I’ve been home since March, for the most part. I am starting to forget what it was like to have a day where I had to get up and get ready and drive for nearly an hour to go be in an office instead of getting up and drinking coffee for awhile and saying oh yeah, I should log in to work and then going upstairs and brushing my hair and brushing my teeth and putting on something that’s not pajamas but is probably workout clothes and logging into my work computer. But I am mostly lying about brushing my hair.
I still wash my face and put on serums and moisturizers. I used to put on makeup but I mostly can’t be bothered. I put some on maybe two months ago when I went to a funeral and remembered that I like what I look like when I put on eyeliner, but most days I don’t like what I look like when I put on eyeliner enough to put on eyeliner, so I don’t.
Speaking of my hair, which I was, I last got my hair cut and my roots touched up at the beginning of March, and I only remember that was when that happened because I was on an eight-week schedule and my next appointment was supposed to be on May 1, but it was canceled because the salons weren’t open, and I haven’t tried to make a new appointment even though salons are open now. I don’t know if I want to go to a salon. I miss what it felt like to get a haircut, but I don’t know if I miss it enough.
A few days ago, I was impressed by how one side of my hair was shorter than the other, as though it got wadded up, and I took a picture of it and my husband said maybe I shouldn’t have cut off the top of my head in the shot so the Brillo-pad-like baby hairs that frame my face showed, and I wished that there was such a thing as small-scale murder, like if you could murder someone for only maybe a half an hour but then they’d be un-murdered after that and all would return to normal, but there’s no such thing as that, so instead I moved on with my day.
I’m having a wretched summer, but I suppose most everyone is. Even I, a pretty damn introverted homebody, am sick of being at home. I mean, I’ve gone to the beach a couple of times (and shamelessly picked up my blanket and moved away when people set up too close to my spot), but otherwise, my big getaways have been walks around town, which is, well, hey, at least I can get out for walks around town, I guess.
It is a strange time (unprecedented, say the commercials on TV), living in the vestibule of tragedy. I don’t know anyone who has died of Covid, I don’t think, but I know that I will. I just don’t know who and how many and when. It’s been a deadly summer for my family — three deaths since mid-June — but not from the plague running rampant through the United States at present. But I feel like that can’t last, and that it’s coming and I hate feeling like I’m waiting for it, as though I’ve taken a number but I don’t know which number I have and I don’t know which number Covid is currently serving and and and.
So I slowly turn feral, unsure when or if I will go back to working in an office, and even less sure I’ll be able to do so by the time they say I can. I walk around town. I grow plants in my yard. I’ve taken up writing again, as though it’s helping me deal with any of the encroaching anxiety, but so far no.
Last night I went for an almost five-miler, through the cemetery and up the bike trail, through the park, then campus, and around to downtown, and around some more until eventually home. I stopped and took the photo above, of the clouds over the soybean field on the other side of the bike trail. I saw some little yellow butterflies flitting through a field and I’m not even making that up, even though it sounds like I stole it from Wordsworth or something, I assure you:
I know I’m lucky to be able to be at home.
I miss when I was able to mix it up a little bit more.
I wonder if a time will come when I won’t be good at being anywhere else.