Blue comes alone, always alone. He usually shows up in the small hours of the morning. He’s sneaky like that. When he arrives you’re never glad to see him. In fact you probably wish he’d just go away for good. When did you first meet him? It’s hard to remember. He’s around when you least want him, like spiders or mosquitoes, and it’s hard to get him to leave.
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In Kansas City they have these flowering plants called naked ladies. They are so odd looking to me. I’m used to spiny things that warn you to keep away. If we humans completely mess up the earth (which seems inevitable), the plants are going to take over. They’ll fill all the crevices, infiltrate the buildings, cover the streets. I hope they like it hot.
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I miss picking out the restaurant we want to go to. I miss choosing a movie from a long list at the multiplex. I miss flying to the coast to see family. I miss hugs. I miss playing music with people. I miss chatting up the folks in my exercise class. There’s a lot to miss during a quarantine. But it isn’t as hard as missing the people who’ve been caught in this pandemic. Missing the people who are missing. The trauma and grief from so many missing people will last long after this is over.
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The kitchen was Where I talked to mom, The kitchen was Where we were all together, The kitchen was Where we played table games, The kitchen was The place to sit and stare, The kitchen was Full – filled – with life.
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As a kid, I used to play fighting games. Outside in the sunshine. Now kids play them in front of the TV. The top trending movies are about fighting – people shoot each other like crazy. In cities around the country people are marching in protests about the way we treat each other. The “leaders” of the country won’t do anything that helps anyone. The churches preach intolerance.
Do we plan to fight until there’s no one left standing?
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I opened a new pack of Clorox wipes to clean up the load of groceries I’d just brought in the house. Ah, life during corona virus.
After, the smell on my hands took me back years. Back to an elementary school where I used to teach. Back to a school where the janitor polished and waxed the floors so regularly they gleamed. The wax, or the cleaning fluid, that he put in the machine he pushed up and down the halls, smelled like my hands.
I was back in the hallways of that building, thinking about all the kids who passed through them – probably still will when this pandemic is over. Back in a part of my life that was as natural as breathing.
Now, each time I use those wipes, I’ll go far away. Funny how a smell can do that to you.
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My dream birthday takes place on a tropical island with warm water and clean beaches. Everyone is there with me. Even long dead people like my parents. We all have lovely rooms in a fancy hotel where the food is good and the evening entertainment is top class. The cake has real frosting laid on thick, the ice cream is really made with cream, and nobody cares if it’s fattening. Maybe next year . . .
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We’d been home for so long, missing friends, missing company, missing good times. We decided to take a night off and go out to the pub – you know, that one down by the university with the big dance floor. We danced a lot and drank some beer and had a great time. That was 2 weeks ago. Today we are sitting in line to get a COVID-19 test because we both feel really bad.
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So many things we are thirsty for in America today. For truth, which is hard to find. For justice, which is even harder and more dangerous to find. For an understanding of the constitution and the guarantees we have a citizens. We’re thirsty for freedom from the oppression of capitalism and the way it holds most of us down. We’re thirsty for just a trace of human kindness from the folks who hold the reins in this country.
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Things are all akimbo in the world right now. Taking care of yourself while trying to do the right things is so important. May I suggest a few moments with music and dancing? It lightens your spirits and refreshes your soul. You can dance like nobody’s watching, because they probably aren’t! Turn up the music, please.
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