I dunno about everyone else, but I can’t write for shit these days.
There is no concentration in the time of coronavirus. Not with husband and child sharing less than 1200 square feet with me. If the kid isn’t demanding food, attention, or help with school work, the husband has a conference call on speaker phone. (I don’t understand three-fourths of the conversation, but I’ve learned that most engineers have social skills similar to toddlers. Both equate volume to getting their way.)
If the kid is playing an online game with friends (or without friends) there are shouts of anger and despair.
I haven’t been alone in a month. No, not even in the bathroom, because dog and cat know how to open the door.
But it’s not just the noise. Even before quarantine, I was concentrating more on coronavirus than writing. I spent way too much time staring at the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Map of Doom or reading the latest articles on COVID-19 showing me that Andy, Blood Type A Asthmatic Male, is destined to be a coronavirus casualty.
I grew up in a shattered home, with a dead parent before age 15. I absolutely know that there’s a catastrophe lurking around every corner. I’m convinced that if I can gather enough information and foresee every potential tragedy, I can personally avert those disasters.
Because it’s the bus you don’t see that’s gonna hit you.
I have lists of potential posts. I’ve started multiple posts. I’ve finished exactly ONE. I’m supposed to be wrapping edits on my latest YA Fantasy novel and sending it off to a sensitivity reader.
The only thing I’m excelling at is Instagram posts of Andy’s amazing dishes and dog walking. (Also eating Andy’s amazing food.)
But there are two things that I’ve enjoyed during quarantine. One is a fantasy book series called The Tarot Sequence by K.D. Edwards. His characters cope with trauma through humor and that’s my jam. So is the excellent banter, because good dialogue is hard to find. Edwards is on Twitter, and he will occasionally put up little scenes showing how his characters are coping with quarantine. I read them avidly while awaiting Book III.
My other enjoyment is a blog by Heather Mason called 2 Summers. She’s coping with quarantining all alone in South Africa and has blogged every. damn. day. She’s got all the solitude I lack, but struggles with the flip side: loneliness. The loneliness of being far from your home country while all hell is breaking loose. The loneliness that comes when cats are your only company (but at least hers let her pee in peace).
Between Heather and K.D., I found the inspiration for today’s post and future posts. I’m aiming for at least 5 a week, mostly short little vignettes à la K.D. Edwards.
Because maybe everyone else is having trouble concentrating, too.
Quarantine Scene #1:
“I smell french fries!” Baby D declared, running into the kitchen. He didn’t really believe it, though. Fast food and fries had been the first casualties of the quarantine.
Baby D’s jaw went slack and his eyes grew round as he eyed the golden pile of fries on the counter.
In awed tones, he whispered, “We…we have a french fry maker?!”
Andy answered, “We have a fryer.”
I added, “It’s been in the garage for a while, since we were trying to eat healthier.”
“We have a french fry maker!” Baby D caroled, dancing out of the kitchen. “A french fry maker!”
Andy yelled, “It’s not a french fry maker! It’s a fryer! I am the french fry maker! I peel and cut and fry! I AM THE FRENCH FRY MAKER!”
Snatches of song floated down the hall: “Weeeee…haaave…a french…fryyyyyy maker!”
Andy shook a basket of fries at me. “Gah!”
I said, “Wait until he discovers it’s also a doughnut maker.”