It has been four weeks since we’ve locked down. Why does it feel like so much more?
This is what vacation feels like too – the days are so jam-packed and fun-filled* that every day seems like a whole new universe. It’s like our eyes are peeled open for every second of every minute of every hour… It’s alive time, routines be damned, and it’s equal parts energizing and enervating – because we know there’s a horror behind it. It’s definitely heightened awareness – inspired by fright, but also by seeing the world with new eyes.
But it damn sure ain’t vacation. Among all the other difficulties of this time is that it doesn’t have an end point, a way out. It’s disconcerting in the extreme to live with such uncertainty about the future. We will emerge, presumably, but things will have changed. We will emerge, but what will we take with us? And how will the seconds and minutes and hours look to us then?
- Back when they told us lockdown would last two weeks
- When I finally saw the cherry tomatoes start to ripen
- The day my soup came out pink
- The month when we watched the escalation in the U.S. on graphs
- The magical hours when I had calls with family, with friends – their faces, how I could see them like we were damn well together
- That time Ramon’s work ended early and he was driving me crazy
- When I made it up to Ramon because I know I’m impatient and stuck in my ways
- Every time my marvelous sister popped up in my mind, along with all her goopy drippy sneezy coughy patients, who appear to me like a herd of zombies, all reaching for her help (and then I feel guilty)
- Those several days when all my recipes went kerflooey **
- The week we forgot to sweep (maybe that was just me)
- The moment when the cream in my mini food processor turned yellow and I realized I had made butter
- The first time I ever sharpened a knife ***
- The week I cried a lot and hid it from Ramon
- Back when I had flour and was baking like crazy ****
- That one day when I realized Ramon was scared too, but watched how he kept on going anyway
Will we someday look back on this time like a blip? Will we forget what this feels like?
Big shout-out to Ibrahim today. HE FOUND FLOUR! I am now the proud owner of three kilo-bags of flour, enough for all kinds of kitchen insanity.
It feels like contraband!
(Ramon was less pleased, and threatened never to call Ibrahim again. Remember, Ramon is the cleaner.) Ibrahim also brought pommes de terre, a giant bag of hot peppers, cumin for our hummus, about 100 oranges, corkscrewed carrots, and a list of kitchen and cleaning supplies I was beginning to think I’d never see again. What can’t Ibrahim do? Well, he couldn’t find duct tape – which is hilarious considering what he did find – and no big bag of cat food for Mogadishu. But he did bring two baggies full of cat food – I’m hoping it isn’t from his own cat’s stash!
At any rate, pure genius, our Ibrahim. Merci beaucoup mon ami!
* “so jam-packed and fun-filled” is not actually lifted from an advertisement for DisneyWorld. It’s a phrase from Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin’s The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe – which would be a great film to watch (or script to read) if you can get hold of it.
** Technical term. See, for example, Soup, comma, pink.
*** Here are some things you can use to sharpen a knife if you have no whetstone:
- the unglazed ceramic bottom of a coffee cup
- the top edge of your car window
- an emery board
- a flat rock from a river
- the spine (not the sharp edge) of another knife
**** About to be reprised!!!