Home > Uncategorized > Quarantine Diaries – Day 29 (RIP Wilkes-Barre flower tent)

Quarantine Diaries – Day 29 (RIP Wilkes-Barre flower tent)

It was a nice, quiet day yesterday. Nice dinner with the family. We went on a leisurely socially distancing walk with the dog. Took a family selfie. The weather was charming. It was easy to forget that the news outside our little cocoon remains bad…with no sign of any let up. The virus continues to spread. More and more are dying. And as we get further and further into this, more and more idiots are showing themselves, exposing themselves and potentially others. Some are doing it because Jesus. Others are doing it because Trump. Some because ‘Murica. And the rest are doing it, presumably, because they want us all to die so they can ‘own the libs’.

And since during a Pandemic a nation can only move forward at the speed of its dumbest inhabitants, this means we’re been on a fucking treadmill since this Covid-19 bomb detonated.

So in an effort to remain distracted I sat up late last night watching Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. Note to self….

“not a good idea….”

It already feels like we’re living some sort of Hitchcockian (sorry) nightmare. I did not need to see swarms of psychotic birds pecking the eyeballs out of Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Preshette to kick-start my already lumbering anxiety. It was past 1am when I made my way to bed, thankful that we don’t have an old-fashioned chimney that I needed to board up. And super-sensitive to any tapping on the door.

I was awoken mere hours later by what sounded like a freight train outside the bedroom window. Or actually…like thousands of birds trying to claw and peck their way inside.

And then it would be quiet. And I’d hear a few birds singing. Almost mockingly.  And then it would kick off again….and it felt like the house was gonna move. And then there would be a pause. And the birds would sing again. Had Hitchcock invaded my dreams? It was all beyond creepy. Before I looked outside I checked my phone. It told me temps were in the 50s and wind was at 12 mph.

Surely it jests.

Just so you know…..sometimes it’s best to….you know….check for yourself. Technology has a hard time with nightmares.

So I peeled away the blinds…..

Trees were sideways. If they were still standing at all. At least there was no birds waiting to Tippi me.

They were calling for a windy day….but this was scary stuff. It happened last summer here too….a tornado roared up the street and left trees and fences flattened. I thought it was a wild, fluke thing. This stuff doesn’t happen here. So maybe that was the once in a century event that would cover us.

Guess not. Hold my beer. Welcome to Oz.

flower_tentWe did what we could to nail stuff down….watched as a neighbor’s tree came crashing into our fence….and counted our blessings that the much larger tree close-by didn’t come down as well….as it would easily reach our roof. This went out for 4 hours or so….as news of what we happening elsewhere filled facebook feeds. Wilkes-Barre City hall lost its roof. Roofs and trees all over Scranton were gone. Traffic lights were swinging by single wires. Signs snapped in half. Power out everywhere. And perhaps most apocalyptically, the flower tent in Wilkes-Barre did not survive. If you live in NEPA you know what this means.

We’re doomed. That’s what it means. That tent is our survivor barometer, Bubba! We can survive as long as it can!

At the same time, large swaths of the south were being ravaged by tornadoes. Homes were shredded. At least 18 are dead. That’s sure to rise.

Somehow here we would usually compartmentalize things like this. It’s supposed to happen in the south. It’s not supposed to happen here. We conveniently forget that nobody seems to be playing by the old rules anymore. Ironically, the more the world tilts on its axis to favor the rich, the more level the playing field becomes for things like this. Weather and viruses go and thrive where they are allowed to go thrive. Where they are most welcomed. Where we clear the way. You can run but you can’t hide.

All of this pain in the midst of a global pandemic. We can’t check on each other face to face….we can’t comfort each other face to face. We can’t reach out and shake hands and hug and say “we got this…” It’s like we’re being graded on a test we’re not allowed to take.

Not sure if the worst is over or not. Conflicting reports as I type this. Tornado warnings abound, but so far none in Lackawanna county. It appears to be a lull in the storm. Perhaps.

I think it’s OK to be scared. We’re all touched by this, and fear shared can be fear halved if both sides contain the empathy gene. If I know you’ve got your eye on my back while I have my eye on yours, we can both keep looking forward. And when we reach somebody that needs a hand, we can reach down without breaking stride.

Dragging the stupids with us.

Be safe out there.

In a bit..

–tf

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