My need for sustenance drove me to acts of desperation so depraved that I pray for oblivion. As the evening wore on, I eventually curled into the fetal position next to my ruined and burning car, eking out whatever parcel of warmth I could while wrapped in scraps of tattered cloth.
My wife is hysterical, in denial. She is putting on a brave front, trying to pretend that we can still have a normal life, but she can't see that she is just going through the motions. She acts as if we still have a home to live in, food in the pantry, kids to get off to school in the morning. I know that these are just illusions. The Shutdown has come, and all that we once had is naught but a memory.
Later in the evening, she began pelting me with a litany of nonsense questions over and over. Things like "Why are you half-naked? It's freezing out here! Come inside!" and "Why did you set our car on fire? How are you supposed to get to work tomorrow, you idiot?" and "What do you mean, 'We have to flee into the woods to escape the wrath that is to come'?" and "Honey, would you please tell the nice man why you're sitting outside naked, next to our burning car, and OH SWEET HEAVEN ARE YOU EATING THE DOG?!?"
She doesn't understand. It is the shutdown. The Shutdown. The SHUTDOWN.