Not so long ago, many here in the U.S. found ourselves gazing, slack-jawed and perplexed, at the looming shadow of the first global pandemic of our lifetimes. We were not yet immersed in the behemoth, just close enough to its field that not a few of us shivered from being in such proximity: Far too suddenly, we were too close for comfort. According to each of our respective perspective, temperament, and experience, each of us chose how to respond to this shit. Or hell, we just reacted. Some devoured press releases by medicine men and politicans with insatiable fervor. Some immediately began socially distancing, maintaining the recommended six-foot distance from others in public, if we ventured out at all. Others retreated to the volunteer hermitage of our own closed-off homes, obeying a new directive known as sheltering in place. Some supported our families and communities, stocking up our bathrooms and larders responsibly, while others did not.
Some willfully ignored the groundswell. Perhaps they believed addressing the massive elephant in the room would make it real. Perhaps they believed that youth, health, and American exceptionalism would kick in to protect them, that they were willfully immune.
I’m holed up with my partner in Inwood, grateful to have a person I love so much who reciprocates, instead of struggling through solitary confinement. When I am totally alone for long enough, I get delusional: I weave self-centered narratives that regularly end with everyone who matters to me hating me and never wanting to see me again.
(Usually I’m wrong.)
Anyhow, like all of you, I have an ungodly amount of time to squander, mostly, now that we’ve been “firmly encouraged” to remain in our homes. I, for one, have been embroidering my brain nonstop, with mostly useless thoughts and ideas.
I know what you’re thinking: Why not share? Great minds, my friend. Great minds.
The feelings mutating inside me have no precedent whatsoever. Disembodied grief, hilarity, rage, terror… They’re all mixed up in the pressure cooker that is me, building a nice head of stress day by day.
I have a lot to tell you, but for now, this is all. 😉
2 thoughts on “Quarantine I”
I love this post.
Barrett Warner Editor, Free State Review Acquisitions Editor, Galileo PressPoetry Critic, Riot Material: Art, Word, Thought Author of Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? Barrett Warner: The Art of the Book Review
Currently reading— Chimero, by Sam Farahmand, (DrDoctor, 2020) Nothing ever becomes real till it is imagined
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Thank you. 🙂