March 13 is the last day I remember being in the office for a normal day, having a staff meeting about the coming apocalypse. Now it’s six months later and since the country hasn’t managed to come together with a plan everyone is willing to follow, we are still in this mess. Everyone who wants to lecture me about how America is “land of the free” can just fuck right off.
Our fashion statements have become masks (or lack of) and protest signs. Our exercise is walking the dog. Comfort food has become the only food but every time I venture out to get groceries I wonder “Is this a mistake?” or “Will it be here that I come into contact with someone who will make me sick?”
I have furlough time and leave time to take, and lots of it, but I’m afraid to go anywhere. Where will I eat? How clean is the room I’m staying in? Is it better to just continue to stay at home and be depressed that other people seem to be having a grand old time out there and I am making myself stay inside? How sick would we actually get? Is it worth it just to be someplace besides my apartment? Where can I go that is safe? Then I remember that where I am is not safe either, since I live in a dormitory with college students all around me for whom safety regulations are mere suggestions because of the lack of any real backing we have to enforce them.
Which all makes me think that maybe I SHOULD just drive around the country (because really, what other country will have us) and be happy and see what happens but I can imagine COVID-19 standing behind me, quietly whispering in my ear “Sure, you do that. Fuck around and find out.”
But I also think I will go crazy if I continue to sit here in front of the computer all day, every day, putting work into side hustles and job searches and house searches that all go nowhere. I’ve updated my resume at least 6 times since May, adding online courses I’ve completed and a book I wrote, trying to use real-life jargon rather than higher ed. specific lingo, and for what? I feels like I am prepping but maybe now is the time to be doing. Except it doesn’t feel safe enough to be doing either, so I’m in a limbo of staying safe for “later” but I can’t tell if later is now yet. I go to bed with all sorts of good ideas and wake up to scroll social media for hours, which accomplishes nothing and of course I knew that already, but it’s just comforting.
I have my cookbook out to make some orange-cranberry bread for fall (Mabon is @September 22), items to list on Poshmark, and a dog life jacket is on the way from Amazon because I hope this weekend I will finally not be afraid to wade through the sea of redneck tubers on the river to take the kayak out for the first time in maybe a year. I doubt I’ll really do anything more than bake the bread though, and that’s only if I get up right now.