Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under

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When lockdown lasts long enough to grow a head of lettuce.

Last night, as Highway to Hell blared on the neighbour’s sound system, and, on the far side of Bueu, a group of motorcyclists revved and revved without going anywhere, I felt the mood of Lockdown Week 4 shift to a slightly darker place.

And when I awoke to find a dead lizard on the doorstep and storm clouds brewing in the distance, I hibernated inside. Stanley meowed, asking if he could come too.

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“What, that’s it?” Stanley after another exciting play session.

For the past five hours, I’ve been avoiding this sense of foreboding by procrastinating. I’ve fed the cats, done two loads of laundry, swept, made the bed, eaten breakfast, written some emails, read a poem, played with Stanley, tried to sign up for online grocery shopping, fed the cats again, ate a bowl of lentil soup. Some may call this “life” but when you’re a stay-at-home writer, the blank page never allows you to fully enjoy such a thing.

As I write (does this count? maybe), three billion people are largely confined to their homes. I read an opinion piece in the New York Times about the 1947 classic The Plague to lift the spirits. The writer sums up the philosophy of Albert Camus with these sunny words: “Being alive always was and will always remain an emergency; it is truly an inescapable ‘underlying condition.'”

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Mastering the fine art of procrastination.

While my mother doesn’t pretend to be Camus, or to have heard of him, lately she’s been offering daily coronavirus gems of Plague-like breadth: videos, photos, inspirational quotes, jokes.

Usually I push delete without opening these gems (sorry, Mom, I’m heartless), but today I opened each one, well, the ones that I could open (my 78-year-old mother is usually more tech savvy than me, but forwarding a forward that’s already been forwarded is quite the feat).

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Lockdown, always better in the sun.

And so, as grey clouds hover over the green hills of Galicia, I offer you a curated version of this joke list (apologies if  you’ve already been the recipient of one of its forwards) called Reflections:

  • Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.
  • Still haven’t decided where to go for Easter —– The Living Room or The Bedroom
  • Home-schooling is going well. Two students suspended for fighting and one teacher fired for drinking on the job.
  • I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone
  • This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog….. we laughed a lot.
  • Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
  • Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.
  • Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under….

P.S. Breaking news. The Nun is back. Decorative candle or omen? Stay tuned to find out.

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The infamous nun of Zaragoza.