It’s Friday and the end of week three of self-quarantine. I’m at home in my bedroom and it occurred to me that I want to be able to look back and remember parts of this chapter in detail (or snapshots). Given that I’m an over-sharer by nature, I’m dredging up this old blog and realizing how much has changed by then.
I dragged a kitchen chair in to sit close to the window, one of those Eames replicas that’s been scratching the floors. Even though the sky is full of dull grey clouds, being close by is better than being closed in by walls. My bare feet are propped up on the bed, and I’m being propped up by a strong coffee that warms my hands and a laptop that warms my… lap.
For a few minutes this morning, I was able to pretend. Though I woke up feeling groggy, my spirit had jokes. I teased A and was rewarded by one of his hearty laughs I love so much. Stretched my sore body, tired from endless sitting, standing, sitting, standing. A was taken aback at my burst of energy. I told him to enjoy it, because by lunch I’d probably be crying at my fake desk.
Not even two hours later, the energy I had this morning has completed deflated. News of people passing away. News of students struggling. The news the news the news endlessly popping up on screens I can’t seem to shake off. The wear and tear of a week.
I know I have it good. I have a job, a home, a partner, a supporting family, so much more.
The way grief works, though.
The way trauma works, though.
The way pandemic works, though.
It rakes over everyone, however uneven. While the virus doesn’t distinguish humans from one another, it disproportionally effects the devastation it causes, economically, emotionally, and physically.
It is often surreal.
I’m learning to unravel the feeling of selfishness invoked by this emotional roller coaster— there is an element of self preservation I need to hold on to, along with a need to serve my community with the understanding we are all one.
My coffee and dull headache is now tepid and a reminder that I should hydrate. Instead, I warm up the coffee in the microwave and keep going, into the next meeting where will smile for the camera.
Seeing A out in the living room did dig out a real smile— he has a way of doing that, without doing much. Thankful he brings up the giddy in me on days I wouldn’t think it was possible.
Post All-Staff meeting, I scramble up eggs for lunch and try to take advantage of the 12 minutes A and I are “on break.” Meal prep is fast and loose these days, depending on what grocery items are still in stock and what’s in the pantry. After lunch,
I savor the first bite of a juicy orange.
Seeing a bowl of oranges feels comforting and reminds me to appreciate the hands that farmed them, delivered them, stocked them, then delivered them directly to me.
I push down my fear of scarcity as I wonder when I’ll have to brave a grocery store. Though that mindset isn’t helpful, it’s truly taken over me in moments of doom. I recognize it’s privilege and capitalist core, though my anxiety doesn’t always see it that way. I am human. I am human.
The fear rises back up to tune of constant sirens, heard more clearly than ever. To drown some of it out, I play music, white noise, and TV.
But it’s only pretend, an escape for a few minutes or hours. I can’t and won’t ignore what’s happening.
The sirens wail and I want to wail right along with them. And often, I do. And when they take a breath, I take a breath.
I wail when I feel the collective weight of the world.
I breathe when we exhale together.