when word of the p-dem-ic's arrival here reached us in late January, we were, just like most people, more or less indifferent. it wasn't instantly a major concern.
Like most people, we put our faith in Nancy Pelosi. As one of the eldest, most-trusted and adored American Stateswomen of all time, she represented a solidity (albeit an elegant one!), but she always had a way of making it clear that she was also working on levels that we couldn't comprehend.
for example, no one quite understood why she chose to hold onto the articles of impeachment after moving forward so efficiently early on with the complicated process which we all knew would result in T---p's removal from office.
"You've got him in your sights," we thought. "Pull the trigger, Nancy!" With Pence undoubtedly dirty as all hell, just like his Russian asset dumbbell boss, wrapped up in what we knew, even then, was the most corrupt administration our country (and perhaps ANY country) had ever seen, we figured Nancy Pelosi would soon be sitting in the most powerful seat in the world, the first woman President of the United States of America.
And it might've been all of this that took our eyes off of the coming plague. As John Lennon said, Life is what happens when you're making other plans.
But the "life" that happened to us, though it involved a lot of death, is the essence of life itself. like a hot iron cauterizing a wound all infected with pus, the novel virus scorched our flesh but, in the end, has left us pure.
It's a little embarrassing how long it's taking us to realize it. Sometimes, I'll admit, I sort of forget the good news myself for a few moments, like when you've won the lottery and you're a billionaire, but still walk towards the bus stop out of habit.
But then I remember where we are, and relief feels like a physical charge inside my body, animating visions of the days to come, the challenges our government will face on our behalf, the adjustment of our currency becoming worthless.
as we continue to simply stay alive as this storm rages full-force with no signs of stopping; as we drop our spontaneous expressions of our immense gratitude to our medical personnel in favor of giving is all up, together, as a city, during one supercharged minute of screaming ourselves horse every night at 7pm; as we sit idle in our homes and comfortably forget about all the things that don't matter anymore -- all the habits and dubious pleasures of our old lives and relationships -- as we simply wait to be told the answer to a question which hardly nags us anymore, "What's next?"....
During THIS time, when money isn't exactly an issue because we can't work; our social lives can't be improved because we can't go out; the "retail therapy" we secretly and shamefully relied on to cheer us up on gloomy days has been quietly (and, truth be told, rightfully) removed from our table, just as a loving and wise parent might swoop in and deftly snatch that pint of mint chocolate chip we were greedily working our way through.
And when the reality of the moment comes over me, I'm stunned by how complete I finally feel. Whoever could've dreamed of such a paradise, with so little to think about and so much time to think it (or not).
For now, we only focus on being safe. In the realest of ways, safety is our only responsibility. Some people will think it's a little weird that I never take my mask off, that I sleep with a mask on, that when I eat alone, I work the fork around the side of it, instead of just lowering it for a few minutes.
But they don't understand. The mask is all I have and, more importantly, it's all I ever want or hope to have.