These days, I loop between incredulous and compassionate – so much suffering, so much innovative kindnesses, “Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean, come let me love you…” I press the play button in my head, and all day, I’m a John Denver recording. Blessing or curse, you choose.
The likelihood that life will resume a normal path is akin to a storm in the desert, and oceans are never sleepy, there is always life underwater, always currents, always movement.
In my dreams, I wander through big hotel lobbies and elevator banks, and long hush-carpeted hallways, all the grimy basement entrances and dreary lobby restaurants looking dowdy between patrons. I don’t know why my mind wanders there, sometimes I shop at the dress boutiques, but always, they are too lacey and too frilly and too small, no matter how far back I push into the maximum markdown areas. When I exit, which is always a trial, it’s a multi-story city scape with mirrored surfaces and inscrutable high-rises. And I can’t hail a cab, or the currency I am carrying is from the wrong country, but I always have a plane to catch and I always wake up wondering if it took off without me. I suffer from lost-o-phobia I guess. Not consciously, but I do prefer printing out the map and directions and tracing it out with my fingers – GPS is not all it’s cracked up to be on an island in the middle of the Pacific. It adds to there being so much to double-check before departing the house. And this year, businesses and landmarks are dropping out of sight, but still show up on conglomerating websites that never check their data. Hours of operation are totally unreliable – people want to work, but lockdowns and months of unemployment make it hard to lure customer-facing workers back to non-shuttered locations. Maybe the empty lobbies and dowdy restaurants are simply a vision of the future, and lost-o-phobia comes out at night to show me that I am afraid all the familiar places will be echo chambers and dust collectors when I do venture out. And the currency thing – well at last count something like 100+ countries would not allow American citizens to land on their soil. So there’s that. That I think I’m going to tour Scotland next year, that I think I will see wildlife in Kenya, but that all depends on plague numbers, and they keep going up, and what if I land in the wrong country and cannot get home? Maybe I am not crazy, maybe I am just being honest with my subconscious, that pitiless vixen.