Monday, October 4, 2021

How You Walk Through the Fire

I'm out of photos.  I just am.  All I can do now is dig into the wayback and try to find something.  This is from a trip to Cali a few months before everything stopped.  But there is good news.  Covid cases have dropped like a rock in an empty well.  I was fortunate enough to be one of its last victims.  I will work on a poster today with me as poster boy for "The Shittiest Retirement."  


I woke this morning with a strange realization.  I forgot to change my quilted bed covering on the first day of autumn.  It is a bi-annual ritual.  I have a green one for spring and a red one for autumn.  They are not actually "green" and "red."  That's the way boys talk.  Boys don't have the color vocabulary of girls.  I haven't the words for their actual colors.  They are more subtle and richer by turns.  But the realization saddened me.  I will switch them today.  

I've marked my last relationship by the changing of the duvets.  

I've measured "The Shittiest Retirement" by the same.  

If I were smart, I'd change the whole bedroom scheme.  But I'm not smart.  I'm maudlin.  

Today begins Week II of Covid.  I felt better yesterday, well enough to try a tiny bit of exercise.  And then, as it was early and no one was around, I took a brief walk.  Before that, however, I had stripped the bed and put the sheets and pillowcases in the washer.  When I got home from my walk, I put the sheets in the dryer and took off my clothes.  I threw them in with a load of Covid clothes that went into the washer.  Then I lay down naked on my naked bed and fell dead asleep.  

When I woke, I took my first shower since getting sick.  You know how that goes.  It feels weird.  The grime has settled in and feels like a protective shield.  Once clean, you feel a bit more vulnerable.  I shaved and dressed and, out of necessity and duty, I got the sheets to clothe the bed.  This is not "my thing."  I cannot make a bed worth a damn.  I never learned.  It is a monumental failing, I know, a lifetime embarrassment.  My mother made my bed as a kid.  I never made my bed in college, just pulled everything up and fluffed the pillows.  I still do.  And now (big confession), the maids change the sheets.  

Soooo. . . . how in the fuck do the fitted sheets go on?!?!?!  I have a King Size bed which means it is almost a square.  Why aren't the corners of the fitted sheets labeled somehow?  "Right top" or "bottom left" or something.  I bought expensive sheets with a high thread count (which I've recently read is a waste of money), but they seem too tight.  Perhaps I've done that in the dryer.  I have a variety of pillows, several that are King Size.  How do you get the cases on them gracefully?  I tuck the end of the pillow under my chin, but my arms are too short to reach the bottom of the pillow (and I have long arms).  By the time I had gotten the top sheet on over the very warped fitted sheet and had put the heavy quilted bed cover on top of that several times (nearly square), I was once again covered in sweat.  

I sat down on the couch.  I was tired.  I was weak.  I was done for the day.  

Covid ain't done with me yet.  

Last night I watched the final two episodes of "Sex Education."  That was my Covid show.  Perhaps having finished that series, I will get well.  Today I will do two sets of exercises and a bit longer walk.  I am in the very low viral load phase of my disease now.  

The days have been almost autumnal here with crystal sunlight and long shadows.  I have missed them.  I am opening all the shutters to the world today, though.  I have been a cave dweller long enough.  I will try to run the vacuum today.  I want to feel life's return.  

One good thing having gotten Covid after the vaccines is that I should be about as immune to the disease as an old guy can get.  I will get the booster anyway and a flu shot.  And then, mother permitting, I will travel.  That is the hope, at least.  I will travel into the great Autumnal West and try to invigorate my soul.  

"Soul?  Now you're talking about soul?!?"

Metaphorically.  You know what I mean.  

"There was a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste" (link).  When you were young, you believed Bukowski was right, that what mattered most was how well you walked through the fire.  You spent a lot of time posturing and getting that walk just right.  Later, when it was all over, you began to realize it didn't.  It never mattered how you walked through the fire.  The fire was always going to take you anyway.  

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