The weather here has been so insane, windy as hell since October. I stopped paying attention to the cancellation of the boats in March, around the time my world began to get a lot smaller. There is nowhere to go.
In those early days, as the pandemic rippled across the country, moving left to right like words on a page, I listened to for the whistle of the 6:30 boat in the morning and the 10:00 boat at night. It was a comforting sound, a reminder that we were still connected to the world.
This place did a pretty good job of locking itself down, and now we wonder what the future will look like. It is foggy here one out of every three days, on average. Now all of us, nationwide, are enveloped by a fog, the future clouded.
Actually, in those early days, I could not shake thinking about the virus as though it was a fog. I knew otherwise, but I kept envisioning it moving across this place, and all places, as inescapable.
I was so anxious then. I felt like I had an electrical current running through me as I tried to figure out what the next move was going to be. Every night there was another update, a huge story.I wrote this essay for WCAI about this anxiety, and the looming feeling that something was on the horizon, beyond the waves.
Things have ebbed, even though the news gets worse. That is the wild thing about being human, isn’t it? How easily we adapt to the world. Things that seemed insane to us weeks ago, we have accepted.
I wrote this essay, also on WCAI,during the first couple of weeks of this new world. I was crying at every beautiful thing. Now every day feels different. I read somewhere we move through so many emotions in a day during this moment because we aren’t sure how we should be reacting. So we try on emotions and responses rapid-fire until we find one that suits us.
That can make it hard to write! Hell, it makes it hard to do anything. But I find myself dipping into fiction a little more now, editing short stories and trying to get them out there. I like to write about relationships, about weird people living in strange, sandy places. I was writing a scene in a bar and it felt so strange to remember what that was like–to sit close to people, to hold hands, to smell another person at close range.
We are all going to be different people on the other side of this. As someone who writes about memory, I wonder what it is going to feel like to remember this moment.