collected thoughts, ii

I’m kicking myself for not starting a quarantine log, but today is day nine and I have a lot to be thankful for. There is a certain level of guilt that comes from being able to stay home with a family that loves me, with woods and fields to saunter through when I get restless, having school work and books and my pen to keep me occupied. I know that is not the majority narrative, and that weighs heavy on my soul. Reading the news or the opinion section of the New York Times, I have to recognize the immense suffering happening around the world as a result of this crisis — mothers going into labor alone, people dying in hospitals alone, people stuck in abusive households alone, people unemployed and alone, people homeless and alone, people hungry alone. Everyone seems to be alone.

*

The birdsong this afternoon sounded exactly like the birdsong at the beginning of “I Am Easy to Find” by the National.

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When my mother came home from the hospital my father had to navigate the kitchen by himself. Things were falling down, ending up where they shouldn’t be. He couldn’t find the canned corn so he stir fried some green beans instead.

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If only I were as quick to pray without ceasing as I am to gulp down a mug of cold brew when I’m falling asleep in the middle of an online class lecture.

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My father went to Costco today even though my mother went to the grocery store yesterday. I think it was his way of coping. He came home with three (3) packs of Allegra, one (1) pack of Zyrtec, one (1) roast chicken, two (2) bags of frozen Pao de Queijo, one (1) bag of frozen vegetables, two (2) packs of Bounty paper towels, one (1) set of paper bowls, one (1) bag of pre-washed but not pre-cut green beans, and six (6) chicken breasts. I know because he recited the list to us twice in the span of an hour and a half. I also know we didn’t need any of it except the frozen vegetables and the roast chicken because, except to show surprise that there were still paper towels in stock, my mother was silent about all of it except the frozen vegetables and the roast chicken.

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Brenda Miller’s “36 Holes” is one of the best essays I’ve ever read.

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Last night before I went to sleep there were two bowls’ worth of strawberry ice cream left in the freezer. This evening there was only one bowls’ worth of strawberry ice cream left in the freezer and I wasn’t the one who ate it.

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I miss Chicago. I miss my friends. I want a hug.

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They always tell you that if there’s a fire you get out as soon as you can but I can’t stop thinking about what I would take with me on my way out. My phone, my journal, my laptop, a book, the stuffed animal I’ve had since I was a few months old, my wallet. Am I dangerously tied to these earthly things? Do I not value my own life enough? The lives of others?

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I really should be writing more but I can’t seem to create anything other than a few lines about random encounters that feel like the start of something but are never finished.

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