Whew! I did 30/30 y’all! And I even did it in the allotted timeframe! I don’t know that that’s happened in quite a long time. Of course, by posting only poems mostly, you missed out on the other stuff I did, though, honestly, sometimes the poems were or described what I did.
But here’s how the month went down from my quarantine corner.
Mostly it was filled with watching my friends play music on Facebook live. I saw Barbara 3 times. I saw Lindsay 4 times plus had a FaceTime call with her. I saw Jeff 3 times. I saw Mike Spurgat 3 times. I watched Lisa Sanders a couple times too. I also participated in an open poetry reading from Glassless Minds, a memorial reading for the great Una Hynum, and a new poetry group I joined called Creative Crones. Finally, I watched a virtual reading to celebrate an anthology of Wanda Coleman’s body of work with big-timers Amber Tamblyn, Rachel McKibbens, Mahogany Browne, Patricia Smith, and Terrance Hayes. That was cool. Plus we’ve converted our weekly phone calls with Sandy to be FaceTime calls which are fun.
I also was invited as a guest on Randi Driscoll’s ‘show.’ She’s been doing social isolation sessions every day since being put on lockdown in Nashville. On April 20, she had a poetry themed show, and I was one of three poets she invited to perform. You can watch the whole episode (episode 31). I come in around 14:15, and I read “Gardeners of Los Angeles” that I wrote during 30/30.
I went to the grocery store three times (3rd, 14th, and 28th). Mom and I have gotten good at planning what we’re going to eat for 2 weeks at a time, and we create our list from that. We’ve also taken to having take-out on Thursdays, and sometimes on other days 🙂 We’ve had pizza, The Habit, Tom’s Tailgate. I think I had Popeye’s once. On the days I go shopping, I stop at Starbucks. We (yes, Mom and Lulu came!) also took a little road trip (ha!) to pick up a fresh strawberry pie curbside from Polly’s Pies. It was Mom’s only trip beyond the house since March 18! She stayed in the car, and we were safe.
I still go walking almost every day, anywhere from 2-4 miles or a little more. I always wear a mask. Same, of course, when I go to the store or to pick up food.
My only other trip out was to get my physical and drug test for the city job I have when this coronavirus business ends, and people are allowed to gather again. It was the first time I’ve ever had to do a drug test. It was fine. The guy doing it was very nice, and I was happy to see that everyone was following the guidelines for safety. The doctor who did my physical asked me why the city was making me do this now, and I didn’t have an answer. Anyway, it’s done so I don’t have to worry about it. Except…
The same day I went for that, I got a message on FB from a former co-worker saying that her company has an opening for a part-time remote position, and she thought of me. The next day I had a video chat with the creative director, and this past Wednesday, I got a call from their HR people, and they offered me the job. Holy cow. I mean, it’s really true that it’s about the people you know to get a job. So, now I have to get another drug test for this job, which I have scheduled for Monday. This place does appointments so that’s good. I’m supposed to start on May 11 assuming that my drug test and background check all go smoothly. I don’t foresee any issues, it’s just a matter of how quickly they can be done. So that’s a big yay!
Even given all of these positives going on, it’s still been hard on me mentally. More than anything, it’s the presidential gaslighting that’s happening. It’s the “liberate” groups who are protesting stay-at-home orders. It’s the unholy numbers of deaths and cases around the world. It’s the scary unemployment statistics. It’s knowing people who have little or no safety nets who have to downsize and relocate in the middle of this awfulness. The protesting people say that it’s time to go back to work and for the ‘non-essential’ businesses like hair and nail salons to open because they “need” them. They say the virus is not that bad (don’t even get me started about people saying it’s a hoax). I mean, I’m glad the virus is “not so bad,” but that’s the whole point! The whole point of staying home and closing down so much stuff was to avoid the virus rampaging through the populace. And now people are angry that it hasn’t rampaged through the populace. But for the people who have lost loved ones, it’s very real. For those who have recovered from this disease, it’s very real. For the healthcare workers who have to wear equipment like they’re going into battle, it’s very real. It’s so very sad and downright exhausting.
In the bad news that’s laced with good news, Mom & I won’t be going to Sweden in June like we had planned. She had made deposits already on the trip, but the good news part is that we’re being given a credit for what we’ve already paid for a future trip with parameters. We’re nowhere close to knowing what we might do with it, but we have some time to figure it out.
So now it’s May, and who knows what’s in store? I think even if California begins to relax its restrictions, I’ll still be extremely careful when I go out, and I don’t plan to increase my outings by much if any. It’s very much a wait and see situation.
Stay safe out there, friends!