I really admire the phrase “Writer’s Block” – and I really, really want to hide behind it right now. Because I can’t find anything I want to write about. But I know in my heart that what I really mean is – I’m going for an easy out. I know all the same words I knew before I got blocked but – back before the Corona virus, there was always life outside my Tiny House to report on.
So maybe…”Writer’s Boredom?” (I’m putting “Writer’s Boredom” out there, but I can tell it won’t catch on. Boredom makes it seem like it’s somehow my fault I’m not writing and we can’t have that!) But life IS different now, isn’t it? I can’t tell you amusing stories about being the last person in a store that was bombed, or about wrestling with my conscience over reporting – or not reporting – those kids at the end of the aisle who are trying to get away with a couple of bags of candy.
The problem, as I see it, is that everyone seems to think his or her boredom is as bad as MY boredom. Inch for inch I have to doubt that.
Example? Well, when I go to my doctor, one of the first questions on their list is, “have you fallen recently?” But I am ready for it and I answer “No, I haven’t fallen in over a year. There isn’t room to fall down in my Tiny House.” Sometimes this gets me a puzzled stare. Sometime a baffled smile and a delayed “Ha!” which is almost always followed by a warning that, at my age I must avoid falling “because I can do serious damage to my delicate 96-year-old self.”
I resist the temptation to suggest that if I haven’t learned to be careful by 96, I’m a REALLY slow learner.
But back to boredom. Let’s be clear: I understand the importance of all of this. I wear a mask. I wash my hands to “Happy Birthday to You” (although I sometimes sing it very fast). But I can’t stand all the “rules of the day” – Can you eat outside? (You couldn’t yesterday); one-way aisles; only curb-side pick-up to “go inside and pay”; if you are lucky enough to find a tent to your liking, can you read from the scrunched-up menu you are handed? Or are you supposed to take a picture of the menu on your phone?
While confusion is the order of the day – these ever-changing rules at least give me something to write about.
My daughter, Celia, bought me a most amazing gadget to help me through the menu-reading bit. It’s a little magnifying lens, about an inch and a half long, that will take you through almost any small print traps. it also fits neatly in a purse or a pocket.
Of course, Celia being Celia, has sewn a cute little cover for the thing which I, casually, leave on the table for others to admire. And they do, of course.
While I continue to feel sorry for myself – time is ticking and I want to go OUT, damn it.) I do feel very sorry for the merchants, whose very livelihoods hang in the balance of these crazy rules. Restauranteurs not only have to wrestle with just how much lettuce to buy or how much coffee to brew, but how many waiters to call in and whether or not to open the bar.
And that’s just the beginning. The big, really expensive decision to my mind, must be, “do we put back the side tarps that we took down yesterday? And does a fuller tent mean we will need a lot of those expensive heaters? Or “Will anyone notice if we have one more person than is legal and do babies count?”
Okay. This brings me to the last bump in my road.
I hate it that I can’t find an audience for my complaints. I mean, what good does it do to complain to someone who mistakenly believes he/she/they are suffering just as badly as I?