Thursday, June 18, 2020


I've been in quarantine so long, I finally ordered some stuff on the Internet.

It's the beginning of things I need for a larger project. And some things I just want. And some toys for the kids because their action figures have taken a beating from heavy play rotation over the past three months. Batman has no legs. Robin only has one. All the Ninja Turtles have some sort of war injury. We need some fresh recruits to reinforce the play zone.

Lil Man has discovered toast. He knew that toast existed before but as he starts a youthful culinary journey, he likes toast with pretty much everything. So I bought a toaster. Our old one died ages ago and it's a waste of energy to fire up the oven every time we want toast. I made sure it has several settings. I'm going to let him experiment.

But the largest project I have in mind actually began with a small purchase. I bought a tape measure. I plan to install a storage shed and playset with swings in the back yard. I also plan to clean out our garage and make that into a playroom for the kids. When I conceived this project it seemed so simple, but it's going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Yet and still, I have a sense of urgency this year like no other.

That journey of a thousand miles begins with the single step of measuring and marking off the areas outdoors, measuring the garage for padding and carpet. Measuring the walls for cabinets. I've never done anything like this before in my life.

I fall asleep watching YouTube tutorials of how to set beams and pour gravel. My world is narrowing to an exploration of the simplest of Earth's elements. Rock, wood, simple geometry, gravity.

I'm trying to be an ant, not a grasshopper. I'm trying to get ready. I feel in my very bones that this is going to get worse before it gets better. And there's not a single thing I've bought when preparing for the initial crisis of staying at home, sheltering in place, that I haven't used. Even things I plucked off a shelf on a whim or in a spirit of, We'll never use this but I'll get it just in case, have become mainstay items.

Actually doing these projects and even the simple act of buying a tape measure means something. It means I no longer believe that coronavirus is anywhere near over. I'm hunkering down and using this summer to prepare for what promises to be a long winter.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Phrase That Pays

Let's talk about that sentence today: I am not a racist.

Boy howdy, is that a loaded phrase. More than likely if some white person had been reduced to uttering this sentence it's because they have said or done something so racist that the only thing they can do is pathetically assure everyone that what they said and did is an aberration, but no one should possibly believe that's who they really are.

So many people aren't racist until they are. They go through life believing their own theory of not being racist until that theory is tested and they fail that test miserably.

Being perfectly willing to use the tools of white supremacy when they suit you is racist ass hell. Pretending that you don't know those tools exist is racist as hell. Actually using those tools makes you a Klan Member even if you never sign up or wear the robes.

Getting caught using those tools on video and facing the consequences of those actions: Priceless.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Quarantine Dreams

My Quarantine dreams are vividly realistic. Sometimes they're about things I've never done nevertheless my dreams during this time contain a level of detail that is startling.

I have never ridden a tractor in my life. But today I dreamed I was riding a tractor through a burnished wheat field. I could feel the wheat brush my legs and see the chaff flying through the air. I could smell the scent of the cut wheat.

That's another thing that's new. Smell in my dreams. Just like I've never been on a tractor, I'm fairly certain I've never been in a wheat field. Driven past many but actually been in one? I don't think so.

How would I even know what wheat being cut smells like. But in my dream, I knew.

I dreamed of swimming. I dreamed of talking with people at a party. I could smell their perfume and cologne and the scent of the hors d'oeuvres on the tray.

Maybe I'll start keeping a dream log. These dreams are so different from my normal dreams. I feel they're trying to tell me something.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Social Distancing

There was a girl I knew back in elementary school
She was a year or two ahead of me
Always pretty and smart
We were never quite friends
But we were definitely never enemies
She was the older girl I admired
And I was that kid
Her teacher's kid
You know how it is
She advertised that she was making face masks online
And I contacted her
And she delivered them to my house today
And we stood there social distancing
Hugs implied
While my little boy ran outside in his bare feet
Still not quite understanding
The need for distance
And I took the masks
And all the years that lay between us
And I said
It's so Good to see you
And she said
I wish it were under better circumstances
And I said yeah, that's true
But in that moment
All the old school ties
Still held and bound
And then she got in her car
And drove away
And I took my little boy back in the house
To try on his new mask