Nov 02 2020

Moment of Truth

Published by at 3:42 pm under Coronavirus Journal,Writing

Polling will begin in some places in just over twelve hours. Like millions of Americans, I’m terrified. For one thing, Trump is determined to declare an election winner by end of day tomorrow, before all the results are counted. If I got my wish it would be for a landslide for Biden, but even if he does win big—which is a hard thing to have faith in after 2016—I imagine there will be uprisings from pro-Trump militias across the country and, I fear, more bloodshed. And if Trump finagles a win… well, I just can’t think about it. I’ve gotten so I can barely read the news headlines these days. It’s all too scary.

Dad, 1964

My friend Adi and I exchange pairs of socks on what we’ve dubbed “Soxing Day,” a holiday we made up which falls quarterly on  the solstices and equinoxes. Here are the autumnal equinox sox I received, showing an apt message for our administration:

Photo by Elana

Today I accidentally put them on wrong, so that—if I’d had my feet stuck in the air where passersby could have seen them—it would, of course, have read, “OFF FUCK,” which lacks a certain je ne sais quoi

I have no money to spare, yet I’ve gone on a mask-buying binge. For the past six months I’ve been living in the ones my friend Marianna made me. Now, no longer in denial that masks will be around for a while, I decided to cast my net for some additional ones. It’s very hard to find any that fit. I must have especially thin and floppy ears, since these things routinely slingshot off my face when they slip. Here is some of what I’ve ordered. They’re all pricey. The ones on the lower-left haven’t arrived yet, but of the other three, the only ones that work are the boring ones on the lower-right.

Why am I telling you all this boring stuff about masks? Because they’re the most exciting thing in my life on this, the seventh day of my latest 14-day quarantine as I prepare for another visit to my Chico family. Man, is it hard to be locked up with myself all the time.

I just finished the 21st (!) installment of TJ’s and my story that’s set in The Knobs district of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The plot is now so thick you couldn’t stir it with a wooden spoon. Today’s chapter begins with a visit to Granny Driggers, an invention of TJ’s whose character I fleshed out just a little:

Though the mists were heavy in the predawn, it was already hot. Bessie wiped sweat from her brow with the back of one hand as she deftly maneuvered the truck through the dim light over steep ruts and washes and around limestone outcroppings. As she approached the turnoff to Granny Driggers’ place, Bessie slipped the vehicle into neutral, shut off her headlights, and drifted, slowing to a crawl to crane her neck for a better view of the cabin…

[As she approached the window] she heard Granny Driggers’ quavering voice. Bessie knew Granny was well up in her nineties. Everyone in these hollers respected Granny D, since she’d been the midwife at most of their births for the last seventy years. But they also feared her. Some said she dabbled in voodoo and witchcraft. She did have an herb for every ailment and a cure for every woe, even of the heart. You sure didn’t want to be on her bad side.

It’s been fun to let our imaginations run wild for the past 13,799 words. I’m surprised we’re still at it. (We started exactly four weeks ago.) Our story’s got lawmen and moonshiners, forest rangers and ginseng hunters, a couple dogs and of course a murderer or two. We’ve still got a ton of loose ends to wrap up and subplots to resolve.

Okay, I’m going to go pace around the house now: my only exercise. I’m too nervous about tomorrow to sit still.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Moment of Truth”

  1. marianna says:

    i feel really bad because i promised you more masks and dropped the ball. i do have an excuse. i sew upstairs and you needed the masks when we had terrible smoke and could not open windows and it was insufferable on the second floor. then, now, i’m working on a quilt for toby that i’ve been trying to finish the last 2 years. you see, same old, same old. when i get back to it, you’re on my list.

  2. Molly says:

    Those are LOVELY socks. Very inspiring.

    The other masks have arrived now! I shall bring them to you the next time I see you.

    Granny Driggers sounds neat. Have you added a character named Dessie to your story yet, or Hessie? I think you ought.

  3. Ginna says:

    Marianna: Oh, you didn’t drop the ball, and you DO have a good reason not to have been making masks! I’ve ordered enough to last me a lifetime, so don’t worry about making any more for me. I don’t know what I would have done without the three you made me already.

    Molly: There’s a Bessie and a Chessie but no Dessie or Hessie. But there’s still time.

  4. Farmer Pete says:

    Hey Ginna,

    Be careful not to let just ANY n’er do well stalk you on your WL Scrapbook… So, like a bad penny that always shows up when you don’t need it, I’m post-jumping back and forth willynilly like Dr. Who or Rick and Morty…

    LOVE your Soxing Day. I’d be honored to send Sox Pix to you in Soxidarity- if stinky guy sox are allowed! If I remember my Julian calendar (hey, I’m, like, stuck here in 5781 in the Manhattan Promised Land, so thank Moses I also have Google Cal), the next Winter Solstice is Dec. 21st at 5:02am ET. Only 41 more Sox Shopping days!

    Do my sox have to hit the floor at dawn for the 12 vestal virgins to enter my apartment with the ancient Druid Yule Log to bring the sun back (and warm my sox…)? Ummm, don’t know if Marion will go for that…
    Besides, around here in Hell’s Kitchen, there are probly only about 6 or 7 vestigial virgins anyway…

    These sox must needs be walking out for Chinese takeout now- later!


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