I’ve been using the baked car method of sanitizing and cycling masks and pluck from a mountain of discards on the passenger floor mat. At the 7-11, I double up. Chinese N95 under and blue disposal over. A lady older than me, by at least a decade unsteady on her feet, teeters around the aisles forcing my peripheral monitoring. Presenting as an oncoming accident; she needs to stay away from the donuts. The line IS not moving and I can barely breathe in my muzzles. After 10 minuets I consider it my right to walk out with merchandise. Waiting to pay is unconscionable. I fix my concentration well behind the suggested floor foot decals and fidget and turn around still waiting and there she is diminutive and directly behind me without a mask. I take my gatorade bottle and plunge it cap first like a sword at her abdomen.
BACK! IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE RESPECT TO WEAR A MASK ~ GET BACK.
OK, I go get my mask.
At the post office a few days ago I had time and space to consider the elderly man without a mask and said HEY bud you forgot your mask and chided him when he returned. I’ve done the same thing forgetting PANDEMIC WORLD. Getting out of my truck bare cheeked.
I’m rattled that I didn’t apologize to the unusually small woman who was might have been weak from radiation or have a brain disease and almost cry again.
It’s been chilly this morning. The swollen finger grass competing with the pitted beards all waiting for Douglas to flood the island. I put on my black cashmere sweater, turned up the soup, and laid out the mugs. I do prefer a natural disaster and invite the ancestors to sup. Later when it gets light we can decide ~
I’ve made mistakes gone on unfathomable shopping tangents that I don’t know what to do with. Napoleon jewelry and only his visage when accompanied by an eagle on his head. Then the pope holy medals and all the men of the church because nobody collects those. I had this idea of making pervert necklaces mixing in dangling Barbie doll heads but in concert when I saw them all together I felt a deflation by the gymnastics of jump rings and singular ugliness of it all divorced from what it was that I was trying to say, but had forgotten. Now I’m stuck with the hard boiled egg I fed Meeshoo yesterday farting back all that effort at the market and my glasses the wrong magnification. I couldn’t see the meats and still don’t know if I reached for the brains or the guts.
Picked up from a new farmer, my box of weekly produce so large it wouldn’t fit into a valise. I had to drag it in a huge garbage bag with rest stops, up the steps one at a time to my dungeon to process. The greens I couldn’t identify went straight in with the Moringa, kales, and turmeric to the juicer. This picture is the happy aftermath when the pulp is distributed to the worms.
ADDENDUM ~ I’ve had a sore throat for over a month. My blood test showed elevated white cells from fighting something. My jaw is aching which initially I diagnosed as mashing my teeth at night. Yesterday it culminated in bloody wipes of diarrhea, burning skin, and pop up fevers. So? I took a PEPCID and turned off the news. It’s a pox waiting to express itself.
I was 10 years old when I traveled with my uncle to Czechoslovakia. From Rome to Bavaria all the way to the border, but we were turned back. Our documents weren’t in order. Back thru Austria and Switzerland to my Nonna’s in Rome to retrieve a passport. I kept expecting Zio to explode, to be angry but he had an exquisite lightness that didn’t devolve into an inevitable knot of anger the way my father’s moods would. I never saw my uncle become someone else and I wished secretly, that he were my father.
In the movie HEIDI, with her Uncle in the alps, Heidi finds herself. Not in Italy, or Wisconsin, or Camp Cottontail, or one of the many apartments in Southern California. Not with any of the families or relatives, with or without children that she had lived with, that I lived with. Not with a stewardess in Copenhagen or flying the polar route, but with her uncle. Traveling, that week of traveling with Zio Pietro I felt for the first time my own volition, a pleasure in movement.
Zio Pietro taught me the fundamentals of cars, and individual limitations. The one we were driving couldn’t go past 160 even though the speedometer offered more. I soon knew by sight every car on the road. He was a whisperer with the ladies too, the way he listened to engines, to them, before shifting. Zio understood high strung models and went only as fast as his car would take us and kilometers were faster than mph.
His girlfriend was Czech and we were bringing her blue jeans. Maybe bringing me to meet her was also a message. The impossibility of their relationship. Their children would be like me drawn and quartered between nations and families. We were in the moment summiting the earth and sun in no time we were sailing again. When I was thirsty Zio stopped at a farm with goats and cow bells to buy milk straight from the milker. The flavor was pastoral and the carton, triangular.
In Prague, the restaurants and people were austere. They weren’t Italians. They didn’t have menus or pasta or cocoa-cola or food or any kind. How Pietro even communicated with his model I don’t recall. My mother and father spoke French but they couldn’t make sense of one another.
From the grand hotel in Prague we went to meet Zio Pietro’s girlfriend’s parents. The apartment was tiny with antique furniture in tiers around an upright piano. We could barely fit ourselves in and I sat on Zio’s lap. They apologized for not having a phone the they were on a waiting listing. And the rest is lost in a tunnel.
Every summer, when I returned to Italy, I recognized a distance and change in my relationship with my uncle. Really with all of my family that I didn’t understand. The last time I saw Zio, he gave me a Jadeite beaded necklace. He was married and his daughters were punching at balloons letting out the air and squealing. It must have been a birthday.
They advertised kupuna hours so I left at 6:30AM to get my RX. I had tried to bribe a neighbor who got laid off but there were checkpoints yesterday and it took him almost 90 minutes to drive to town and back.
I layered changes of clothes, a long black monkish robe and Freddy Kruger black floppy hat to arrive at the pharmacy CLOSED. I chucked the empty bottle behind the counter in disgust as a remnant of my passing. All of my preventative measures checking hours on line first. Calling the right number but getting WESTERN UNION for what?
In the car on the way over the mayor’s on the radio calling for island wide aloha. Everyone over the age of 10 is encouraged to wear face protection. He made it into a jingle. Because when you wear cover you protect your brother. Which makes no sense that masks only work one way. And kids why shouldn’t they participate? I packed extra gloves, a cootie disposal bag, hand sanitizer, 3 scarfs, etc..
NOT one employee at SAFEWAY was wearing a scarf. You can’t social distance checking out at the market am I repeating myself? Not from the cashier. The entire ride to (not) SAFEWAY I’m listening to the mayor saying everyone needs to muzzle themselves. I’m protecting these assholes and they don’t give a fuck about anyone else? The guy in the freezer section made me wait while he finished freezer burning the limp spinach and room temp boxes he had stacked way too high to shop.
Surely someones in charge right? I called the manager this morning to tell him. He said people in Hawaii don’t own masks. I said what about scarfs? He said people in Hawaii don’t wear scarfs. Not everyone has a bandana. And he couldn’t force his employees. I doubted his word and his leadership, that his employee couldn’t for free figure how to jimmy rig a scarf. Use a blouse with long sleeves dude, how about a napkin? Are you sure you’re the manager?
I’ve found someone to kill me. He calls asking for work starting at 7AM. He speaks to me as if we know each other. “ARE YOU AWAKE:)?” I pickup only by mistake blocking him would be dangerous. He has threatened to come right over. A few minutes after we hang up he calls back just to say he’s sorry for being rude. I give him as little info as possible. I’m not myself. I’m abrupt. I never disagree. I don’t have money and I don’t have time.