We don’t have time to be scared.
Going to bed at night and checking the news makes peaks and valleys of worry and fear and we cut these outliers off and make it flat.
We don’t have time for peaks of fear and valleys of worry. We have jobs to tend, and kids to wash, and so we ride the middle. We take these peaks and valleys and put them in our pockets and save them for later, for drink or for poetry or for extra long showers.
We’ll come out of this worse for the wear, the peaks and valleys falling out of our clothes and messed up hair and trailing behind us, as the sun warms our faces and arms,
Self-Isolation – Day 16: Forts in the basement. Breakfast for supper.
The kids are riding their bikes in circles around my desk in the garage.
It feels like I’m surrounded by a tiny biker gang.
They’re taking no prisoners.
Taking all snacks.
One holds an umbrella in the air like a sawed-off shotgun,
the other rides with a gang leader’s silent defiance.
Can’t tell THEM what to do.
And I don’t.
I just drink and write and wait for the world to continue ending.
Self-Isolation – Day 15: Daft Punk may end up saving us all.
She used to turn the blinker on five minutes out,
and coast to the intersection
“I like to slowly become more relevant,
like corduroy, or a stopped clock.”
“Do you want to know something else about me?” She asked
and I almost laughed because,
despite the fact that she was a terrible driver,
I wanted to know everything about her.
And so we talked like that for the rest of the day.
A real question-and-answer, forget-the-time talk.
An interested, forgot-to-eat-lunch conversation
that spanned hours like decades, and ended in a diner.
When it started getting dark we found light
When it started getting light we found coffee.
“Do you know why I drink black coffee?” She’d said
“Because you want it to match your soul?” I replied.
She used to build tiny houses out of sugar packets
and I imagined living in a shelter like that,
Each rain day slowly eating away at the walls and floors
and real life slowly creeping in through the sweet ruin.
Self-Isolation – Day 14: Netflix invented the virus to make people watch Tiger King.
There are places in this house I didn’t know existed:
I am finding new ways to be lonely in places I own, but have never been.
Today I have seen 7 people I love but haven’t hugged any of them.
I am rich on the money I haven’t spent in restaurants.
My neighbors are wearing out the road by walking on it. And I want to say hello, but also: This isn’t a time to be fit and feel good. And then I think that maybe it is. And then I have another donut and what the fuck
Self-Isolation – Day 13: Dirty looks at the grocery store.
She’s chewing corn pops and I’m watching. In what seems like slow motion, her mouth moves and works as she grinds every last yellow ball into oblivion. I stare at her. At her mouth. Listen for the screams. I hear the enriched corn sugar exploding like shotgun blasts. These are the end times. These are the days we will count our dead not by the hundreds, but by the thousands.
She shovels another scoop in and I slam my fist on the table, making spoons and glasses rattle.
“MONSTER!” I yell.
The chewing stops as she looks at me. The children in the adjoining room stop playing and stare, Cartoons play on the TV and the only sound that can be heard is Peppa pig, fat shaming her porky father.
“Jesus Jordan, what the hell is wrong with you?”
I snap out of my daze and mumble an apology that earns a well-deserved squint. The kids go back to oblivion. I take a bite of my bagel and it screams bloody murder in my face.
Self-isolation – Day 12: Ben Affleck movies about basketball.