Daily Dispatch #2

“What interests me as a novelist is not the malevolence in man – so what else is new –
but his looniness.” — Walker Percy*

I feel especially loony with these crazy days we’re in. My days start out normal – I have a simple routine in the morning: Get up, start the coffee, pee, splash face with cold water, writing clothes, pour yum coffee, sit down in writing chair, meditate a few, then write. Till I’m done. Usually 20-25 minutes. Unless I’ve got a lot on my mind. But when I turn on my computer, all hell breaks loose.

Finally I found some advice for making a schedule. This was it:  I create my schedule for the day the night before – six things, in order (sort of), that I cross out as I do them. Till the schedule came in, though, almost three weeks in quarantine, I’ve been a mess.

Nothing is normal anymore. People are in pandemic panic and people worldwide are getting sick with Covid-19 and dying from it, lots and lots of them. The numbers are growing for many countries, especially the United States now, as the virus keeps relentlessly moving West from China.

So many normal things are being disrupted. You read and hear enough news – that’s not my job here.

Denver went into lockdown on Wednesday, so Tuesday, not knowing if it would be open after that, I walked over to a Dollar Store to buy light bulbs. The grocery stores sell crappy, expensive bulbs that burn out fast. At Dollar a nice LED light bulb costs one dollar and lasts a long time.

We have to watch out for each other now. Inside the small Dollar Store everyone was very respectful, kept their six feet of distance in the two lines to the cashiers, and even in the narrow aisles. It felt like a community of Denverites, not strangers.

I walked home. When you walk, you see things up close. That day on the side of the road I saw a dead cat with its little mouth open. That broke my heart. I thought about that cat all the way home. Was he or she someone’s precious kitty, wandering around, hit by a car that never stopped? A feral cat trying to get back to his outside shelter? I mourned that cat. Like I’m still mourning my cat, Violet, gone now nearly six months. I had been wanting to get a new kitty before this virus came along. I must wait now. Boy, I need a cat!

Today I’m walking on Cherry Creek Trail (66 miles long through Denver to a reservoir east of the city). Maybe all the way to the Mall and back (not 66 miles). Long-ish. So I can feel my looniness and see what comes up.

We can be free in lockdown, too. Have a good, safe, happy day.

*It turns out that Walker Percy became ill with tuberculosis after he had graduated from Columbia University Medical School, then spent two years in a “sanatorium” but when he attempted to return to medicine, the TB returned. And two more years, resting and healing. That’s how he became a writer.

I shared a similar fate – became a writer while I was sick for many years.
You just have to do stuff.