Let’s face it, COVID-19, forced us into a lifestyle that we were not prepared for. The first week it was a novelty.
We were drilled into the “new now”, including rigorous hand washing instructions. And I discovered no amount of Shea butter would keep my hands moisturized. Especially, when I’m scrubbing all the way down to my DNA twenty times a day.
By week two, we were using terms like social distancing and PPEs. Travel plans were disappearing like the woman’s edges wearing a cheap front-lace. Going to the store had morphed into practically putting on a Hazmat suit, complete with mask and gloves. But we got to do some of the things on our To-Do List like cleaning out the junk drawer and reorganizing the closet… but now what?
Week three, we’re getting weary of the confinement, broken nails and unkempt hair. Family members and roommates are giving each other the side eye, even pets wanted their owners to go back to work. However, for single people, like myself, quarantine is different. Not worse, just different. I don’t need a Cosco crate of toilet paper. And I can only eat so much lettuce, avocadoes or tomatoes in a week before they spoil. When my phone beeps, I’m excited. I anticipate a friendly voice on the line, but half the time it’s telemarketers…and I’m having a conversation with them. DAMN! I’m at home alone with too many paper towels, some wilted lettuce and no one to talk to.
Last week, after eating, sleeping, eating, watching the news, checking social media, I ventured into the living room. I stared out the window and there was an eerie stillness. Trees, but no subtle breeze in the leaves. Cars parked, draped in pollen, evidence that they hadn’t moved in days. No movement, just an awful quiet. And there in the corner of my eye, I saw it.
A ladybug crawling on my wall.
“Hey, ladybug! Where you going?”
It stopped suddenly, as if it heard me. I assumed it did.
Let me say, that I am not a bug person of any kind. Under any other circumstances, this ladybug would have been met with a quick demise.
However, I was happy to see something moving in my house other than me. I walked right up to it, social distancing be damned.
“Where’d you come from?
The ladybug picked up its pace and went from the wall to the floor towards the sofa. I immediately sat on the couch so we could chat.
You been traveling long? Are you a ladybug or a manbug? Why are some ladybugs red, but others are yellow? Are there any other colors?’
It avoided my foot and moved towards the vent. Guess I was getting too personal. I leaped from the sofa and used my foot to block the ladybug.
“Do you think it’ll be a long, hot summer?”
And either, recognizing eminent danger or my craziness, the ladybug flew into the vent.
“Oh, is that what we’re doing? We’re flying now? Okay, be like that.”
I checked my Fitbit. It was three in the afternoon. I had taken 942 steps all day and had a five-minute conversation with a ladybug. I thought to myself, if this is what solo quarantine life is gonna be like, I ain’t gonna make it. As bizarre as it was, talking to the ladybug brought me some solace.
The next day I was going through yet another unfinished project in my basement and came across the beautiful, brown teddy bear that the late Gerald Levert gave me during one of his concerts. This was a special one because it sported a blinged out letter “G” around the neck. I immediately brought him upstairs on the living room sofa and called him “Gee”.
“Gee” is like my Wilson to Tom Hanks in Castaway.
I greet “Gee” with a good morning in the a.m. I share frustrations, congratulations (like when I reorganized my DVDs) and sadness. Gee isn’t much of a coffee drinker, but I offer. Before I retire in the evening, I end it with “Night, Gee.” I find his presence comforting.
The other day when I put on my jeans, I noticed my muffin top was beginning to look like a bakery.
“Gee, do you think I’m gaining weight?”
Nothing! Silence! He just sat on the sofa staring at me as if to say, “I’m not falling into that trap.”
A few nights ago, I participated in my first ZOOM meeting. It was an informal gathering of previous Fantastic Voyagers getting together to reconnect. I brought Gee. He got along with everyone. We had a great time having cocktails and listening to music. When I got up the next day, Gee was face down on the sofa with his sunglasses hanging off one ear and his chain was on backwards. I don’t know if he binge-watched Tiger King, dipped into my Patron, or had a ZOOM of his own.
Gee is looking like his old self again. He’s sitting straight up on the couch, glasses in place. I don’t know if I’ll ever find out what happened that night, like they say, some things are better left unsaid. However Easter is this weekend. I haven’t asked Gee if he plans to attend virtual service this Sunday, but if so, we’re gonna have to find his pants. We’re gonna make it through this. #Alonetogether