Please, please, stop calling it by its official name. We don’t need it spelled out, spoken out, in every article, broadcast, conversation in full.
Let’s just call it “It”. Or how about a simple “C-V.” When I suggested that to a friend he shot back, “But people will get it confused with a resume.” I shot back, “Better than calling it its proper name and screwing-up global beer sales.”
And what’s with the “19″? What happened to “18,” never mind “1″? As for the “novel” bit, if they want to give it a literary reference, let’s go with “horror.”
For me the “novelty” wore off quickly. At first the challenge of doing as told, doing one’s bit to save one’s neighborhood of being ravaged by you-know-what, had adrenalin-pumping purpose. But that all stopped the day the pubs were closed! That date— Monday, March 16th—is my benchmark for when life in the era of C-V changed.
For the first time in all my years of propping up bars, I had a dry St. Patrick’s Day. Dry? Yes, because for some unfathomable reason I don’t drink at home on my own. Never have done. And over the last month or so, as I sit alone surrounded by every type of liquor and a stack of wine that resembles a “cellar,” have tried. Cajoled myself into pouring a glass of Three Buck Chuck. But it goes untouched. Of course, that’s good. Because if I ever manage to switch my binge-swilling, vodka-soda ways from the bar to my sofa, I will be in deep do-dah.
Though the biggest change has been something I’ve never suffered from: inertia. An all-consuming “doing nothing.” While others bang-on about their “locked-in” achievements—clearing out filing cabinets, all those thousands of photos sorted, how they can hardly move at home because, while their closets are now free of all those clothes they never wear, the place is littered with bags and boxes of unwanted gear waiting for Goodwill to be allowed to open again— my “to do” list is untouched.
But I’m eating well! As someone who, is classed as “vulnerable” (age plus an auto-immune condition), lives alone, eats out a lot and only really cooks when entertaining, I’m rising to the challenge of existing on pantry items (though I am sick of seeing yet another food article telling you how to do it—with ingredients that most people don’t have casually on hand, like miso, walnut oil and coconut flour). My favorite go-to is Spam (which I’ve always stocked ready for Armageddon), “roasted” in the oven so it gets crispy on all sides, a can of any beans, dressed-up with every herb and spice on hand (even the ones way past their sell-by date); and a fried egg. Don’t dare knock it. You know, given a chance you too would scarf it.
But like most disasters, there is a silver-lining. For me it’s hugs. For a long time, I’ve railed against the hugging brigade. I’ve tried to avoid being hugged by people, particularly those I don’t know as I’m just being introduced to them. Not to mention that unwanted hug that’s offered when you run into a someone you do know. Then again as you part company. Among my pals I’m known as a “non-hugger” —which they will yell out as someone I’m meeting for the first time lunges towards me. For me, hugs are for those you love, when you see them after a long time apart, or are bidding au-revoir (i.e. as in, ‘til we meet again, not see you tomorrow). Happily, as normal life starts-up, I have a feeling hugs will be off the agenda for quite a while.
As for “zooming,” don’t invite me. Not to a happy-hour, the book-group, or a trivia-game bonanza. Having people seeing me lounging in my pit, picking-my-nose (am only half-joking) is a no-go. And I’m tired of being asked, what are you reading? The answer is: if you mean am I reading my favorite door-stop, War and Peace, the answer is no. And so far, have resisted signing-up for Netflix. Regular telly, with some basic cable, meets my needs. And have to admit (and this is in the same shameful category as my Spam confession), I’ve discovered the reality delights of Say Yes to the Dress and 90 Day Fiancé. At least they keep my inertia intact. But by far my top-watch is the daily trip to the White House. Saturday Night Life must be sickened by the daily performance. How can they possibly top the verbal-virus that afflicts The Prez?
Meanwhile I’m eagerly looking forward to my black mask being delivered. Have got the stick-on “jewels” and tiny pins all ready to bling it up, for when I get dressed-up. Not that, along with everyone else, I’ve got anywhere to go….
A Poem Exchange
Some weeks ago, I got an e-mail invitation to take part in a Poem Exchange. The idea was to pick a poem that the recipient found inspiring as they battled to cope with isolation and the lockdown. In my philistine way I failed to think of a single piece of prose. So I penned my own. I never heard any more about the Poem Exchange. Maybe because my effort to express my feelings didn’t hit a heart-run. But that aside, here it is….
It’s upon us ALL!
ALL of us.
None at ALL.
And in the end
When ALL this is gone,
How we will gather.
ALL of us.
And how ALL of us
Will be grateful for
ALL those things
We never gave
A thought to.
Never at ALL.
But soon we will,