Love in the Time of Corona, Part 12 “Get in the Car Bitch”

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After I’d deposited my freshly bloodied friend at home, after his bike wreck, I headed off to find my lost phone. (If anything in that sentence confuses you, best check out Part 11.)
I slowly re-peddled our route of an hour earlier but alas, no phone. I just got that phone! I pointed my bike toward Gentilly and used the beautiful five mile ride to fret about how difficult and expensive it was going to be to replace the phone; I think I have about a $5000 deductible on the insurance for the new iPhone 11 Pro Plus Turbomax, which, in addition to performing all the functions its predecessor did, also gives handies and does the dishes, both of which come in very useful during this MAGAvirus sequester. Is replacing lost iPhones considered an “essential” job? I mean, in my imagination such an operation surely must involve, warehouses, multiple personnel, and thousands of possibly infected surfaces. I don’t want anyone to be put in danger just so I can have a phone to call 911 if I need to. (I found out on our bike ride how crucial that can be, by the way.)
When I got back to Bastion, the place where I live, a lot of my closest neighbors were milling about outside. I guess I must have looked a bit haggard from the morning’s drama and the fast ride home. Jeannie asked, “What happened to you?”
Still sweaty and a little overwrought from it all, I give ‘em the 411. 
“Well, they called from the bike shop and said my bike was ready so Vic came over from Carrollton to put me in the back of his truck and take me to get it and they did a great job with it as you can see and my $85 bike now rides like it could be in the Tour de France but after I left there I decided I’d call Jim, you know Jim, my friend who comes over a lot, a little bit older than me, beard and glasses,”
“Oh yeah!” Glenda responds.
“Well he and I were going to go on a good little ride by the river just to get in some good Christian Southern boy fellowship without getting closer that six feet together, you know, just because we usually see so much of each other since this whole Corona mess started,”
“Werd.” That was Evangelina.
“but we probably weren’t ten minutes into our ride when Jim took a face-plant up there on Crescent Park on the bike path by the river and the ambulance came and everything but when we realized nothing was broken and he didn’t have a concussion, I just took him on home because I figured sending him to the hospital in New Orleans right now would be sending him to his death so I just took him home to his husband, Richard, and then came on back here and now I’m going to try to use that “find your iPhone” which I’ve never fucked with except to turn it off when you’re trying to shift over to a new device because after I dropped of Jim I road back where we’d ridden and I swear I would have seen if it was on the ground where I would’ve dropped it, and I feel stupid having worn the short-ass rugby shorts (all my basketball shorts were in the wash) because they’re so damn short but the pockets are deep so I kinda thought my phone and shit wouldn’t fall out but I was wrong and finding that out at the very when I reached into my pocket to call 911, when my friend took a bite of asphalt and wasn’t moving, let me tell you, wasn’t optimal, y’heard me? And so now I gotta go in here and see if Apple can help me find my phone!”
“You tried calling it?”
Glenda has a way of cocking her eyebrow in a way that says, “You’re a dumbass” and “Ima help you ‘cause I love you.”
“Here. Let me call it.” She said after she had.
We all wait.
“Oh good! You found it. That’s my friend’s phone. Where you at?”
The person on the other end obviously has asked to speak to “the friend.”
With a cocked eyebrow (again, her signature look), Glenda says, “He wants to talk to you.”
“Hey man. Sounds like you found my phone.”
Him: “Yeah, I found a phone. Just so I know it’s yours, can you tell me what you have as wallpaper on your phone?” 
Me: “Yeah, that would be my boyfriend’s ass.” 
Him: (chuckles) “Well you can tell him he has a nice one. I’m at…”
And he proceeds to give me his address which is, of course, back down by the river which is four miles away. 
“Well, he’s got it, thank God. That saves me a hundred dollars. Looks like I’m about to take another 8-mile bike ride and I ain’t feeling it. I’ll be glad when this day dies and we try again tomorrow!”
Glenda says, “Get in the car bitch, I’ve got to take Evangelina over by hers so I can just take you to get your phone too.”
“But what about the physical distancing thing?” I say it more out of consideration for them than for me at this point. 

“Brah. Listen. Sounds to me like you done been to the bike shop, wallered on your bloody friend and took personal, up-close assistance from a whole lotta motherfuckers you don’t know so why don’t you pull that little blue bandana up over your nose and mouth and get in the back of my car.” 

So I did.
An hour and a half later, after collecting my phone from the Samaritan in the Bywater and delivering Evangelina to Metairie, Glenda and I arrived safe at home at Bastion which is where I intend to stay, with the exception of outside exercise far from others and occasional trips to the grocery and pharmacy. 
Please, you do that too. 

I’m not trying to get us back to normal. I am in nowise one of those people who are clamoring to get the nation and the planet “back to normal.” It’s not that normal wasn’t working; it’s that normal wasn’t working big time. 
I’m safely ensconced in my clean garden apartment with probably enough food for the next couple of weeks. I stay almost constantly on FaceTime live with the man I’ve fallen in love with with but whom I’ve never touched. If we have children we’ll name them Corona and Covid. I ache for him but we both now at this time, this is how it has to be. He’s managing the Los Angeles power grid in real time. Hospitals need power. His job is essential. I’m trying to just be supportive of him and not whine because I can’t hold him while I sleep tonight. Decisions are being made on this planet right now about who will get the ventilator and who dies. Let’s have a little perspective here. If I ever do marry this man, it will be at the Justice of the Peace but you’re all invited to the after-party. 
 It’s now 9pm on a Sunday night in New Orleans and I think of the wonderful Sunday sunsets I’ve shared close-up with my fellow humans. Those days will return if we want it. Those days will return if we don’t rush it. 
I’m setting the alarm early tomorrow morning. It’s the start of a workweek after all. 
What will you do?
Isn’t it time we got onto doing what we said we’d do if only we had the time?


To be continued


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