“Help!” And, how ya doing this week?
I’m thinking of you and I’m irritated that I don’t know when I’ll ever see you again. And, that’s not because of “them,” it’s because of my own reticence about “going back out there, getting back to normal.”
I hope that you are staying safe and healthy. I am staying safe by staying home. As an immune-suppressed person, I feel that since nothing has really changed as far as controlling, stopping or curing Covid-19, my safest place remains inside my four walls.
My mental health…well, that’s another story. This week, hysteria is manifesting in slight numbness as the cases continue to increase and the push to “get back to normal” is actually scarier than when things were just plain horrific.
I reject the rush to go back to normal. My old normal was nothing to brag about. My old obsessions with shoes and silver jewelry seem so far away, no longer mine. All of my reasoning for needing all that stuff seems laughable at best and pathetic at worst. Every day, I sit in my sweatpants and socks and want for nothing. These austere two months without ego, new shoes or jewelry have left me focusing my elation on other things, like thought-provoking music, friends, art and silence. I refuse to go back.
The only thing that I miss is watching others laugh. I miss the shared mischief of inside jokes between friends; I miss long lunches that linger until the waiter has to politely ask us to leave. However, I am at peace with the new ways that friends connect; feet up, favorite beverage and nothing but mutually selected time, just for us. No more rushing, worrying about appearance and no more traffic tardiness excuses. We are just there, alone, with willingness to be together.
I can be safe and be with others, without worry. Joyfully, I embrace solitude as certainty. I have to love you but love me, more; the lesson Covid is teaching me. This time of solitude has led me back to my source. Shoes no longer make me. (Besides, a lot of them, hurt!)
I have replaced my cosmetic mask with a mask of responsibility for myself and others. I am getting used to it. I can feel my anti-social habits feeling less like punishment and more like love. I share all of this, not to be a downer but because I am a voyeur; looking, observing, laughing and crying all at once. My senses are heightened. I smell fear and I see danger. I laugh at blind zealotry that puts us at risk. I ponder, wonder and write for sanity and to excavate what’s left within that will carry me down the long road ahead.
Luckily, I have just discovered the mask emoji!
I know it has existed for a long time but I admit, I’m late. Anyway, I can’t tell you how much it makes me laugh! I have rude belly laughs every time I see it and use it at the end of every text that I send. It’s so funny because it just seems to sum up everything. This little symbol reeks of pandemic but also hints at the need for less speaking and more listening. It symbolizes the release of vanity and a new penchant for responsibility.
Right now, it’s 2:30am and I am just trying to fill in the blanks. If you find yourself trying to fill them in, too, and are so inclined, please email me. I want to compile what you say, because what you say will matter to me and to someone else who’s got blanks to fill. Just write the word: Blank in the subject line. These words between us will mean something and we don’t need to know what, just yet. All we need to know is that we are all out here, feeling things that need to be felt.
Perhaps our compiled words will not go viral or have a YouTube video or be boisterous as we cheer for healthcare workers at 8pm every night. Maybe, our shared words will be something quieter and more discreet. Perhaps, our whispers will bring humility, wonder, and a deeper desire to start again. Clearly, are lives, as we know them, are in question.
Leaving you with self-love, humility, and words.