Jun 01 2020

Day 77: Curfew

Published by at 7:11 pm under Coronavirus Journal

I got this message from Jesse:

Bessie’s favorite toy is the chirruping stuffed squirrel that Genevieve sent me. I had set it out among my carnations as a scare-squirrel, but Bessie plucked it delicately from there and befriended it last week. However, whenever it makes its little noise, she whines at it. She’s also eaten both its eyes off.

What dark times these are, in the ways we all know too well. And now, hardly surprisingly, the callous murder of George Floyd has sparked civil unrest, with arson, looting and other destruction of property. I guess that now is a perfect storm for such a social meltdown, with turmoil in the political, economic and health realms. People are rightfully angry. This just keeps happening to black Americans at the hands of police. And others. Racism is out of control in the US, and on full display under this Administration.

This is reminiscent of the April 1968 riots, which I remember faintly. I wasn’t quite fourteen yet. We lived in Wilmington, Delaware, right on the edge of the city. One of the nights, we climbed up into the attic and out onto the roof to watch the flames and smoke of downtown burning. It was when I did my first news report. My parents had gotten me a miniature reel-to-reel tape recorder as a present, with its own little matching microphone, and I narrated into it what I saw that night. Oh, do I wish I still had that tape.

Late this afternoon I got one of those alarming emergency alert blasts on my cellphone: the Alameda County sheriff’s office has issued a curfew order, which “requires all non-exempted persons in the County to remain indoors between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.” I hope they won’t arrest me for taking Bessie into the backyard much later. At this point it will last until June 5. Another layer of insanity.

She’ll love water. She’s a water dog, said Bessie’s foster mom. This morning I decided to test that assertion. I hoped to give her a desperately needed bath now that her stitches are healed, and was feeling confident about my experiment. Standing about ten feet away, I picked up the hose and shot a stream of spray into the air in a way that used to tantalize Otis, who would leap and pirouette to get at it. Bessie? Terrified. Tail tucked, she cowered low to the ground. I tried a few more times but decided to give it a rest when I realized I was just making her more afraid. But man, Bessie. How the hell am I supposed to clean you? What am I going to do with you? It’s good I had the sense to cancel her grooming appointment, which surely would have further traumatized her.

On the bright side, she let me sleep till 6:15 this morning. And twice when I said “Sit,” she did, even though she has no idea what that means. (I won’t mention the dozens of times she didn’t perform as instructed. She’s quite confused about the concept. That takes time.)

Not a Water Dog

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Day 77: Curfew”

  1. Vicki says:

    She’s beautiful.

  2. Molly says:

    I’d be fascinated to hear that old tape of yours. Is there any chance it still exists?

    Cute Bessie photos, and I’m glad that your sleep margin is widening.

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