This past year with a lockdown that never ended and as far as I can tell, might never end, we’ve lived a life of tedium offset by panic and occasionally, outright terror. Although this reminds me (a little bit) of a roller coaster, it isn’t the best way to live. It does not lack for moments of utter fear nor for long periods where a nap seems one’s best choice for any given afternoon. I nap with my computer. I start writing something and drift off.
Today is peaceful. It’s Saturday. The chiming clocks are bonging. The sky is blue mixed with puffy clouds and an occasional shaft of sunlight. There are dozens of birds hitting the feeder, but nothing exciting and I’m ruminating on going to the dentist. One of my teeth is crumbling. It’s been crumbling for a few years, but the old dentist — and I mean this in both senses of the word “old” — didn’t want to drill it because he was pretty sure it would shatter. Since is wasn’t painful, we left it alone knowing that sooner or later, it would need attention. No one contemplated a pandemic that would make the idea of having someone’s hands in ones mouth a rather chilling concept.
I have a friend far away who is dying of small cell lung cancer. Knowing that there’s no way out for her or so it seems, short of a miracle, I have begun to worry about everyone. We’ve been losing friends at a pretty good clip, many of them younger than us. What makes her so special is that she is too young. I feel anyone who hasn’t passed 70 is still a kid. Ironically, during this long pandemic, we have not lost a friend to COVID or even had one of them sick with it — at least not personally. A couple of people I know online had it and seem to be recovering well, but otherwise, all the losses are due to cancer and heart disease. Mostly cancer.
Somehow all this worry phases in with my worries about paying off the overdue money on our mortgage. The government’s $1200 isn’t going to fix it and while the money we’d normally get back from taxes added to that money would almost fix it, we don’t have anywhere to take our taxes this year. Usually, the AARP sends a representative to the local Senior Center, but this year, no one knows if that will happen. Maybe they’ll come, maybe they won’t. I’m phobic about doing taxes. I was terrible at doing them 40 years ago and have not improved with the passing years.
We have no plans. We can’t plan. We don’t know how to make plans when the world is in lockdown and vaccines are theoretically available, but not to us. Who knows when we’ll get them? Will we be able to go out in the summer? Will we miss spring again? How many birthdays will I miss as the world passes us by. Are they going to send us more money so we can pay off the back amounts we owe on the mortgage or are we going to wind up homeless? We are too old to be homeless.
I read about the senate runoff election in Georgia. What are our chances of winning there? No one seems to know and as we have seen, predictions and polls have not proved accurate.
I used to say I know nothing. Now, I know double times nothing. I can’t even take an educated guess at our future — or the future of our world.
In counterpoint, I’m looking forward to getting a new slow cooker from Instant Pot which should, in theory, be a much better piece of equipment and I made an appointment at the end of this month to get my crumbling tooth repaired. Otherwise, ahead of me lies a combination of humdrum day-to-day activities with terrifying sidebars. The roller coaster never stops.