Pandemic Ramblings — May 20, 2020

Journals and eaten applesauce cup with tablespoon: A study in isolation.

Sometimes, I wish I had something to say each day. Just enough to say. To fill a page. Not with utter nonsense but with lyricism and musicality and rhythm. Somedays I can write a wise prose; a mean prose that will punch you in your jaw and knock you out.

Other days, I incessantly make lists of things to do. I scribble notes in a homemade gratitude journal. It’s sad. I have wars with my conscience about Post-mating a Matcha Latte from Starbucks and other bougie novelties. I give up to myself, not in, but up. I’m not up for confronting my standards these days. I’m not up for my minimalism, my “waste-not-want-not” ways. I want. I want a lot. I want more than I have.

And I have everything I need.

The printer recalibrates itself. It makes this annoying ticking sound. It startles me, and I think someone is breaking in. No one would come here — to my one-room apartment — willingly. The air conditioner hisses, the refrigerator wheezes, and I cough.

How’s that for the Sound of Music? I’m eating applesauce out of an individual packaged cup with a giant tablespoon: a picture of my awkward. Using adult-sized silverware to enjoy childlike treats.

I’m feeling fed up. Fed up with chasing something that is not there. An entertainment industry that is shut down. Another day of working at home at my day-job. I don’t like any day-job, but I’m still grateful. We’ve got to be.

With day-jobs, it’s the nature of having to do anything during the day that gets to me. I’d like to read, nap, and walk. Boy, I would love to swim, but it’s a fine mess we’re in with a microscopic contagion in the air, haunting, lurking . . . killing friends and strangers.

It is a strange time indeed. A time to hunker down and expect more of myself. Be appreciative of what I have. Also . . . a time to expect less of myself. Do less and be less of whomever I think I should be. Self-discovery. Yes, during the pandemic: find out who you really are. An enigma — especially to yourself. Here I am, like Anthony Michael Hall in the “The Breakfast Club,” with a mechanical pencil up my nose, asking “Who am I? Who am I?”

A basket-case. Definitely Ally Sheedy. Once I, too, was inspired to use my dandruff as snowfall on a sheet of paper. Shedding. Shedding the dry skin of my scalp. Shedding this virus. Everything always come back to the other ‘c’ word — Corona — and now we may get Legionnaire’s from unused toilets when we do get back to our precious offices.

We are society eating away at ourselves and remaining hopeful. We will get to an end of this. We are in this together. It’s a hashtag after all.

If we don’t, we’ll find out whose religion is correct. Do we go to Heaven or Hell? Do we not go to either? Do we come back in another life as wolves? We are being tested: the human race. Supposedly, there is a God or Gods that tests us humans, but really it’s just cuz . . .

science.

Yeah, there’s that. I want to see how this movie ends. I’m not getting up to pee or going out for popcorn. I’m glued to the screen with a mask on my face and sanitizer in tow. Will we or will we not get to an end? And will it be an end, or the end?

Fatalism. Nihilism. Surrealism. Silence.

The refrigerator has choked on its own hum; the air conditioner struggles to function; the printer has gone back to sleep . . . I’m still here in this one-room apartment. My stomach is full on empty. I’m sure there are many that feel just like me. Alone and not alone. We’re in this together is the mantra.

(Sung to Springsteen’s “War”:)

“Corona, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again!”

It’s a war for sure. A war against an invisible army of COVID-19 and an army of COVIDIOTS, spreading the virus with their white supremacy in a time of human suffering. A president taking a drug for virus prevention that causes delusions. This is the stuff that fears are made of … and they are real … cuz, uh, not science … the antithesis of science … folklore by folksy believers who arm themselves with signs shouting for freedom and wearing face masks of American flags. COVIDIOTS swarm the earth. Maybe they are humans who have been reincarnated. They are the zombies; and yes, this is the apocalypse.

Don’t let people tell you this is the apocalypse. Don’t be grim. We are the human race. We will prevail. As long as we stop racing. Be still. Take in the air. Without respiratory droplets escaping from runners, runners racing to stay fit, while the world closes in on itself.

I wrote this in a tunnel, the darkness of going within the reaches of my psyche. I do believe that we will prevail. Sometimes you got to shut off all the lights to remember what it’s like to see.

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