She lives

When you get lost, the best thing to do is to retrace your steps, and see if you can get back to where you started from. (If you’re really lost, say in the woods, the best thing to do is to stay still and wait for someone to find you. Or, failing that, walk downhill until you find water and follow the water. But these options don’t apply here.)

So where were we last together? That would be November of last year. At the time, unbeknownst to the entire internet, I was extremely pregnant and tired, and given that I was also revising a novel, drawing and editing and posting a comic came to feel like a bit too much, week to week, so I took a breather.

I’ve thought often about what I would write here once I got back into the swing of things, but it turns out that having an infant isn’t really like being in the regular swing of things, and I’ve forgotten most of the succinct, personal gems I intended to share in this moment. The special thing about this piece of writing will have to be its off-the-cuffness, which is in fact more traditional for what I write here anyway. Almost never do I plan it out. Only sometimes do I regret that.

When our baby was born (even now I find myself hesitant to use his name—why? I’ve used it plenty online, and it’s not a secret. It’s his actual name! I just enjoyed keeping secrets, I guess. His name is Harvey.) I was constantly exhausted, and told by many people, perhaps all, that I would simply forget what happened in those first three months. That they would be wiped from my mind as if by a squeegee, leaving me blinking and confused and content with a plumper, more human-looking baby. (He was very cute from the beginning but there’s no denying that newborns look like squishy frogs. I was constantly surprised to realize he had anything so mundane and human as a skeleton. A human skeleton, that is. Human organs. A human brain. All the pieces that were supposed to be there were there, not just a sack of sentient goo that I was tasked with keeping alive, and though this shouldn’t have surprised me, lord it did. Pregnancy is so surreal that in a sense it does not prepare you for parenthood. You think: I am an alien, I am a goddess. But then your new little god is born, and this one poops and throws up in your bra.)

I am very happy with the whole situation, to be honest. I wish it wasn’t so hot here, and that there was a beach I could tote Harvey along to every afternoon, but otherwise? 10/10.

Ok. Other things. I don’t know how often I’m going to do this! I’ve been posting “(most) every Wednesday” since 2011, and it’s existentially confusing to change that, but I have pretty limited free time at the moment. The baby’s nap will probably end soon, and just as abruptly, so will this post. But I have no intention to stop drawing comics; I just also have no intention of beating myself up about the schedule.

Also, I don’t know how evident this is, but I drew this comic on my iPad, rather than on paper, as has been my custom. I was finally forced to update my OS, and now I don’t think the scanner software works anymore. I’ll test it out at a later date, but for now I’m going with the iPad, which has the added benefit of me not having to do extra digital edits to get a clean image. The downside is, of course, that it’s different. I’ve been drawing this strip for over a decade! It’s weird to change it now! But needs must.

That’s it for now! The baby is still sleeping, but who knows for how much longer? Paul the dog is also sleeping, with the same caveats! Let’s all go eat a chocolate covered almond and we’ll regroup next time.