So as I mainline white knuckle anxiety these days (WNA with an X and a Y, “Winxy”, the latest designer that comes with a masked frowny face sticker on it’s tiny zip-lock in now empty dance clubs) I just couldn’t wait to get to my carrot tonight. Shit, half way through my half day at the station on Wednesday I could just barely concentrate enough to get things done before finally being able to get behind the wheel, me and BB, and head home … and I still had two more fucking days to go. But in three weeks, or so, I’ve been pretty good at just going straight to work and coming straight home. I’ve only stopped a couple of times, gas or a curbside pickup I may soon not be able to afford, that plus being REALLY good at staying out of circulation on the weekends, an already and always enjoyably year’s well honed fuck people skill of mine, has made me feel a bit better. I’ve also only been grocery shopping once (thank you so much Keryl M Pesce for the assist and the kindness) though I’m going first thing open tomorrow after seniors and I’ve already got my list and route through the store mapped out in my head. 10 minutes tops with gloves, mask, hoodie, sanitizer, hope and paranoia in tow. Sorry fellow shoppers, but I won’t be much for even a nod. I’m frightened.
To all of those who have done what they can to make the best of all of this, to post positive messages, to maybe make a little light, to entertainers who have produced/produce things from home, brought us specials to keep us entertained and distracted, to try and make us feel more connected and more normal I commend you. You’re stronger than I.
But to all those on the “front lines” who are even STRONGER, mere words won’t cut it. There’s not just an unbound admiration or an unmeasured level of hope for you all, heroes if ever there were any, but there is prayer, and not that of those with hollow words professed by rote on what really, in the long run, are small stages, but actual prayer, something I’ve never really been any good at or only ever kept to myself, too often for selfish reasons but not always, sorry ’bout that big guy (please remember the “not always”) but not now. You have all that I can offer.
All I can do at the moment IS the selfish I guess. Keep my head down, go straight to and come straight home as best I can, keep to my little workspace studio while I work, or clean up the one’s shared, or keep a distance from the skeleton crew as best as possible while still being human. Then keep the interactions with Celie and the gang downstairs to the bare minimum when I do get back from the straight home. That’s not easy by the way. She and the gang have proven to be quite a bit, no, not a “quite of bit”, but the MAIN source of sanity over the last two years. Some hello’s, quick talk, some pet pet’s and then upstairs? Man, that’s tough. I so miss simple rewarding conversation with a now best of friend and the feeding of the cats and the opening back porch doors for the dogs and convincing Bella the Bird to relax her clamor. “Got your new water right here noisy lady”
But there, at least, is the carrot.
As I’ve mentioned before, Bella is not a fan of Cricket the Blind and stays away, as best she can, around Cricket’s blind meowling pacing circles, though with curiosity, but bumping happening on occasion, sometimes with noise, and Bella never makes noise, and she only tolerates Mimi the Quirky in a sniff, sniff, sniffing thinking about giving her a pop kind of way. Bad Bella. Bad Bella. C’mon girlfriend. Give Mimi a break. Poor Memes, just an old, fragile, quirky girl who has adopted this guy and wants nothing more than to just share a lap at TV time and a pillow at night. There’s a comfort in Mimi’s need … and my own in turn.
But this dynamic, in it’s own little universe, is that aforementioned carrot.
I often feel guilty with Bella, nine years together now, missing her time with me. She doesn’t like to grab the foldover of the sheets/comforter anymore like she used to (and I hate that) as Cricket and Mimi hog a lap at TV time. But tonight, when I turned on the PC and flicked the lamps at my desk (It’s all about warm lamplight right Ma?) she about bounded, about bounced from across this small spot to hop in her, Shoes’s once, computer chair, even before I “pat patted” it. She’s pretty smart, and knows me pretty well. This is her time. She knows the next to me is hers while I scribble.
It didn’t last long, as Mimi also knows PC and lamplight time and Cricket will eventually grab at my leg to climb.
But Bella still lays now as I finish. It’s a good chair Bella.
Cat guy? It’s what I do. Pathetic cat guy? He He. Maybe.
But, this actually fits with where we should be. You hunker with yours and I’ll hunker with mine. Family is family.
Got my carrot while trying to take a breath.