God knows…, I’m a fucking ray of sunshine. Seriously, I have a pretty good attitude for someone like me. I have controlled my temper, for the most part. I have tried to be forgiving which is really pretty easy when you no longer give a shit about the people who angered you. Then it happened, fucking COVID.
I don’t really take time off from work. A day here and there, but for the most part, I go to work every day.
I am a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist. I love my job. It is physical, quiet and people are usually happy to see me. I have been in this career for almost 20 years. When my daughter was born, I took six weeks off. I went back to work and was thrilled to do so. I needed the money. I always need the money. I give you some highlights of my resume because this is the longest I have been without work since the summer of 8th grade when I had mono. I’m not even kidding. When I was over mono, I began babysitting, and had steady gigs. Until now. This weird time. This bizarre time when I don’t know what day of the week it is and I don’t have purpose.
The three of us that run Albany Poets wanted to do something. I thought of a video project featuring local authors. I begged and answered technical questions and tried really hard to keep the community connected. The best part of this besides the videos was talking to people that I haven’t communicated with in years. People that I was once mean to and were mean to me. I said fuck it and took a chance to ask for poetry and videos. I was so happy that everyone I asked said yes and that I got to apologize for what a shit I have been over the years. Poetry was so competitive in the beginning and competition brings out the absolute beast in me. To my surprise and delight, most people were very forgiving and kind. Some were happy to hear from me. Some were just happy to contribute to a project. It gave me purpose. I hope it helped those who contributed and watched. I also want to give props to all those local hosts of open mics that have braved the technology and are carrying on. The video project is ongoing. Check The AP website for details.
I haven’t been alone in all of this. I’ve had NETFLIX. Also, my girl has been with me for most of it. Then as always, there are my soulmates Capri and MSjr. Capri and I have talked, texted and snapchatted our way through the plague. We have crushes on the governor. We try to guess what kind of cologne he wears, what he had for lunch and if he likes fat broads. I am the one wondering that. Capri is not weight-challenged. My sister and I have been cooking “together” and binge-watching the same shows. We have all complained about our weight gain. We had a really fun zoom happy hour. I have sent many messages to the other two most important people in my life. My hairstylist and my eyelash lady. I am no different than all the other “Karens” out there. I look like I got hit by a truck and I need to talk to the manager.
I have found that the most comforting thing about all of this is that we are all in the same boat. That is not to diminish anyone’s suffering or make comparisons but that we are collectively scared. We are forced to reach out. We are forced to ask for help. That has been so hard. Personally, I almost never ask for help. In the last five years that’s all I have done, ask for help. Now I have had to rely on the government to help me. I have never applied for unemployment. That was a scary adventure. I am thankful to all of my friends that have helped me through the paperwork process. I am especially grateful to one of my work besties, Roons. Roons is about 15 years younger than me and can translate any kind of confusion I am experiencing into small words. I like small words, especially when filling out forms.
If I seem, all over the place, it is because I am. I am like the weather, fucked up. I am anxious, nervous, happy, sad, hungry, bloated, overstuffed, tired, wide awake, pissed, dirty, clean, hairy, gray, and over COVID. For what it is worth, I am here if you need me.