Pandemic Diary

Journal Excerpts: 2020, the year from/of Hell

Note: I’ve written journal entries every night for the last 35 years, but this year has had special challenges. Staying home has brought a lot of repetition in day to day activities, but my fictionalized accounts spice up an otherwise mundane existence.

 (Since my entries are handwritten, I have very slightly edited for some clarity, though not for spelling and punctuation)

5/9/’20

I zoomed the AM meditation meeting & seemed to spend a lot of time doing nothing, I did order groceries for curbside pickup…my day was briefly enhanced when I glanced out the backdoor while dropping some dirty laundry into the baskets and saw a man in a black suit & fedora skulking through the overgrown weeds and vines in the backyard. Maybe he was checking the fence so he could repair it anonymously but then I noticed he had white socks and short pant legs which made him way too nerdy for manual labor. I determined that he was simply lost and stupid & figured the crows & squirrels could deal with him. So I sat back down at the loom. I did take a quick trip to town later this afternoon to pick up groceries….Don’t know what happened with the fedora fella.

5/10/’20

Read, painted & this evening made pizza & had pizza & ice cream for mother’s day. The wolf that has been prowling the neighborhood finally took care of that whiney child so the chickens are safe for awhile.

5/11/’20

Mac and I walked one of our other routes today & my day had the added excitement of not 1, but 3 loads of wash, hung up, dried and folded. It’s amazing how laundry can be seen in a new light when it adds to the usual day to day routine. I even hung the socks together. So nice of me….on an unexpected and not altogether desirable trip to town…I was despairing but the trip to town on the backroads was a pleasant outing & even calming….The day was, thus, slightly less than routine and the fact that I saw a spectre rise out of the green swamp on the side of Millhopper Rd was an added bit of substance though spectre’s can’t really be said to have substance. The lighter yellowish-green shimmer of the spectral shape was visible when seen through the surrounding aura of the slightly darker greenish swamp gasses that were imbued with a more milky opaque hue.

5/13/’20

Woke, walked, wrote, painted, read & stepped out of my comfort zone & tried something new when I put on both socks before putting on both shoes instead of my usual pattern of left sock, left shoe, right sock, right shoe. Wow!

5/14/’20

Shoes and socks were back to normal & that’s about it….thought about taking Mac for another walk this evening as it was breezy & not too hot, but a small helicopter suddenly landed precariously next to the church across the street and a good looking middle-aged black man got out rather gingerly as the door was facing upwards against the left of the craft. Luckily the rotors kept it from toppling all the way to the side. Anyhow, he adjusted his white toga-type robe & glanced around, looking a little disoriented. He saw me standing at my gate where I was deciding whether to check it out or call for help & he gestured w/ a slight wave & quizzical smile.

I went across the street leaving Mac barking in the yard and approached the man to see if he needed assistance. He said his father had sent him but apparently he flew off course because this church didn’t seem to be the right one. He enquired about other churches around here & I told him to pick just about any corner, road, path & he’d find some kind of church. He glowed a little at that, a little color lighting his aura and said he’d heard about a One-legged-Ghost Angel shrine somewhere nearby. Surprized, I explained how I’d found the image on a power pole in the park and left offerings over a period of time. Sadly I had to tell him that the shrine finally was dismantled, apparently not fitting the purpose of the city’s baseball & softball leagues. The image remains, but the offerings are gone, given up the ghost so to speak. The fellow scratched his head where it seemed that a goldish glimmer appeared and then he asked where he could find Marshmallow Man & Grace. I was taken aback that he knew about these two and asked how he knew about them.

               “Oh,” he replied “my father said they’d gotten out & he wondered where they’d got to.”

Not sure how much to say & not sure who this dude was I just stood there and looked at him. He looked around & then at me and said he’d heard I’d been talking about him.

               “Not sure how that could be” I said “since I don’t know who you are.” Pleased at myself for leaving the fucks out of my comment.

               “Wellm’m” he drawled in an odd countrified tone “I’m Jesus & you had some questions about what I done after I got resurrected.”

               “Uh”

               “You gots mo questions fo’ me?”

               “Uh, well.” I wasn’t really sure if I believed him especially since he talked funny & crashed his helicopter, but figured I’d ask what’d been on my mind. “Did you have sex?”

               “God only knows!” he laughed “and look where that got me. I’m in fucking Archer Florida looking for a One-legged Ghost Angel, Marshmallow-Man, Grace lady and even a Spirit Grandmother. My father told me I’m slipping if I can’t hold on to a little spirit & guys like Marshmallow Man & Grace usurp my role. Shit”

By that time other folks had gathered and law enforcement had arrived & he, Jesus I guess, was busy trying to explain why he didn’t have ID, a pilot’s license or a flight plan. Mac was really barking now & the commotion was getting irritating since it had disrupted my curiosity and left me wondering. Apparently Jesus, whoever, felt the same way. He looked over the crowd as I backed away towards my side of the street and mouthed “have you found them?” I touched my chest. They’re here. And so today had a few things going on.

5/17/’20

Slept late. Seemed like I did stuff, but I didn’t…

5/20/’20

Fuck. Shit sucks

5/20/’20

A little less fuck shit today. Painted & read-pretty much what I did yesterday.

5/22/’20

Almost back to whatever version of normal is normal….Painted & read as usual but am not up to telling the major story of the hippopotamus in the yard.

5/24/’20

Got up early & Mac & I took a walk. I did laundry, cleaned, showered & even read a little all before 10:30….I painted most of the afternoon…The large snakes stayed out of my yard & I think only got one of the neighbor’s dogs & no cats.

5/25/’20

Lazed in bed this morning & didn’t do shit all day….This evening Mac & I took a walk. Luckily it hadn’t rained too much so it was pretty easy to dispose of that body.

5/26/’20

…This evening all my electronic devices are possessed-really-I’ll be doing something & all of a sudden-whatever device it is-things start moving and clicking from one thing/screen to another & I won’t be doing anything. It’s frustrating & pisses me off so I’m giving up & am going to read in bed for awhile.

5/27/’20I didn’t do much of anything though I did get a few things mailed off…it was a day of random stuff…My electronics seemed to work today…

5/29/’20

Got up early for a long steamy walk w/ Mac. Wrote a couple more letters, the last I’d planned to write. Maybe I should just write to random strangers. I painted compulsively all day & that’s it. Somebody let some weasels loose & they’re running up & down my drainpipes singing the Eensy beensy/itsy bitsy/spider song. Luckily the rain came & washed ‘em all out before they ripped my flesh.

5/30/’20

I did paint this afternoon….switched to FB for a bit, I found that concerns over the shit this country is dealing with overwhelming, terrifying & exhausting. I often want to resort to cute kitty videos, but to look away form or ignore the problems we are facing doesn’t seem right. People-black people & others are dying because of white privilege & white assholes & I can’t not pay attention. I would go out & join protests but that is another conflict in terms of Covid 19. It’s bad, getting worse & will get even worse. My words seem empty but I do have a voice that I can use if & when needed. Today it’s mostly used talking to and arguing w/ myself…I hurt for Mr. Floyd, & the agony he endured as he was murdered, slowly by a cop. I hurt for all who – fuck – it just hurts that people die & have to endure because of stupid asshole white people.

5/31/’20

Fucking month is finally over. It’s been long & rough & as it ends it just gets worse. Murders, riots, the asshole-in-chief & his diarrhea buddies make everything even worse & worser…I’m just fuckin’ tired.

More

6/1/’20

Riots, murder, plagues, locusts & it’s not even fiction….

6/2/’20

…Fuck

6/3/’20

Didn’t do a hell of a lot of anything which is about as much hell of a lot of anything as usual. A group of Indians & Zulu warriors walked through the politically incorrect portal-or correct porthole if the one by sea-or was it two? Anyhow they appeared in my yard wearing full regalia and danced around my little plastic pool doing a rain dance. Then they all trooped in to use the bathroom, get some water & charge their phones. It’s raining.

6/4/’20

Listened to the rain this morning not wanting to get up but Mac had other ideas as did my bladder. I made bread today but beyond that not much. It was hard to think because of the heavy equipment that arrived in the neighborhood to begin construction of a new reverse-space station that will be able to house returning voyagers who have been expelled by alien cultures.

6/5/’20

The full Strawberry Moon is tonight but not visible because the weather is so rainy and steamy that all the overripe strawberries in the fields surrounding Archer exploded sending a reddish globular haze into the atmosphere where it is being held aloft by the sticky humidity thus blocking the moon from view, or us from the moon’s view.

6/6/’20

It continued to rain steadily & heavily all day & I finished the book I started yesterday, diddled w/ doodles and minis & occasionally checked outside to see if the snorkelers had found the bodies that had floated out of their graves in the hidden burial plot that was unknown until the area near here flooded & a few feet & arms sent floating by followed by an arm or leg & an occasional mass of intestines. The bodies surfaced not long after. It looked like the chains that had kept them in their makeshift tombs had rusted & disintegrated with time, and the recent deluge finally weakened the links. After the first few bodies appeared, it was just more of the same. I mean dead is dead so I checked Facebook & am going to bed.

6/6/’20

Got to Michigan City after a 16hr. straight road trip.

(And now a commercial break with Hoosier Reality and Company. Reality overrides fiction)

6/22/’20

Rylee (my wonderful Hoosier granddaughter) and I made it home. (To Florida, but still stuck in nonfiction)

6/28/’20

Took this out last night to write & forgot….Rylee and I played 2 versions of the game “Go to the Head of the Class” & got so hysterical over the questions that I pissed my pants & then did it again during our fly swatter war. I laughed until my stomach hurt! What a joy to spend this time with Rylee. (Sometimes reality is better than fiction)

6/29/’20

…forgot to mention that on Saturday the 27th I picked up-virtually on Zoom-my 27 year [AA] medallion.

7/2/’20

The plumbing is fixed! (After the kitchen sink being totally clogged since the 29th-fuckin’ reality!) Apparently my try w/ a green drain un-clogger worked….but no electricity now….

7/4/’20

Rylee and I blew shit up tonight! Lots of fireworks, a few sparklers & one failed attempt at blowing up a watermelon….I’m exhausted. Blowing stuff up is hard work!

7/8/’20

Rylee & I played a few games before heading to Tampa [for Rylee’s flight back to Indiana] & the ride was fast & easy & we arrived @ the airport w/ lots of time to spare. I was able to go to the gate with her & she breezed through security & I got a body search!

(And now back to our regularly scheduled lack of reality)

7/11/’20

…Piddled obsessively w/social media & half berated myself for staying up late & the other half didn’t give a shit. Bed, and now thoughts that it’s time to start fictionalizing my journal.

7/12/’20

Mundane tasks and spending a lot of time doing nothing took up a good portion of the day. Bursting forth from the land; however, appeared a miraculous mirage of shimmering silver & rose hues in towering prism=like spheres, orbs that at once hovered and soared. While only momentary the sense of time standing motionless made the heavenly spectacle timeless. As soon as it started it faded with little popping notes as the lights of the spheres dimmed as each bubble burst back into the earth from whence it came.

7/13/’20

Painted a couple frames & read & made bread & this morning it was somewhat less humid & hot so Mac & I went poppin’ in the park. He was so happy. The deadline for the block washing competition is next week and I have to decide what block head might be worth washing and if so will my read sponge do the job or do I need to use a pumice stone. Of course technique is important, but speed w/grace wins the race.

7/15/’20

…I took Mac for a shorter, but still hot walk this evening & got back just as a few rumbles of thunder started, they get close & loud & then distant so it may be a dark & stormy night. (yes, I really wrote that)…

7/16/’20

Again painted most of the day & continued my frustration w/ the printer & simply gave up on technology…Walked out to the pens to see if the pigs wanted to go to the pool but their towels were all dirty & Sukey had a hole in her suit so this was a day that no pigs would swim.

7/17/’20

Got around to dealing w/ the printer issues & managed to get that shit straightened out. Aside from reading a bit, I painted & enjoyed watching the bears toss watermelons in the backyard.

7/18/’20

Painting, reading, cataloguing, depressing, lying-downing, because I had no energy or desire to do anything. I communed with the spirit of the witch doctor who is adept at conjuring spirit animals and spectral souls as laser shows that are only visible to those willing &/or able to look or slip into a variable dimension. He was a bit boring & gruff in his communication today so I gave him a spirit slap and sent him on his way.

7/19/’20

Life pretty much sucks. Bathed Mac after brushing him & had to clean the house first because it was too dirty for a clean dog. I finally showered, did 2 loads of laundry & realized the dryer was broken, So, fuck it.

(And now a break for a depressive break down)

7/28/’20

The day has been pretty much the same as every other though I am looking at things with not so dim a view as over the past couple weeks. I purposely say less dim rather than brighter because to my mind there is a distinct difference. The day has been memorable in that I remembered it was Tuesday & I was able to join the 5:30 Zoom meeting but even moreso because during the meeting someone coincidentally mentioned that llamas are now quite popular. Just today as I sat on the porch I heard the jingling of bells and a parade of brightly dressed llamas came down the street. They were wearing an assortment of colorful outfits. Some wore feathered hats, others flowing scarves or boas, several wore garish Hawaiian shirts while others were content with ribbons woven into their coats. As they perambulated by in a casual loose formation, they nodded at the few neighbors who happened to be in their yards and merrily jingled the bells that many wore around their ankles-if llamas have aankles. That brought a cheery note to the day.

7/29/’20

…I painted, finished one book & started another & did a few little steps on the free online class I’m taking. I also had my usual Wednesday Zoom appt….So, I wasn’t all that intrigued when a couple non-descript guys showed up on a tandem bicycle selling an assortment of googles out of a handbasket. The goggles were all tangle in a clump & kept getting caught in the basket & even though I told them not to get them out they still fumbled clumsily until I let loose a few choice expletives & let the monkeys out. It was funny to watch them clamour over each other to get on the bike & then wobble off clumsily still trying to dislodge their damn goggles.

7/30/’20

Very little occurred today beyond the usual day to whatever-day-it-is stuff. The only thing that popped up unexpectedly was the leaping larva that emerge from their little larval tubes on or near the last day of July during a leap year. It was particularly spectacular this year since the leaping larva are drawn to death and have such a highly evolved olfactory system that they are able to sense not just death itself, but the relative accumulated mass of dead bodies even if the body-or what’s in the body-isn’t even dead yet but is on the verge of imminent demise. Normally hard to see the leaping larva due to their microscopic size, the sheer numbers in this year’s event provided close observers [a chance] to see small sparkling flashes near the ground and under certain conditions even hear a soft smacking sound as they anticipate a meal before going tubing for four more years.

7/31/’20

Mac & I went to the park this morning & other than a bit of reading, I painted compulsively all day…I enjoyed the dance of the crows this afternoon as they swung around on the wires with their little canes & tophats & the crowettes with their parasols.

8/1/’20
Same old shit, another day & now another month. The crow show of yesterday had the phone ines swaying and today the lines were also the venue for a slower show provided by the mini-sloths. Almost as small as hummingbirds they hang from the wires. That’s it!

8/2/’20
I diddled and doodled the afternoon away & continued doodling w/out the diddling into the evening. I’m actually going to be relatively early and a brief party w/ Colleen who is celebrating her 38th birthday & discovered that she is transportable via my old metal dial phone & she came through in long gossamer spaghetti-like vapors, emerged as a whole & we shoved cake into our faces & did a quick reel to the sound of happy birthday fireworks & then she reversed the process getting back home w/ none the wiser.

8/3/’20
‘Tis the night of the full moon-the Full Sturgeon-which is the highlight of an otherwise blasé day…no outward or untoward events other than going out in the backyard to stomp down some annoying volcanoes.

8/5/’20
Went through moments of frustration & irritability but managed to work through a few problems & things worked out…It’s very late, did a lot today & that’s as much as I can say. The scratching of odd phantoms in the backyard can be annoying though.

8/15/’20
Painted a little, read a little but mostly pigged out on junk food & compulsively played games & FB’ed on my phone. The mud played games today too when in little pockets here & there it would bubble up and create statuettes of famous pigs and a couple chickens. One in particular was quite inventive with Elmer Fudd and Foghorn Leghorn depicted in an awkward embrace.

8/18/’20
A relaxing day & did pretty much a lot of nothing. I didn’t kill anyone.

8/19/’20
…was pretty unmotivated for most of the day. I painted a little & watched some of the course videos for my free class & I do enjoy those…also spent a lot of time sitting on the porch & just sitting. The little rabbits that were slithering down out of the trees, melting plastic-like into the background of the underground symphony were an interesting sight in an otherwise bland, non-descript day.

8/22/’20
I couldn’t say one thing I did that was worthwhile or even worth remembering let alone recounting. Duh, blah.

8/26/’20
…mostly I managed to do nothing, though I did paint a little. The leaf eaters flew over littering leaflets.

8/27/’20
Got the car in for maintenance, got Mac in for maintenance & maintained enough to not kill anybody today even if they probably deserved it.

8/28/’20
Kinda just plodded through the day. I was able to paint for a while my head swam in circles

And then a couple duddlier months than previous dud months.
9/2/’20
And we’re off!…I didn’t do shit for the rest of the day & have stayed up late continuing to not do shit. Enough no shit.

…And so it went from beginning to end…

9/26/’20
I have been at loose ends-at least in my mind. I’ve done things today but don’t/didn’t feel I was all there-then again, I don’t know as if I’ve ever been all there, but that’s neither here nor there.

10/4/’20
Same shit.

10/5/’20
More shit.

10/6/’20
Doing shit, but it’s tough. Everything is so hard & fuck.

10/8/’20
The struggle continues as I teeter on the edge of barely holding it together & not holding it together or-leaning farther away on the other edge-possibly pulling it together. I thought today would be better, but it wasn’t. Fuck

10/9/’20
…discovered that someone had gotten into my car, rifled through the console & glove box & took my iPod. Just one more thing I didn’t need. Things are falling apart & I’m barely keeping from falling apart.
10/14/’20
This has been one of the most amazing birthdays ever….

10/17/’20
…I blobbed the day away…but at least got to watch a beaver eat cabbage. (A real live video on FB!)

10/20/’20
Mostly putzed & got little to nothing done…Now the crickets can perform their nightly serenade.

10/21/’20
A lazy but good nothing day. That’s all she wrote.

10/23/’20
Slept pretty well and the sadness of yesterday seems to have disapated. (sp)I frittered the day away with random activities-or lack thereof that were weird, kinda fun & mostly lazy. It’s late & the weekend is here which is really meaningless as one day bleeds into another. Guess I’ll have to start doctoring my journal again.

10/24/’20
Zoomed the AM mtg & then wove & read & painted & had an all-‘round crafty & enjoyable day. The mini-trolls stomped around through the underbrush in my backyard and bent the beanstalk but I think the moose scared them away.

10/25/’20
A day of calm & serenity w/ minimal cleaning and maximum painting. Mac & I walked this evening & saw a few marionettes jumping and pirouetting (sp) from the clouds.

10/26/’20
…I stayed home & painted mostly & seemed to hit a new high-or low-depending on how you look at it of being totally weird.

10/28/’20
Mac & I walked this morning & the rest of the day was spent in typical fashion-nothing new other than a few rhino’s in the backyard floating in a mirage sipping frozen daiquiris with rainbow umbrellas.

10/30/’20
…my day was as eventful as a slice of processed cheese. I couldn’t even pull it together to take Mac for a walk even though the weather couldn’t have been much nicer. Basically I didn’t do shit.

10/31/’20
Halloween, a full Blue Moon-the Hunter’s moon & it is beautiful tonight….The clocks go backwards tomorrow & at least it’ll be a new month. – I should not predict – the way 2020’s going I’ll jinx the world & we’ll be stuck in Oct – Halloween- until the end of time – if there is any.