Or should I say, what day?
Wednesday was the appointed day to take the latest batch of completed masks my sewing group had made out to the Health Care Foundation for distribution. So why did I think it was Thursday? As I counted the masks, I could not figure out why I had not entered the number of masks delivered last week.
I went outside to fill the bird feeder and thought, It doesn’t look like the gardeners came yesterday. So I asked John if the gardeners had come. When he answered that they would come later in the day, I paused, and all became clear. There was no mask count from last week because we had made no delivery last week … and it was Wednesday!
My delusional place in time had lasted at least two hours.
Feeling unsettled, I contacted a friend, who assured me that she had done the same thing. Yeah, I thought, but not to the same degree. Then she told me she was still in her robe and drinking coffee, even though she never drinks coffee, but needed something to get her started. Since it was almost noon, I wondered if the caffeine was actually working.
A little later, the doorbell rang. It was the appliance repairman, who had come to fix our dryer. I know several people whose appliances have acted up since we all started sheltering in place. Maybe the dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines are protesting the increased workload …
A middle-age gentleman entered on a wave of Axe body wash that made my eyes water—above my mask, of course. Still, he was a visitor, and this was high excitement. Unfortunately, he had the dryer repaired in about twenty minutes, and frankly, his conversation about coils, dryer lint, and the fallibilities of dryer design was not all that stimulating.
Still, we were not going to be shut in all day. The masks were to be delivered, and on the way to the drop site in Ventura, we would pick up a few more. That would take about ninety minutes. The drive was lovely, with the Channel Islands visible on the horizon as we went down the Conejo grade. And then—oh, the excitement of it all—we were going on a sneak visit to our local Trader Joe’s.
Our family and neighbors have decided that we should not go to the market because we both have respiratory issues that are completely under control—not to mention our other risk factor (which I don’t want to think about, not after the calendar amnesia of the morning). So we have a steady supply of groceries coming in, but it is just not the same as getting your own goods like chips, wine, ice cream, the three different kinds of milk we drink, wine, cookies … and did I mention wine?
As we neared Trader Joe’s, it became clear to us both that we would need a pit stop. That’s when we realized that public bathrooms were probably one of the worst places you could visit during a viral outbreak. So we went back home and dressed in our hiking clothes, then we went to the market. On the way, I wondered if buying three bottles of wine was “hoarding.” After spending $200 on the “essentials” mentioned above, we drove into the garage and closed the door, a small song of triumph singing in our hearts.
One huge blessing we have is plenty of open space to hike. So later in the day, we went off to the park. I was enjoying the spring beauty and the sense of peace that being in nature gives. Everyone was social distancing—even the cyclists—until a jogger, huffing and puffing, passed by very closely. He was not wearing a mask. I was instantly enraged and felt like punching him … if I could catch up with him. Then the part of me that was still ruminating over the “wine hoarding” question reminded me that the jogger was just another stressed and fallible human, like me. Still, many unflattering adjectives were swirling …
That evening, I was reading my texts while watching TV with John and riding my exer-cycle (watching television without doing another activity is mind- and butt-numbing). I decided to ask a friend the question that had been on my mind all day: was buying three bottles of wine “hoarding”?
She assured me it was not, because she had been out of wine for three days and when she finally got some, she polished off one whole bottle the first night. So it is actually healthy to have an ample supply—you know, to prevent over-consumption.
I really do like her thinking.