Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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