Home > Uncategorized > Quarantine diaries – day 20 (walkabout)

Quarantine diaries – day 20 (walkabout)

Stayed up late night……watching something or another. I was told today was Saturday, so that works for me. Sleep in if possible, and of course it’s not because everybody is home and everybody sorta wanders around at different times and makes noise and the dog has to be let out and that’s pretty much that as far as sleeping goes. So eventually everybody gathers in the living room and buries their head in their phones. Family time. America, April 2020.

The only decision to make is if supplies are necessary. If so….the trip is planned with military precision. Volunteers? Masks? Which store? Who has the list? Clear the table for the return. Get the Clorox wipes. Scrub everything down. Deep breaths. I’m still unable to wrap my head around the toilet paper thing, this deep into this. Somebody needs to write a book about the peculiar fear Americans have of not being able to wipe their ass 20 times over. Almost everything else is available though if you’re smart about it. If you have a smaller, local store, chances are they’re more stocked than Walmart. So pay the extra dollar and come home with what you need. The Walton family doesn’t need your money. But the one who owns the grocery store a mile from your house sure does. Stop being such a dick. There’s enough for everybody because of the heroic efforts being made by overworked and underpaid people, everywhere and everyday. So be grateful and get only what you need.

Once you’re supplied up….well….it’s time to improvise. Binge watch something. Get off the couch and go for long, solitary runs or walks. Settle in with a good book. Doze. Eat constantly. Try to come up with reasons not to crack a lager. Chase the dog around the house. Consider how long it’s been since you actually showered, and possibly rectify the situation.

I took a 5 mile walkabout this morning…..criss-crossing 3 towns up this way. Quiet. Lots of cars. Few people. Passed one guy who looked like a Tiger King extra. About 6 foot 3 and 120 pounds tops. Dude had a spectacular mullet and was sucking so hard on a cigarette he nearly knocked himself over. I quickly crossed the street and then he did the same….so I crossed back over and I think he realized what was happening and allowed for the social distancing. And then he sorta waved. I felt bad. I don’t know why.

facebook-small-business-grants-coronavirusGot to the main street….and all the small businesses were closed up. Signs in the windows. “Closed until further notice”. That sort of thing. I wondered how many of them would ever open again. A small bar. A day care. A hair salon. A hardware store. A local travel agency. All of them probably hanging on day-to-day under normal circumstances. Now…shuttered. What’s plan B for these folks? What do you do when you realize that the man behind the curtain is a fraud?

I was walking where people usually don’t walk, so the sidewalk would suddenly end and I’d be straddling the road……then crossing when I’d see paths on the other side. Not much money here…..sidewalks are all lumpy and cracked with weeds and broken glass fighting for space. You have to pay attention or you’ll take a header. Not the time to have you head buried in a phone.

Houses are forever years old…..and behind the curtains are folks who can hold their own in a fair fight. But we’re not allowed to face this foe. Not yet anyway. So downtown the boys are itching to get at this thing…but are being held back. You can almost feel it. The few faces I did see were hard. The kind that broker no nonsense. It made me proud to be from here. Again, I don’t know why.

I’d gone in a complete circle, so to get back home required a step ascent. Past our post office and gas station/convenient market and bank and local grocery store……all filled and defiant. Keeping us together. I just don’t want to take any of these things for granted ever again. The work people do. The friends and family I have. The town I live in.

I was feeling the burning in my legs. It felt good. The air. The minor struggle. The weather just right to be comforted by the breeze. And then to the mountaintop. Home. Peering through the front door was my dog…..barking away. My daughter opened the door before I could reach it. And I was in. Safe. Home.

In a bit..

–tf

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