I can’t reach my oxygen mask. Blurry, I stretch toward yellow and white plastic dangling near me. But its A rotten banana peel hanging from an empty Wal-Mart sack. It turns brown as the tips of my fingers poke at it, trying to get a grip.
I read a poem about a boy revered by his friends for what he’s able to lift into his pockets from The Market Spot. The progression of their lives as it transforms into a familiar stereotype. It moves me. Two inches to the left, but still I can’t reach the banana.
People around me crumble. But I’m mid-crumble too. my empathy is a tee-shirt worn Thin, full of holes. If I wash, rinse, and repeat one more earth forsaken day, it will be reduced to a limp dust rag.
a basket of these rags grows in the laundry. If only I had energy to find the lemon Pledge. I could restore this palace to former glory. Right at least one wrong as the world outside our door continues its self-decimation.
I notice a red triangle warning printed on the plastic, but I can’t read it. I must be dreaming. I ask my partner if we have enough bullets for our gun. We might need to defend these bananas soon.
A tiny little prose poem to introduce myself to Monday. Monday which starts with email responses from my sons math and English teachers letting me know they did not receive the assignments he assured me had been turned in last week. Have you ever tried to hard to trust someone again and again with no evidence to support that trust? That’s what being a parent feels like sometimes.
How often have I conveniently forgotten what’s happened two weeks ago and last year with hope that this week or year will be different? Too often. He needs help.
On the other hand my daughter is 95% ready for her second day at a new job. And comes down stairs, looking pale, and hunched over. She’s reports nausea, headache, and fever-ish chills.
I call her in sick. I take her temp, give her some Tylenol and water, and rub her back on the couch for a few minutes. Nobody took care of me like that when I was 18. As I sit there I wonder if she knows how fortunate she is.
After the phone call I let her know it’s ok and tell her to go back to bed. Could this be covid? It’s extremely unlikely. She practically lives in her bedroom. She hasn’t gone to campus at UNL in a A few weeks and the only thing she leaves the house for is fast food. Her first day at work was last Tuesday. Today was supposed to be day 2, but that’s not gonna happen.
She didn’t have a fever. She’ll be fine.
When I was her age I started to get bad migraines. I wonder if that’s it, but don’t want to project too much. She had a flu shot, but that does not always prevent the flu.
I asked Jim last night if he was feeling up for a deeper conversation. He said not really. Honestly I wasn’t either. I was exhausted. I told him the pandemic is getting to me. He said he could tell. I told him it was 5 days until my period. He asked if that meant I thought this mood could also be due to PMS.
I said yes. It’s all connected.
I literally spent the entire weekend cleaning, doing chores, taking care of other people, etc. I think about the fact that people need breaks. This is why employers offer vacations. I didn’t get to go to Austin this month. I don’t get a break here, ever. I daydream about running away for a few days, alone.
No kids. No Jim. No dishes. No laundry.
All my vacations are now trips to the Wal-Mart Market. See that nice man at the entrance who always nods at me and sometimes asks how I’m doing. He’s wearing a mask, but I can tell sometimes he’s smiling, Sometimes he’s not. Sometimes I want to stop and have a conversation but I don’t.
We’re all connected. A consciousness that’s barely breathing, holding on from 6 feet away.
So cheery today.