So here we are at the end of week six of this, at least at my latitude and longitude. How are you guys holding up? I’m alright some of time. And some of the time I look at the dirty dishes on the counter and wonder what kind of noise they’d make if I just hurled them up against the wall, one after the other.
I’m choosing to call this an acceptable reaction under the circumstances. Not normal, mind you, because if I hear the words “the new normal” one more time I just might actually start hurling plates. There’s a good handful of trigger phrases like that actually. “It’s a marathon and not a sprint” is another one. I think we all remember my brief flirtation with running and how that ended. Nothing about that analogy lightens my mood, but I don’t expect that was the intent.
I have a lot to be grateful for, and I am. Really. Everyone I love is healthy. I still have a job. There’s food in the fridge and toilet paper in the bathroom.
And I also want to scream at the walls.
My house has become a curious sort of transformer. What was once my sewing room is now office for two, though the sewing machine still comes out on the weekends so I can make more Covid masks. My living room turns itself into a dojang three or four times a week (and let’s be honest, into a dining room frequently too so we can watch Harry Potter while we eat and pretend like the world hasn’t gone crazy). The bean bag chairs in the upstairs hallway where the kiddo plans his online DnD campaigns get ousted once a week to become a mini-ballet studio, and that whole space is a middle school classroom Monday-Friday. And the board games which once lived in tidy rows in the shelves upstairs are now all over bloody house in random, ever-changing stacks.
You know, in the Bible (hang with me, folks; I’m not getting weird on you) 40 days are used as a time increment a lot. It rained for 40 days while Noah floated along with two of every animal. Jesus hung in the desert for 40 days too. I’m of the opinion that 40 days is just the right length for an isolated person to start to lose it as little. And folks, we hit 40 days on Friday.
I’m actually a little more worried about when I’m allowed out of these of so familiar walls, to tell the truth. How do I see my friends and say 6 feet apart from them at all times, masked no less. How do I see my parents and stay across the room and not hug them? How is that even a thing? I’ll do it. We’ll all have to do it because it’s important and it’s saving lives. But I can’t get my head around what it’ll be like at the office or out in public with the barriers, both visible and not, that we’ll have to maintain. For how long? Months? Years?
If we marked our lives like the rings that tell the age of a tree, what would this year look like, I wonder?
It doesn’t do any good to say any of this out loud, I know. It’s more useful to be positive for my fellow humans. Most days I have that in me. Friends, today is not most days, but that’s alright. It’ll get better. Or I’ll get better. Or something.