Meet Summer. She’d say “hi,” but she’s passed out right now. She’s just come back from yet another walk. She’s never walked so much in her life.
Now she doesn’t go on these walks alone, of course. I’m the one usually holding the handle of the leash, looking like one-armed waterskier: upper appendage straight out in front of me, bobbing up and down while trying to hold back sixty-one pounds of squirrel-chasing thrust.
You know how they talk about creating a “new normal” during COVID-19? Well my right shoulder has already filed a grievance with the union boss over working conditions. If only that was the only thing wrong with me… physically or otherwise.
When I wake up, sometimes I ask myself, “Do I really need to shower today?”
And I legit couldn’t tell you the last time I wore pants that didn’t have a drawstring.
We run the dishwasher twice as much and cut our laundry needs in half. I’ve literally walked more miles in the last ten days than I’ve driven. I can tell you which times of day SVU and Criminal Intent overlap… which is a travesty. I taught Alexa to play Sirius XM. I’ve written more blogs since March 21st than I have in the two years prior. I’ve gained back 20% of the weight I’d lost during our Fat Butt Challenge which ended on February 29th.
I may or may not pour not-coffee into my 7pm walking thermos. I used to put a lid on it to hide my indiscretion from the neighbors. I haven’t had to wash a lid in a while… primarily because I’ve just stopped caring.
I get to see my wife every time I come up the stairs from working. She’s camped out in our dining room, and most of the time, she’s engrossed in her own work that she doesn’t even notice me staring. Probably safer that way.
I get to hang out with my boys whenever I like… and whenever I might not like… but like outnumbers not-like by at least 3:1.
And lately, amid the paper towel hoarders and folks who can’t stop complaining about… anything… I have absolutely seen the better angels of mankind come to the forefront like I haven’t seen in years… from all walks of life and all stripes of people.
It’s a strange, strange time to be alive right now, and none of it seems real in any tangible way. All we can do is hold on to the last vestiges of what was normal… and then create a temporary new normal.
So after dinner, I’ll grab my cup of… coffee… before I get my shoulder a little bit more ripped out of its socket as I walk our lunatic (who’s again sleeping as I type this… one eye open — she needs to build up her strength for tonight).
I’ll wave to the other dog walkers, I’ll come home, we’ll settle in, Steph and I will watch another episode of Ozark, and then we’ll spend a half-hour trying to dissect what the %#@! we just watched.
And then we’ll make tea… bribe the dog into her bed… pray with the boys… and fall asleep to the news.
And then tomorrow, we’ll do it all again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Though not necessarily literally. It all depends on if I have to see a non-family human.
PS: Summer just woke up… jumped off the couch… went to the bottom of our stairs… and passed out again. Ridiculous.