Self-Isolation Diaries #14

You’re the type of person who has a strong opinion on soups.
That’s opinion not onion.
Which is not to say you don’t have a strong opinion of onion soup.

You’d embrace late-season snow storms
Saying they were there to keep our entitlement in check.
I’d say nothing, slipping my boots on and silently refusing to clear the driveway.

And so we go back and forth like that
Having half-hearted opinions on things that don’t matter.
Me, clearing the snow off your car, and you making me soup.

Self-Isolation – Day 26: Finding it harder to find the good.

Self-Isolation Diaries #13

Premier Blaine Higgs & Education minister Dominic Hardy addressed the public today after wiping down microphones and adjusting face masks which required a notable amount of face touching. Both had a beer in hand, citing the official time to be: “5 o’clock somewhere.” Follow-up questions revealed that neither politician knew exactly what day it was.

Higgs, who recently went on record announcing NBs relatively low new cases of covid-19 earlier this week, announced that, yes, even the virus found NB to be not much more than a boring, drive-through province. The virus moved quickly through to Nova Scotia, though not before hitting a moose between Moncton & Sackville, and totally ruining the Chevy Cruze it rented in Quebec.

Dominic Cardy then took the stand saying that yes, he did, in fact, receive all my letters and calls asking if I could please homeschool my kids, and plans were being developed to assist me in the dream of becoming a substitute teacher. Cardy finished the address stating simply: “Remember guys, everybody passes because: virus.”

Self-Isolation – Day 25: What kind of jackhole virus kills John Prine?

Self-Isolation Diaries #12

When did getting old happen?
Seeing rain and worrying about water.
Seeing sun and worrying about burns.
Seeing soda and worrying about teeth. 

When did the north pole become scary?

when did teenagers become scary?

When did your back become terrible? 
(Your knees, your wrists, your ankles)
Skateboarding really was a bad idea.

When did you forget how to write?

When did silence replace laughter?

When did sweatpants become salvation?

When did we all become one icy driveway away from ruin?

When did skateboarding become a bad idea?

What happened to 2 am?
Did Irving just buy it, and now owns it?
It used to belong to the happy, tired faces of friends,
to music, to the dreamers.

Now all we have is a shitty dumb virus
and masks and clorox and death.
Fuck.

Self-Isolation – Day 24: But: there is no snow in my driveway.

Self-Isolation Diaries #11

“Do you think that wall just moved?”

“.. Do I.. think the wall moved?”

“Yes, that wall right there.”

“I do not.. think that wall moved.”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“I think that wall moved.”

“Jesus Christ, Jordan, go outside or something.”

Self-Isolation – Day 22 – In which I go outside.

Shmelf-Ismolshmation Smiaries #10

The day we went inside, a mother black bear died, three area codes away.
She was shot trying to see what the inside of an apple looks like,
or to be more truthful, what it tasted like, and let’s be truthful for a minute.

When we were younger we’d stand on the wood pile behind your house and look in through
the back window to watch your older brother and his girlfriend run their hands over each other.
Your older brother, who was missing three fingers from a chainsaw accident.

The day we went inside, a bridge collapsed in the neighboring county,
killing some homeless people sleeping underneath, and inconveniencing a half a dozen soccer moms.
The next day’s headline would read: “Bridge collapses, soccer practice cancelled.”

Months from now, we’ll laugh together, smoking cigarettes on the same aging wood pile.
We’ll count the stars overhead and blow smoke at them, while we smell the neighbor’s fresh cut grass,
like a mother black bear, sniffing apples from the outside-in.

Self-Isolation – Day 21: This desk is a dangerous machine.

Self-Isolation Diaries #9

Premier Blaine Higgs & Chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell addressed the public at 2:30 pm today to announce the little patch of grass in Grand Bay-Westfield beside the vet’s office is closed.
You know the one. The one that people sometimes sit on and eat their lunch and stare at the water and the sky? The one that the old-school Grand Bayers are adamant is in Grand Bay proper, and that Westfield isn’t even really a place, and should just go quietly die somewhere or something. Anyway, that patch of grass is closed effective immediately due to concerns of social gathering during the global pandemic.

This announcement comes after yesterday’s bombshell announcement that the United States is a complete and utter dumpster fire from the top down, and that phone communications between the neighboring countries will be cut, due to fear that people may still care about one another.

The weed stores will remain open though,
to quote Higgs, “420blazeit”

Self-Isolation – Day 20: Sweatpants.

Self-Isolation Diaries #8

“All rooms are waiting rooms,” you’re saying.
And I suppose that to be true. (I believe everything you say.)

We’re sitting beside each other in a beige room at the doctor’s office.
The stale air smells of broken wax crayons and reader’s digest magazines.

“… and if the world is a hospital,
then every hobby and sport are just elaborate forms of waiting,” you continue.
“Ok, but if we’re all just fancy-waiting, then what exactly are we waiting for?”

The receptionist calls your name, and a wave of excitement comes over me
because we will get to interact with her.

Have you ever met a receptionist or a secretary that really doesn’t care?
I don’t mean that’s she’s rude or abrupt,
I mean she doesn’t care at all about you,
or the people for whom she secretarys.

It’s an incredible thing to see.
Inspirational really, in its honesty.

On the topic of honesty:
I’m sorry I said secretarys as a verb a couple lines back.

Self-Isolation – Day 19: Crickets made of pipe-cleaner

Self-Isolation Diaries #7

For Sale:
Youth hockey Skates
Size 2
$10 obo

Will place skates in a sealed, XL ziploc freezer bag and throw them over a fence while wearing a mask and gloves and dancing naked in a thick mist of Spray Nine.
Will have designated landing area for skates on your side of the fence.
Landing area will include a small kiddy pool filled with Clorox and broken dreams.

Like new condition.

Self-Isolation – Day 18: In which I acknowledge that germs might actually be real.

Self-Isolation Diaries #6

I picked you up from the dentist in Halifax
in a rental car with no roof on it.

What a rush, to do something familiar,
in an unfamiliar way.

I remember the look on your face as we crossed the Nova Scotia border,
the sleepy giants towering above us, swinging their lazy arms in the fog.

We sat roadside in Sackville, eating burgers in a silence
only broken by your telling of a joke.
Your voice was heavy from milkshake;
from the dentist’s medicine.

The joke was this:
“What do you call a race with no finish line?”

Thunder cracked overhead
and a sunshower darkened the sidewalk

We put the roof up on the car.
The weight of the unfinished joke,
heavy around our necks.

Self-Isolation – Day 17: Time to change jeans maybe.

Self-Isolation Diaries #5

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.