It feels like swallowing a hurricane of razor edges. Every single day.
Our Covid numbers keep rising and people keep dying and I am imprisoned in my house by the selfish choices of strangers.
Excuse me for saying so, but our personal “rights” end when those “rights” put other people in jeopardy.
We do not have the right to drink and drive. We do not have the right to stand and dance in the middle of a freeway. We have to wear a shirt and shoes to get into most stores. We can’t scream fire in a crowded theater. (But we shouldn’t be in crowded theaters these days anyway. ) Certain vaccines are compulsory. I couldn’t get into Uganda without a Yellow Fever shot. We can’t pursue our liberty and happiness at the expense of other people’s lives.
I thought one day I might write a dystopian novel. I just didn’t think I’d have to live it, and then write it as a memoir.
Welcome to the pandemic purgatory that is Florida where our leaders protect their own political futures at the cost of the lives of their people.
I truly don’t want to move. I don’t want to leave behind my dear friends. Or the graves of my parents. But neither do I want to join them 6 feet under prematurely.
I don’t want to uproot and start all over. Even the thought is exhausting. I don’t want to become displaced just so I can keep breathing. But those choices may be made for me.
Because neither I can tolerate an unending reality confined to my home so stressed I could spit nails. I refuse to accept that as my future.
I’m giving it 24 months, 730 days. I think I can stare at these walls that long without losing what’s left of my mind. I hope.
These days will be filled with relentless purging and saving every penny I can… while working my butt off to build enough steady, sustainable income that will allow me to move to a place probably 2-3x as expensive out of state.
Unless by some mercy the situation improves here. But given the entrenched lies and political power plays, I doubt it will for at least the next decade.
That will be my focus. That will be my escape plan. That will be my survival strategy. Anger and fear and loathing and frustration can become its fuel.
And I’ll be writing about the journey through this dystopian hell for the next 2 years as a practice to gather the remaining threads of my sanity. I mean that’s what writers do. We process by splatting our pain on a page so that it might remind you that you aren’t alone in yours.
Not for a second. No matter how isolated and frustrated you feel.
I will be unapologetically outspoken. I will talk about uncomfortable topics. I will tell you exactly what I think of the monster of Christian nationalism and cultural evangelicism. I may use adult adjectives with great degrees of intention. It will be raw and messy and you can choose to walk away at any time.
I’m done mincing words or dancing around sensibilities or trying to be nice. D-O-N-E. Our self-centered independence is weaponizing what would already be a bad situation and turning it into a horror movie.
I’ll be writing from this hell in which my 2 shots gave me no antibodies. My doctor said the shots didn’t work on me. So if I get Delta or a worse variant, I’ll very likely die. (And if you email me with trite platitudes about faith and death, I will reply with the full force of my honesty).
Last week’s non-Covid sinus infection gave me walking pneumonia, so…
Welcome to month 20 of my 2020. Hopefully, I’ll one day find life again outside my walls. But regardless, perhaps these words can make a difference anyway.
Here’s to… day 1 of 730 in the diary of a public health refugee.