As predicted, today was brutal.
Early meetings bled into late morning meetings morphed into lunch meetings rolled into afternoon meetings like so many cigarettes of a chain smoker. My ass didn’t leave my chair for 7 straight hours and even the cat got bored of me sitting there and found somewhere else to lounge.
Pey wanted to see me again after work, so the second I was done I laced up my tennies, put on cropped leggings so my chubby thighs wouldn’t chafe, and set out with the old, now creaky dog.
I was a little anxious.
My ex texted hours earlier asking that I refrain from touching our baby while he’s in possession. A stupid, illogical request seeing as we have shared custody and yet another maneuver on his part to control his anxiety via my behavior, to, as he put it, “keep isolation intact.” Yeah, ok.
Never mind that we’re swapping every two weeks.
But I guess a hug from me while he’s in possession is much more dangerous than taking him back into his home after he’s with me. I know: it makes no fucking sense.
I pressed Play on my audio book and listened intently to the dulcet tones of Tom Hanks. I passed fragrant, blooming bushes and trees the names of which I’ve never known. One tree with long, wispy branches had leaves like dragonfly wings and orange petals like an exploded firework. I don’t think it had a smell and I didn’t stop to investigate for along the inviting boughs were inch long thorns. I kept walking.
The visit was lovely. More playing with the hose, lots of “accidental” sprays on each other. My ex came out too this time, ostensibly to enforce his request of no touching, but he was mild mannered and we chatted about his family. I honored his need for no touching. Reluctantly.
The Vet asked me earlier in the night if I was up for drinks tonight. I told him I wasn’t sure, but the truth was I wanted to be up for some. For us to go meet at our favorite hang out or maybe a new one before he moves away and to catch up and laugh while serenaded by the chirping, hysterical cicadas overhead that seem to be everywhere at once.
I forgot that I no longer eat meat and ordered a pastrami sandwich to be delivered as I walked back past all the bushes and blooms and their thick, sticky fragrance. I didn’t even realize my mistake until hours after I’d eaten every last crumb. What a shit pescatarian I am. (It was delicious, though.)
I didn’t cry when I got home like I’d hoped yesterday, but I also didn’t stuff my face or drink. One rosé spritzer was all I had. Good job, Hy. I also completely forgot to text The Vet back. I’m just a black hole of nothingness and useless grey matter.
Lastly – and most upsettingly – Sunday night, in a fit of desperation (and hope) I booked two nights at a downtown luxury hotel basically for the price of one. It has two queen beds, a view of the water if I’m lucky, and is walking distance to all the fun, outdoorsy stuff my town has to offer.
But isn’t that the height of grossness?? To be in a luxurious setting while less than a mile away protesters fight against and endure police brutality? I mean, do I go join them before or after I lay out at the pool? Ugh – barf.
It’s in bad taste, right?, to spend money so cavalierly when others are having to skip rent payments to survive during this goddamned pandemic and since when did I become a Have and not a Have Not?
And not only all that, but what if I get sick by leaving the safety of my house? Yet another indecent privilege I’ve been afforded during all of this.
I asked both my bff, Sherry, and The Vet if they’d like to come stay with me.
“It’ll be fun!” I texted, filled with optimism and gripped by momentary insanity. “We can drink, play, paddle, lay by the pool, get room service. Party!” They both agreed it sounded great and would love to come, but what if they get me sick?
They go to work every day and have been throughout this entire quarantine, and apparently that has affected their threshold for mingling. Mine remains – apparently – very, very low.
But hotel sheets, a change of scenery, someone to take care of me. It’s embarrassingly privileged and humiliatingly attractive all at the same time.
The hotel now reminds me of that beautiful orange blossom on that alien-looking tree with it’s misleadingly soft-looking branches – there are big ass spikes all over it, after all. It is not to be experienced with anything but your eyes.
I have until 2:59 pm tomorrow afternoon to make my decision and get a full refund. I wish the cicadas could tell me what to do in their songs.