Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Another day

I'm sitting at my dining table in front of the big window, about to continue revising my manuscript for another day. This part of the work is so much less painful than trying to get that complete first draft down. The good news is the editor loved it, though of course, she had comments which I am now endeavoring to address. My subject has already conveyed all her changes to me, as well as some new stories prompted by what she read, but she's a good sport, engaging with my further questions cheerfully. We still need to figure out the book's ending. My subject is in public life, where as we all know, everything unfolds daily at warp speed. We have no time or space to reflect on the horrors of this presidency, before new assaults on our norms and freedoms barrel toward us. Right now, I'm ignoring that last chapter, getting the rest of the book in shape and hoping that inspiration will happen unforced in the background as I work.

My husband is next to me at the table, perusing the news on his laptop before he starts his workday. He chuckles from time to time and shares a tidbit, usually more absurd than funny, like the Trump supporter on a Jacksonville, Florida beach who opined that Joe and Hunter Biden went to China and brought back covid to infect the rest of us. I had seen that one. The man who received this news, himself a curious figure in his grim reaper costume to protest the non-mask wearing crowds, tweeted, "If there's one thing MAGA has achieved it's making the rest of us look smarter, healthier, and better looking." Okay, that's kind of mean, but then, all those Trump zealots are ugly mean, too.

Now my man is showing me a picture of world-record-breaking Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt's adorable infant daughter, and telling me that her parents have named her Olympia Lightening Bolt. I imagine with such a name, she may be poised for superhero things.

My cousin called me from Virginia last night, said she woke up feeling unwell and had gone to take a covid test earlier in the day. Her husband, who has a heart condition, is sleeping in the living room until she gets her results, and they and their sons are all wearing masks inside the house. She has a fever, and has lost all interest in food—"a dead giveaway" she joked. And she's just exhausted. I don't know whether to wish for a mild case for her and no symptoms in her beloveds, or to hope this dreadful unpredictable disease never touches their door.

I would get tested myself, but I still have no faith in the accuracy of the tests. We did break our quarantine bubble last week when our son and his love came over. We had a wonderful time, with our boy taking down shot glasses and pouring everyone tequila almost as soon as he came through the door. "Let's all kill the covid!" he declared, and we laughed and obediently downed our medicine. We had such fun, chatting and catching up with each other all afternoon, and I hugged them close both when they came in and when they left. They had seen her parents, too, earlier in the week, though they had all sat in the backyard and kept masks on the entire time. The next day, my son and his fiancee drove up to camp for a socially distanced weekend in the woods with their friends. The wife of the couple whose house they stayed in is pregnant, so precautions were definitely observed.

Further smashing our bubble, my girl and her guy spent the week upstate with his family, and as far as I can tell from pictures, relatives have been in and out of his mother's house, with not much social distancing, and, at the fourth of July barbecue to celebrate his birthday, I noted lots of masks doing double duty as chin straps. I only hope that because New York aggressively sheltered in place from March through May, with 50,000 daily covid tests now showing less than one percent positive results, no one has been exposed. Apparently, in other parts of the country, daily positive test results are running as high as 70 percent. I remember when that was our reality, too. I'm still not over the PTSD.

My girl and her love are moving to Boston next month, as he will be doing his MBA there. She is hoping to continue working remotely for her current job, as it's been an effective arrangement since March, and no one is heading back into their offices until October. I pray she is able to work this out, as I worry about her job hunting prospects in a new city during the time of covid. I remind myself that they are young, and whatever happens, they will manage it somehow. I mostly pray that they, and all of us everywhere, will be safe.

On July fourth, this blew my mind.

The photo of colored stones on a Jamaican beach is by my niece @visionarri


  1. That's my wish too - that we all make it through well and alive.

    And congrats on moving into the editing phase of your book!

  2. thank you for the video which has been sent now to nearly everyone I know, all on the same page here.
    We are still in lock down generally , masks mandated I have not been anywhere but to the grocery since valentines day. Covid19 would take me out of this world and I do not want to leave until the orange thing has been removed and BLM makes REAL meaningful headway. Goals!
    Thank you also for the update - son's visit which we knew would be grand, and daughter moving with love and a puppy. I love you all.

  3. I miss seeing my grandchildren very much and am wondering when it will be safe for me to visit them or when I will think it is worth the risk anyway. I imagine ways we can make it work - wearing our masks while having a picnic outside. They live 3 hours away so we have to coordinate that into the decision. It just saddens me.
    But, I know I have been lucky because I have been able to stay home and stay safe and others have suffered much more than I have. I feel I should not complain and just keep making the best of it... It is just that some days...

  4. That photo is a meditation in and of itself.
    I hope your cousin gets well quickly and that none of her family is infected if indeed covid is what she has. She may have lost her interest in food but she has not lost her sense of humor and I love that.
    We are all learning to live with this virus and the threat of this virus as time passes. Learning what is acceptable, what is not. What is high risk, what is acceptable risk.
    And hey! Tequila! Why not?

  5. I love that photo! I'm sorry to hear about your cousin -- hopefully she has something benign that will pass quickly. Apparently that conspiracy theory about Biden is being circulated out there -- I don't know where it originated. Alex Jones, maybe? Anyway, people will believe anything if it fits their preconceptions and world view, no matter how distorted.

  6. I love that you had such a wonderful visit with your son and his partner, that your life is filled with these moments of joy. We all need that these days, however brief it may be. Hope all goes well with your cousin that she is okay and recuperating.
    That video... oh that video... it brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. Those young voices, those dreams, those words. I want the future to be in their hands.

  7. I'm glad you had a good visit with your son and his beloved. I think a lot of people are breaking down and hugging their kids and grandkids. I am on the rare visits. I have to trust that they are keeping safe and that they would not come over if they had been engaging in sketchy activities. I know the ending will present itself. I'm almost ready to get back to doing some artwork now that all the house and shop remodeling is about done and my sister's house is in the last stages of preparation. so Boston's not too far, right? I think her job will be secure if working from home is working out.

  8. I hope your cousin will bounce back. It's wonderful that you were able to spend time with your beautiful son and his lady friend. Here in AZ we're freaking out just a little with the case counts and the apparent lack of critical thinking skills of our governor. No testing for us - it's in the triple digits and wait times are up to eight hours in the car. Nope nope nope.

  9. I love reading about your writing process. I'm glad you got to spend time with your son and his fiancée.

    I had to look up the distance between Boston and New York, not too bad. Close enough you can still visit but not the same as having your daughter close by.

    I had a COVID test on Monday as they want asymptomatic people to be tested as well to get a better understanding of the disease and it's spread in the population. Still waiting for the results but I don't have to self isolate because I'm asymptomatic.

    We have an outbreak at one of our hospitals in the city which is scary and awful.

    Glad you all are doing well. Stay safe my friend.

  10. Fingers crossed that your cousin and her family are safe. And I'm sad for you that your daughter is moving away. I saw the video before and found it very moving. The young man on the left (with glasses) was particularly eloquent at the end, in his own words. Stay well and good luck with the last chapter of your book.

  11. I came here the other day and then didn't have time to comment. I remember thinking as I read this post I wish my daughters would find partners that they love. My younger daughter picks one loser after another, all with violent tempers and jealousy issues, and my older daughter has low self esteem and frightens them away. Sigh.

  12. I pray your children will remain healthy, and your cousin, and all of you. PTSD is exactly what is going on, and yet, like you said, it seems it is inflicted upon us newly every day. I love you all.

  13. I'm so glad that you got to see and embrace your kids. And thank you for saying that our kids will be okay because they are young. I forget that when I worry, and I worry a lot these days. I love you.