It's been over a week now since we began the stay in place thing. John has made a few runs to the grocery and feed store for for essentials -- all of which he was able to find. My weekly class in online now and going pretty well; a workshop I was scheduled for this weekend is cancelled; and John C. Campbell, where I am scheduled to teach in late May is closed for the foreseeable future.
I haven't had Josie since last Wednesday -- I know some of you all are missing pictures of our girl but she's had a cold and her daddy is keeping her home. He's been rained out of work anyway. I did bake some cranberry muffins and take them down down.
I've been busy though. Finished yet another read through of CROWS-- this time in the advance reading copy. I found thirteen small goofs and one rather major one. Folks at Regal
House are proofreading too. I hope we catch them all.
And I edited the forty pages for my class and am in the midst of editing a novel for an ex-student. Fortunately, it's a good story and I like editing. And this is paying work which is good since the money I might have made teaching those workshops is in doubt.
I feel a little guilty at how normal -- baking, bird-watching, reading--my life is just now--except for that constant hum of existential fear in the background--worry about friends and family, and the fear that, encouraged by the Orange Disaster, people will cease the social distancing and our hospitals and health care, already on shaky grounds, will be overwhelmed.
But, hey, I'm old and expendable, and maybe a little bitter on learning that Some People are willing to accept a die-off among the elderly if it will boost the economy.
May those Some People (and not the rest of us) reap what they sow.
Only pandemics don't work that way. Like the rain, the virus will attack the just and the unjust alike. But
So many folks are sharing mini concerts etc. to help pass the time during social distancing, I thought I'd share a short short story . . . it was on my blog years ago but here it is again,
"Oh, come on
with me, Travis, honey. It'll be fun and maybe we'll get to be on TV."
over and trailed a suggestive hand down his chest. "Travis, honey, pleease
. . . . I'll say thank you real good when we get home . . . You know . .
Travis considered, watching the
throng of people pouring into the Civic Center. The big sign on the marquee
said "Antiques Road Show ~ Last Day!"
He sighed deeply. If he just stayed
in the pickup in the parking lot, she wouldn't say nothing but like as not
she'd cut him off for a week or more.
"Okay, I'll do 'er but it's a
waste of time. I'll tell you now, Sugar, that stupid doll ain't gone be worth
more than a couple of bucks. Fact."
That got Loreen riled. He had
to hold back from laughing as she swole up all huffy and snapped out, "You
think you know so much. You wanna make a bet?"
She didn't even wait for him to
answer but plowed right ahead, the words just sputtering.
"How about this? If my doll's
not worth more than fifty dollars, then I'll buy you that big screen TV you
been carrying on about -- right out of my own savings. And I'll go you one
better, Mr. Smart Ass; if she's worth more
than fifty, I'll still buy you that TV. . . But, for every
dollar over fifty that they say she's worth, that's one whole day that I get
to pick what we watch."
"Deal," Travis said,
grinning to himself. He'd been dreading the fight it was going to take to get
that TV he wanted so bad. And here it was, falling into his lap. Looked
like this was his lucky day after all.
They climbed out
of the pickup, Loreen carrying the big bag with her special treasure -- the
Barbie Doll in its original box.
As they made their way to the entrance of the Civic Center, Travis stopped.
"You go on ahead, babe; I gotta have a smoke first" and he headed
over to the side where there was a convenient wall to lean on.
Pulling out a
Marlboro -- Loreen was after him to switch to those cheap generic cigarettes
but she could kiss his ass -- he put it to his lips and clicked his Bic.
Piece of crap. Probably been through
the wash one too many times. Travis slapped his pockets but it wasn't no good
Then he saw it. Proof that he was
still a lucky son of a bitch. Right there on the wall beside him was a box of
matches. Hotel Something or other -- weird looking black-tipped matches but the
first one fired right up and he sucked in the smoke greedily.
Five minutes later he was in the
crowded hallway trying to figure out where Loreen might have gone. The place
was like an anthill some kid had kicked -- people swarming every
whichaway, each one carrying some kind of treasure.
"Through that door and to the
right." It was a geeky-looking guy standing next to him with a couple of
big scrapbook-looking things in his arms.
"That's where the philumeny
experts are," the geek explained. "I couldn't help noticing your
matchbox . . ."
He nodded toward Travis's hand which
still held his lucky find. "I collect covers myself, but sometimes those
foreign matchboxes bring amazing prices. Good luck with it!"
Luck . . . well, what the hell,
thought Travis and went through the door and to the right.
It was another geeky guy he finally
talked to and he was sorry that Loreen wasn't around because while he was in
line, the TV cameras had started rolling.
Just like he'd seen watching the show
at home, there was lots of fancy talk -- how long had he had the matchbox (he
said a friend had given it to him,) any idea of its worth (he could be honest
here and say none at all.)
"Well," said Geek number
2, setting the matchbox on a black cloth and looking at it like it was
some kind of big ass diamond, "it's a very special matchbox, even
though it's not an antique. But the Trans-Canada Swapfest is coming up in May
and there are several collectors who would be very interested in a Hotel
Forum ~ Bratislava."
The Geek, who was wearing white
gloves, for crissakes, very gently pulled open the box of matches and
delicately spilled them onto the cloth. His finger quivered above the matches
and his lips moved.
The Geek sighed. "Unfortunately,
collectors demand a complete box. If all thirty matches had been
here, I believe that, at auction, the box could have fetched two to three
thousand dollars. As it is, however . . ." he shrugged. "Worthless
. . . just not your lucky day, I'm afraid."
Above the sound of many voices,
Travis could hear Loreen's shriek of delight all the way across the vast
"Five thousand dollars! For my
Five thousand. Minus fifty and
that made four thousand, nine hundred and fifty days when she held the remote
-- four thousand, nine hundred and fifty days of movies about women talking
about their problems and handsome vampires talking about theirs. It meant hot
and cold running Oprah and Martha . . . shows about fixing up a house and shows
about kids and more shows about women, talking about their problems . . .
"Sir? Sir? . . . are you all
The floor rose to meet him and the
babble of voices grew farther and farther away. All the light in the room
seemed to gather into a ball of fire which flared up briefly then diminished to
a single pinprick which pulsed . . . and fluttered . . . and went out . . .