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  • BethBlack

The Dean of Quarantine

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

So, here I sit at my computer. It could feel like business as usual. This is where I've sat for the past year, every day, composing ebooks, marketing materials, articles, email blasts and more for my clients. And before that, I wrote at my prior location. So...staying put inside, thinking, typing, reading ... can seem pretty normal.

But this isn't that.

The differences between a "normal" writer's routine and what's going on now are fierce and multiplying. For one, my life-partner Brian is underfoot. He's growing more bored each day, and frankly, it's only been three days. He already reorganized the food cupboard, the garage workbench and all our cooking pots. I really want him out of the kitchen, but he slinks in there the minute I retreat to my little office. Like some 006 almost-super spy, he slips unnoticed into the lair of the evil canned-peaches villain and wreaks havoc on my startled saucepans. I know he's doing his best to remain useful. Instead of rushing out the door to his job, Lions meetings or magic shows, he's stuck, sheltering in place with me. While we're not old enough to self-quarantine on account of age, he's a diabetic and I have asthma. And ... here we are.

Story of the day: Brian found an old package of crackers at the very bottom of the food cabinet. A corner so deep and low that you'd need spelunking gear to manage the descent. Still, he found these crackers and eagerly popped one into his mouth. Then came the gagging and the jog around the kitchen in circles before making a spirited exit. "Those taste AWFUL!" he shouted from the bathroom. So, I checked the expiration date on the package. August, 2007. Gee, is THAT where they went. I'd always wondered. I told Brian he could continue reorganizing at his own peril. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I may toss in additional notes on our experiences trying to outwit each other, and er, the virus. I like to call myself a fighter writer, and no bug is going to get the better of us. We've got canned goods to last, unless Brian starts opening them out of boredom. I think I'm going to have to assign him a task. Like coordinating people who 3D-print parts for respirators. Can he do it? Maybe if I promise to go online and order him some fresh crackers as a reward.


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