In the time of the virus

It’s spooky outside in the time of the virus. It’s so quiet that you can hear voices from far away, carried on the wind. I heard what sounded like children crying or playing or both in the street. I stepped out on my balcony. I couldn’t hear the children. But a skinny man with pale, pale skin and no shirt, black shorts and a wide-brim black hat ran by my house under the streetlamp, and I clearly heard him say, “Yes, by a magical, or rudimentary lunar strike” into his phone. He noticed I was listening, picked up speed and loped off into the darkness. I could see the light of his cell phone bouncing with each stride as it grew smaller and smaller.

I went to the bathroom and washed my hands. I wash my hands like Pilate now, like lady MacBeth, trusting that the soap is removing the awful thing I can’t see. I let them drip dry, because I don’t want to touch anything to dry them off. Towels could be teeming with the coronavirus, along with God knows what all else.

Sleep, 3:45 a.m. sometime in the virus times

I’d like to go back to sleep, but I can’t.

We are stressed. All of us. We live now as if we were in a battle. Our senses are on full alert. But there is no one to fight. So we go into our cave and play dead. We sleep so that we’ll have rested senses if the battle ever comes. I wish it would, and I hope it never does.


I’m spending $14 a month and a tip to keep from having to wade through the grocery store in search of what food remains on the shelves that I am able to eat. There’s a delivery service that shops for you, brings it to you and leaves it on your porch. It costs too much, of course. Everything does.

I’m diabetic. Sugar messes me up like a bad ex-wife you still love. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally soothe myself with a few heaping handfuls of cookies every now and then. But the risk of excruciating death by slow asphyxiation has made my almond, coconut and chocolate chip favorites at the Winn-Dixie a lot less tempting.

Back in the 1980s, I was married, and did no swimming in the AIDS pool. But I’m sure, had I not been, the risk of AIDS wouldn’t have kept me from having unsafe sex with sketchy partners, and I doubt this little bastard of a virus won’t completely separate me from brownies, cakes, cookies and pie as I wander the remainder of life’s road, however short it may be. And yeah, I’ll probably tie a T-shirt around my nose and mouth and walk over to Winn-Dixie to get it.

I’m a geezer, so let me share the rest of my afflictions with you.

I also have atrial fibrillation, a nagging electrical malfunction that makes my heart beat like a fucked clock when I’m stressed. I’m stressed a lot lately, but they make pills for that.

Like all other American males over 60, I’m overweight. Not as much as I used to be, but enough to give coronavirus an unfair advantage.

The virus could kill me four different ways or engage all my co-morbidities at once and just stomp the shit out of me.