Drabble 194 – Honorificabilitudinitatibus

A photo of a statue holding a crown aloft.

I, like many people, underestimated how big of a toll that last year has taken. All things considered, I’ve been okay—I purposefully changed jobs mid-pandemic, but other than that, there hasn’t been as much upheaval in my life as there has been for many, many others. I have been lucky.

But being lucky doesn’t mean being entirely without any kind of emotional response to the world, especially in something as traumatic as this. The year anniversary of the pandemic blew by, and it wasn’t until others spoke about how your body remembers trauma even if you’re not intentionally focusing on it that I realized how heavy a weight it is. Even now, with my family and myself fully vaccinated and all of my immediate friend group halfway there, it’s a heavy burden.

This doesn’t have anything to do with the word I’ve chosen today. It’s just some thoughts on why I didn’t feel able to write a drabble last month, and why it was still difficult this month, even though, all things considered, I am doing okay. I have wondered and wondered why I’ve felt so tired, so run-down, over the past year. I’ve blamed it on my age, on a sinus infection, on staying up too late watching silly things online. Maybe all of those things are also to blame, but there’s more to it than that, and to not recognize it is to do ourselves a disservice. As many have said before and more eloquently than I have: it’s okay to be slow, to be unproductive, in the best of times. These are not the best of times. Be as gentle with yourself as you would a friend.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS

(n.) a hapax legomenon from Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, intending to show the pedantry and pretentiousness of two characters

The state of being able to achieve honors.

Every morning, courtiers lay gifts around his feet. He spends an hour or so opening each one, smoothing the creased paper, relishing the feeling of being wanted.

He bathes, dresses, dines, and moves to his throne, where his people wait to bestow compliments upon him. He is brave, mighty, just. No one would suggest otherwise.

If a better king were to arrive, he would abdicate. He has said this all along—the kingdom should be in the hands of the most capable ruler. It’s a shame what happened to all those other rulers; it’s difficult to be worthy without a head.

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