Mask Up

Sharing a story. Yeah, anecdotal, about a bus driver, a coughing passenger, and a COVID-19 death. The bus driver is the death in this tale. He was fifty years old.

Wear masks, people. Wear masks. They can save you. I was out yesterday, had to make a supply run. While I was masked and gloved and practiced social distancing. We’d ordered online, and the purchases were delivered to the car’s trunk. While sitting there, I watched the scene. First, I was dismayed by how many were out, looking as if it’s business as usual. Social distancing? What’s that? Counted twenty-seven people as I sat there, awaiting my delivery. Counted five with masks. One with gloves and masks.

When a twentyish employee brought the order out, she wasn’t wearing a mask or gloves. Her arms were bare. I cringed with speculation about her condition.

Oregon — my state (yes, I bought it a number of years ago, so it’s my state — still have the warranty) has over eight hundred cases. Jackson County, where my experience took place, has almost thirty.

First case in Oregon was announced Feb. 29. My wife and I took measures after the possibility of the first case emerged in our area, March 14. Since then, more evidence of the value of masks has emerged as data has rolled in, showing how poorly people are responding to social distancing. My county got a C. I could see why when I was on my supply run yesterday.

Lot of folks were out. Not as heavy as a normal day, no. But less people would’ve been out if Oregon U. were playing a football game.

Yes, I know, some are essential. Thank you to all of them. To the rest, think about why you’re out. Sometimes, we have a need. But if you’re out, take precautions, for your sake, my sake, all of our sake.

The groceries are in the car’s trunk (boot, if you need a translation). There’s nothing perishable. They’ll stay in the trunk for three days. After that, I’ll fetch and clean them, and clean the car. We bought them for the long term, deciding to stock up now rather than waiting for when there are more cases in our area.

Changed clothes in the garage when I returned home, too. Yeah, given all the vectors possible for transmitting something to us (my wife and me), we’ll probably contract it, if we haven’t already. We’re trying to buy time for the world to come up with the resources and vaccines to combat this thing. We’re also trying to keep from spreading the thing.

Hope you’re all doing well at there. Take care. Wear masks. That is all.

A Randy Dream

First, my buddy was there, Randy. Randy died years ago, colon cancer, just before his sixtieth birthday. He was two months older than me.

Suddenly, in my dream, he was still the hale and hardy southern boy I’d always known, a man without an ounce of remorse, but charming and polite, a rogue right out of a Faulkner novel. He was always an entertaining and generous man.

So he was in my dream, coming along as he did, naked, as he was, which was startling. Part of my conscious mind intruded, hollering, “Time out! Why is Randy, who is dead, naked in my dream?” Dream me just ordered, “Go with it, dude.”

Still, it was non-plussing to be visiting Randy at his house. Naked, he was talking and entertaining me, talkin’ about sports and music, while providing beer and hot wings.

Okay.

Sometime during the dream flow, the house spun, or I left, or Randy left. Maybe it’s just a dream gap. However and whenever, I was now out in a woods, on a hill, by a cave. I’d been walking and was sweating, so I stopped to drink some water.

I’d noticed the cave. Weeds and brambles were growing around the entrance. The entrance’s squared-off appearance made me wonder what was within, and enticed me to explore. Searching for what might be within the cave — is it a cave or an old mine? What makes me think it’s an old mine? — I entertained entering it but hesitated. One, it looked dark. Two, I didn’t have a light. Three, there might be animals within in. Four, it might collapse.

But it looked sturdy, tall, and wide. The entrance seemed to be reinforced with cut granite. Beginning to think that it was part of a train tunnel, or for cars, I looked for railroad tracks, a road, or some vestiges that could be evidence of its previous use.

While this is all happening, I’m suddenly aware a man is there. White guy, not particularly old in appearance, but still with a balding gray head and a tidy gray goatee. I thought he was was wearing a toga but then he seemed to be in a suit but without a tie. I think he was barefoot. I also wondered if he’d come out of the tunnel, but he was behind me, so I thought, no, that can’t be right. Was he there before?

I then saw a pile of railroad ties to one side, prompting, aha, this probably was built as a train tunnel. Thinking that encouraged me to want to explore the tunnel because a tunnel is safer than a cave, was the reasoning, partly because it’ll be open on the other end and lead somewhere.

The man and I hadn’t addressed one another. In fact, I had the impression that he didn’t want to be disturbed. Just something about his demeanor.

Now, though, he was approaching me. I turned polite, expectant attention his way. He was holding a gray mortar and pestle. As I took him in with some wariness, I had the impression that he was offering that to me.

Which he was. “Here, this is for you.”

“What is it?” It looked like off-white shavings. I was suspicious.

“Medicine.”

“Medicine for what?”

“For everything. It’ll cure everything. Take as much as you want.”

“Okay, don’t mind if I do.” I reached in and took with my fingertips, then pushed it into my mouth.

Randy showed up and said, “I’ll take some of that.” He then helped himself as the man shrugged and said, “Help yourself, there’s plenty here.”

The dream ended.

Floofhalla

Floofhalla (floofinition) – The great hall where pets are honored and cared for after they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge.

In use: “Ozzy and Flash sat close to one another in Floofhalla (not too close, as Flash had this thing about other animals being in her presence, and she still carried that trait beyond the rainbow bridge), watching over their people and remembering their times with them before, and planning the times they’d have again.”

Word

The word is given

we gotta go

through that door

either quick or slow

We think we know what’s up

think we know it’s time

though we’ve been wrong before

we keep swallowing the same lines

so on we go, on our way

not understanding

it’s the same game

by another name

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

A flashback morning took place. Had an early morning appointment down the highway. I avoid early mornings and appointments. I don’t mind getting up as long as I can leisurely sip coffee, read, goof-off, and dress. If you force me into the shower and clothes early, I’m a recalcitrant beast.

Did that for years. Military periods in command posts in the winter meant I’d go into the building before dark and come back out after dark, a day without sunshine. Marketing years meant hitting the road for early flights, slumbering and working on planes, and then into a rental car to hunt my way around the city. Meanwhile, there was always The Commute, the buzz along highways filled with like buzzing drones, racing to our work hives like frantic little bees.

So being in the car on the road before sunrise (which isn’t that early, between the time shift and time of year) (so, setting the stage with more specific info, this was 7:30 AM), zipping through rain and lumbering along with other traffic (what the hell is going on up there? Why aren’t we moving?) made it seem like old times.

Radio selection helped turn it into a jumpback in time. When “Roam” by the B52s hit the air, I cranked it up and motored like it was 1989. ‘Course, it also reminded me of Ricky Wilson’s passing (1985, 32 years old), kicking in reflections about what age is considered acceptable to die? I concluded, we’re all going to die, but that doesn’t make it okay, at any age, for any reason.

Yeah, tilting against death, nature, etc., It’s a quixotic mission.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: