Do you ever feel that if you step outside of your house you’re going to die?
We had to go to the Post Office yesterday–having been delaying it for a week–and it was as if we were risking our lives, going into battle, crossing a mine-laden field, wading through a muddy pit of alligators.
You get the picture.
Banjo Man wore a mask, gloves and goggles. He practiced “social distancing”, the good ol’ SD we have come to know so well. He said it went well.
I waited in the car. We wiped everything down with our travelling Clorox wipes when he returned. Radioactive, you know. Or something.
Another brush with certain death was the bank’s drive up window. Who knows how many infected hands have touched the tube that zooms back and forth to the teller? Oh, how we wiped it all afterwards! I cleaned my reading glasses, my sunglasses, my pen, my hands, the keys, the window switches, the steering wheel and the gear shift.
I’d spent most of the day making face masks for the Texas kids. It had been a long and frustrating process. How many YouTube videos on mask-making can you watch without foaming at the mouth and falling off your chair?
Given the stress of mask-making, I skipped listening to all news reports and the constant stream of press conferences on the news channels. I absolutely could not hear one more devastating statistic or catastrophe-predicting “model”. Between John Prine and Andrea Bocelli, I kept myself from worrying about the world as much as I could.
I made six–complete with a pocket in which to put a filter of some kind (coffee filter, paper towel)– only to realize that because I hadn’t stocked up on cording (really, who knew there would be no cording and no elastic available to buy?) the masks’ “easy on” advantage was compromised. To my disappointment, it didn’t work with ties made from one of Banjo Man’s t-shirts.
So I had to go to Plan B and start sewing pleats in them instead, then stitching the ties on four corners. I sent three different designs to Son #2 Will, who is right in the middle of a growing hot spot in Austin. His work hours have been cut significantly, but although he is very tired of his own cooking–which leans heavily towards chili and eggs–he is doing fine and being very, very careful. But he definitely needs masks. Which was the main reason we went to the Post Office in the first place.
The other three masks will go to Ben, Amber and the Funny Grandson (doing well and practicing strict isolation, along with online learning) just as soon as I can gear up to (a) finish them and (b) go to the Post Office again.
As our sanitized selves were driving away from the bank and back to isolation, I told Banjo Man that I was going to support the local economy and ORDER TAKE OUT. He could join me or not, but I absolutely could not eat another bowl of squash soup (I don’t know how much squash soup I froze in 2019 but it must have been gallons).
I informed him that I was ordering a burger and fries. Yes, FRIES. This former speakeasy in the woods a few miles north of our house has the very best french fries in the state.
Banjo Man shuddered. “I don’t want any fries.”
“Do what you want,” I said, in a less than loving tone, I admit. “But I’m calling in an order. They have curbside pick up. I don’t even have to wear a mask.”
A couple of hours later we were on our way to the Rathskeller. We’d ordered two fancy burgers, fries, a beet-and-goat-cheese salad and chowder. Sure enough, a table had been set up at the edge of a sadly empty parking lot for pick ups. Right at 6 PM a guy ran out, called my name, and dropped the bag on the table before running a safe distance away. I hopped out of the car and thanked him, left a tip on the table under a rock and we hurried home.
It was so easy. Not like wading through a pit of alligators at all.
And the car smelled so darn good.
Once home I removed all the food from its containers, tossed the containers in the trash, washed my hands and wiped down the counter. Just in case.
We turned on THE WIRE (season 3) and oh-so-cheerfully settled ourselves in front of the television.
And of course Banjo Man ate his share of the fries.