Jun 04 2020

Day 80: Hiatus

Published by under Coronavirus Journal

When I was talking with Ma this morning, I realized that my cellphone wasn’t in its usual place on the table. I had a sudden moment of panic. I couldn’t spot it anywhere in my room, and it’s frightening how much I need that thing, not just for communication but navigation and so many other uses. I can’t say I felt any better about the matter when I realized, of course, that I’d had it held up to my ear the whole time. Yeesh.

Tomorrow would have been my father’s 95th birthday. Actually, he claimed two birthdays—June 4 and June 5—since he was reportedly born at midnight. Every year I’d call him on both days, just to indulge him. Here’s a Polaroid triple-exposure he took in the sixties.

Dad beheading himself

Because the protests over George Floyd’s murder are more peaceful now, the Alameda County curfew has been lifted. Meanwhile, it appears that Covid-19 infections are still rising in the county but more slowly. There’s been no indication of when we’ll move to the next phase of opening up. I don’t expect it soon. I sure don’t feel comfortable being around strangers in public yet. I wish I could see my family.

Okay, so here’s the thing: I write in this blog, as I’ve said, to document my little ole life, help me remember, and entertain myself. It’s been a great creative outlet through these insufferably long weeks and months, and maybe it’s good I have a record of this time. But I’ve run out of things to say, so I may take a break from daily posts. I made it to 80 of them since the shelter-in-place, which ain’t shabby. Perhaps I’ll emerge as often as every other day. Or not. We’ll see. Thank you for reading so loyally. I’ve maintained The Wormlips Scrapbook for 21 years last month, so you can be sure I’ll be back.

California poppies
Poppies poking through my fence from my neighbors’ yard

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Jun 03 2020

Day 79: Nada de Particular

Published by under Coronavirus Journal

The doggy DNA kit that Ma got me arrived today. It will be interesting to see Bessie’s heritage. Is she really lab and shepherd? She doesn’t look it to me. Or act it. She’s more mellow than either of those breeds. I tried to do the cheek-swab but she didn’t like it one bit, and I hope I got enough mouth goop to make the test work. Now we wait.

With Elana for company, I took the pup in the car on a short errand this morning.

It was toasty today, so our dog-walk was short.

When I say “Hello” in the video, I sound exactly like my mother. It’s frightening.

It’s our third night of an 8:00 p.m. curfew. After dark last night I stood by my front window for five minutes, watching my busy avenue for signs of life, and didn’t see a single car.

I really have nothing to report. I’ve been at these daily entries for so long, I’d hate to miss one, but perhaps I should. Or maybe I should try to make it to an even hundred, for The 100-Day Project.

By the way, if anyone wants out of their Wormlips blog subscription now, it should be pretty easy for you to do, but let me know if you’re having trouble and I’ll try to help.

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Jun 02 2020

Day 78: The Unheard

Published by under Coronavirus Journal

Bessie let me sleep till 6:45 this morning!

This Martin Luther King, Jr. quote is making the viral rounds: A riot is the language of the unheard. Meanwhile, Trump inflames the unrest with incendiary rhetoric. Around the country police are targeting law-abiding journalists exercising their American right to cover the protests. They’ve been arrested and injured. Two have had an eye blinded by rubber bullets.

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah said:

You know, what’s really interesting about what is happening in America right now is that a lot of people don’t seem to realize how dominoes connect: how one pieces knocks another piece, that knocks another piece, and in the end it creates a giant wave.

It’s an excellent metaphor for what’s happening now.

I got a text from my former English conversation partner from South Korea. She lives near my neighborhood and wrote to say she was worried about me. It turns out she’d seen an advisory alert about a police action four doors up the street from me. Did you know that there’s a site where you can enter your zip code and see law enforcement activity there? Sure enough, there was a warning to stay away from my corner. Bessie and I didn’t go look but Elana did, to make sure a black person wasn’t being harassed. There she saw a someone getting all decked out in a big hazmat-type suit, reportedly preparing to enter a small commercial building. It was a couple hours before the street was reopened, and I have no idea what really happened.

For a while this afternoon, Bessie lay at my feet, butt-quarters aimed in my direction, tooting in her sleep. Oh, man, I’d forgotten about that with dogs. She also snores and has a lot of bad dreams with unhappy yelps.

On our daily walk, during which she refused to do her necessary excretory duties, I met a friendly woman with a calm Australian shepherd that was (against city regulations) off-leash. She asked if her dog could greet mine. I quickly declined the offer before her dog could get any closer, saying Bessie is too new to me. Bessie didn’t take any particular interest in the old girl, one way or another—that I could detect. But being anxious that my dog could turn on someone else’s is not what I had in mind when I adopted one promised to be good with other hounds. My wonderful friend Vicki just offered a meet-and-greet with her sweet little dog, but I turned that down as well. It’s better if an expert does an introduction.

I talked to my dear ex-sister-in-law today, who ended our conversation by telling me in her usual blunt way that I’d sounded “weird.” I replied that I suppose I am weird, especially because of Bessie-stress. I ain’t quite myself, with the continuing uncertainty and worry. She’s a dog lover who’s uncomfortable with the idea of rescue dogs for the good reason that you have no idea what abuse or neglect they’ve been through. She thought that Bessie’s having been separated from her puppies could make her crazy. But shelter dogs can make great pets too. You just don’t know what you’re getting.

Next Bessie milestone: a vet appointment in six days, forty-five minutes away. I wonder how she’ll do when they take her from the car without me, which is the protocol these days.

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