Going Outside

I’m lucky that I’ve got a good place to live – comfortable, pleasant, centrally located, and a small yard/garden. Being able to actually, physically go somewhere else, though, has become a revelation. The world is incredibly small. I don’t have places to go to anymore, and now my life is in an even much smaller area than before. No going out for pleasure, no going to Oakland to play hockey or see the boyfriend. No going to my studio at Gray Area. No nights out just to see people, live music, movies, performances, or anything else for that matter.
With no hockey, the only intense exercise I’m getting right now is bike riding. I’ve always enjoyed it and with the plague keeping everyone inside, it’s taken on that quality it used to have when I was little and first learned how to ride a bike – it was liberating and exciting to be able to go fast and go places more easily. Now, it’s a liberation from the gilded cage of home.

Grief

Grief

A while back in the hazy memory of a few/several/some days ago, I read an article, don’t remember by who, or from where, (who can remember things anymore?), but the author (some type of therapist/counselor) wrote about how the experience we are collectively feeling now is grief.  I hadn’t really thought what I was going through, I was just trying to get through it, what else can you do when the world falls apart?

Ever since, more than 2 weeks ago, I started getting messages from people and saw reports from reputable medical professionals that I know, I realized that all hell was about to break loose. My thoughts rushed into extreme preparation mode; I had just recently restocked our earthquake supplies and had a list in my head of almost all of our supplies at home.  Aside from certain things, my household is ready for about 2 or so weeks. Our water, though, would last about 5-6 days. It didn’t seem enough…BUT WAIT – I had to remind myself that this wasn’t an event that would destroy infrastructure, but people. Neutron bombs and viruses are as destructive as hurricanes and tornados, just in a different fashion.

Day to day has become a so much more involved effort – the hour wait to get into the grocery store (metered entrance, limited number of people in the store, 6 feet distance as much as possible) and the empty shelves. Consistently 20%-30% of the shelves are empty. And their hours are shortened, both by being open less hours, and reserving certain hours to those over 60. 

My roommates are definitely a blessing – when surviving becomes a more group effort you need a good group to be part of. Cooking together, watching movies, playing video or card games. Hanging out and talking, or just letting one another be in our thoughts as we all process this shock. 

Shock is too light of a word, this is something that locked me and froze me. And each day is *another* fucking bombshell, a continuous, ongoing shock and trauma. How does one peel oneself away from it? It’s coming to you live (and in color!) from the internet, directly to the palm of your hand, etched into your brain. The horror makes it impossible to think about anything else but how to survive.

And then I read that article and i started thinking about how immobilizing grief is – it’s a hole in you that you can never fill and sometimes it feels like it has swallowed you forever, disjointed and broken. There’s no stage for this grief, and no one alive right now has ever experienced a large die off in our species. How does one react to an apocalypse?