Love in the Time of Corona, Part 4, Enter Matthew


21 March, 2020 08:47

My truck is still broken down but I need a couple tools that I’ll need to borrow from my buddy and I’m sure the next steps, as most steps in shade-tree mechanic-ing, would require my going to the Auto Zone where I know for a fact the electric window motor for which I’ve already paid is sitting over there and waiting to be picked up so I guess I can wait a little bit until I figure out a safe way to get the tools and those parts while maintaining a six-foot distance from all other humans. (sigh.) It just might have to wait. I’d like to get my truck all squared away and washed clean. At present, it seems sort of a sad metaphor. It’s parked under a tree and is getting that broke-down look because of the pollen and those little brown botanical worms. What kind of tree do those come from, maple? Surely not Walnut. It seems silly that I shouldn’t know what they’re called in that I’ve been around them a lot in my life. They gather near street drains after floods at places in the South; they like to hang out on windshield wipers. What are those little brown wormy pieces of plant matter called?
I’ve even put my potential new boyfriend—oh yeah, more on that later—on the case. He didn’t know what the little brown worms are from either but he said he’d ask around. I think they may be—

Potential new boyfriend comes through. They are catkins, specifically oak catkins. Now we know. And you know that if I was art directing a movie and was tasked with making a car look like it’d been broken down for a little bit, I’d dust the whole thing in dust and then dust the whole thing in yellow chalk and I’d pile oak catkins on the bumper and windshield wipers. If not oak catkins are readily available, I’d advise cutting brown pipe cleaners and hand-curving them gently to mimic the real thing.

I worked really hard to get my truck up and running before all this bullshit started.

The floor fan runs constantly in my bedroom and is a siren’s call beckoning me constantly back to bed, to “sleep away this plague” (as the ethereal voice whispers) which is apparently what my body wants to do. But I can’t succumb! Hard as these times are, this is a wonderful opportunity!  This is what all artists beg for, right? The time and space to create? I have to be exactly no where except right here in this apartment with these cats for the foreseeable future.  I can quite possibly write until the moment of my death (if I chose to) without running out of shit to write about.
But what the hell is that going to look like?  What the hell is this solitude going to look like?
It’s sort of ironic that I ended up being a writer in that writing is such a solitary activity most of the time. Writers talk about developing emotional relationships with their characters and I certainly understand that; I’ve certainly had that experience. When I’m writing a blog, I am less lonely because I know that a whole bunch of people are going to read it and we will have shared something personal in these scary times. It’s a form of connectedness.
I am a people person. Anybody who knows me well will attest to that fact. I crave human contact. Today when I went to the mailbox (which is just by my sister Jeannie’s apartment) I could hear her little son, King inside. It broke my heart because I wanted to bang on their door and scoop up him and his sisters and their mamma too! I miss smelling my tribe. I’m that much of an animal. I’m finding I actually need that. I’ve even felt my caveman-y protective self coming out more frequently when it comes to the safety of my community. My neighbor just across the way, Glenda, has a grandbaby, Colby (I call him “bean” because when I first met him he was big as a bean). When I heard him crying this morning I wanted to go over there and pitch in for a few minutes. That’s the way our little community works. Once these women figured out I can hip or diaper a baby with the best of them they welcomed one more witch into the coven, no questions asked. I hate not being able to touch my family, my tribe. Without trying to claim any of the honor of “Woman” or “Black,” I can tell you that a lot of the time, I’m treated like just another Black Girl around here and I ain’t mad at it. They honor me by receiving me. I hate not being about to be physically near them.

I have a runny nose.
Perhaps the trip to California cost me my life. (over-dramatization)

It didn’t. I don’t have it.

How do you know?

Well actually I don’t but I plan to keep to myself as much as possible until I’m sure I’m not infected and then, what? Start to rebuild my social circles?

Go hunting? Swing a cane pole out over Bayou Saint John?
How does life in America begin again if and when it does?
I maintain this may end up being the best thing that has ever happened to us. And me.

And though cavalier as it may have seemed for me to fly to LA to (I thought) do the final (wrap) shoot on a film on which I am a producer which has been in the works for two years, because I was so foolhardy, it appears I’ve been struck with a measure of good luck.

When I was sitting on the tarmac in Burbank, waiting to fly back to New Orleans to begin my self-imposed sequester, right before I switched my iPhone over to airplane mode to Toon Blast myself into the the sky, I looked, just out of curiosity, at Scruff (a gay dating/hook-up app) to see if anything had bitten even though (because of the virus) I had most just been in my cozy room up at Scotch and Todd’s place on Mulholland instead of trifling too much with trying to get laid but in fact there had been a few of the Angelino boys who’d given a shout-out to a visiting (okay, I’ll own it) gray-bearded muscle bear daddy type from the Deep South and who cares as long as I still get to be me?

But one electronic would-be suitor stood out above the rest. His name is Matthew and he has the kindest heart. He’s smart and we make each other laugh and I think he’s one of the sexiest men I’ve ever laid eyes on and because almost no new relationship (of any sort) could survive gestation in the public light of Facebook, I’ll leave it at that. From here on out, with regard to Matthew, everything will be on a need-to-know basis.
Only one more thing I’ll say: after only a week of Skype dating I can say that I’m pretty must sure it was worth the risk.  I’d like to know this guy better. And that might take a little while. Lucky for us it seems right now we’ve got nothing but time.
I stretched writing this blog out over the better part of today. I’ll soon head to bed. I think I’d like to start with it in the morning tomorrow and maybe we can decide together what we’re going to do with all this extra and valuable time we seem to have on our hands.
This might be our greatest moment.

Welcome Matthew.


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