Calvin is good. He's sleeping well, eating well, is mostly sane. He's had zero seizures for almost a week. Still, he's a handful, even when he's at his best.
These long, monotonous days of the pandemic have become even longer now that Michael is back to teaching (in addition to making photos, producing a book, coordinating its publishing, writing an essay for it, interviewing art department candidates, writing referrals and evaluations and pitches, advising students, attending a myriad of zoom meetings, and other niggling responsibilities that he keeps to himself so as not to burden me.) Though I am grateful to have such a supportive husband who is gainfully employed, handles the finances, does all of the grocery shopping during the pandemic, all of the cooking—always—and much if not most of the laundry, it's not that easy to spend eight to nine-plus hours on most days alone with a boy who can do nothing by himself. By the end of the day I'm sometimes a bit fatigued or frazzled. (Thank goodness I'm unemployed!) In a more general sense, I'm feeling the need to see other human beings. I wonder if Calvin shares my sentiments about this extended pandemic sequester, this lack of seeing others, if only viscerally.
On today's drive, again I saw no one—no runner(s), no dogs walking their owners, no salty old men peddling their bicycles—only the ghost of strangers sitting behind the glare of their windshields. In search of other sustenance, and with nothing else to do in the cold, damp, icy outdoors, I drove further south than usual on roads I rarely travel along. My companions were my kid and dog, plus The Police, some Cars, some Beatles, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Carole King, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Neil Young and Sharon Van Etten.
Instead of familiar faces, I saw birds, a couple of live red squirrels and some dead grey ones, at least one chipmunk and a few cows. When I stepped out of the car to take pictures I heard cardinals, finches and perhaps one robin. I watched a steer crane his neck to scratch his side with the tip of his horn. I saw color emerging from a bland, white landscape, smoke drifting from chimneys, mist rising from the earth and water.
While I'm grateful for these beautiful vistas, ones which I'm unsure if Calvin regards but are now more than ever essential to me, they are no replacement for seeing people. So, if you find yourself with an extra moment and feel like visiting—outside, in the driveway, masked up and/or safely distant—don't be shy. I'd love to see you.