Joe’s red truck is parked behind his house. It hasn’t moved in days.
Joe gets in his red truck every morning and drives around. He’s a member of every fraternal organization, a regular at the brewpub, and has friends in every corner of town. Joe picks up a coffee and spends most mornings greeting people out the window of his red pickup. But Joe hasn’t been feeling well and his truck has been parked behind his house. He’s been sick and there’s nowhere to go. Normally, I would be worried about Joe. But worries these days, like toilet paper and fresh produce, are spread a little thin.
Worry is in the air.
Charles and Joanna live across the street. They are both elderly and live alone. Joanna’s health is not good. Because I have a bird’s eye view of their house, I know their habits well. Charles fires up his SUV every morning to make the trip to the senior center to pick up his free newspaper, stop at the bank for his free coffee, then head to Starbucks to get free cream to put in his free coffee. He then comes home with his coffee and newspaper. But not now.
“There’s nowhere to go!” Charles tells me, as if I might not have noticed. “Everything has shut down except the grocery store!”
I tell him I know. I confirm that these are strange times. Charles looks amazed and a little annoyed. But he also looks worried. I just saw Charles leave in his SUV. He has nowhere to go but he’s still driving around, trying to behave as if the world hasn’t changed.
I’m reading a lot about people bingeing on Netflix and Cheetos and being bored and spending quality time in bed and I’m sure there are folks doing this. But, so far, they aren’t the ones I’ve talked to. The ones I know personally are a lot more like Charles. They are perplexed and worried and trying to stay busy.
I’ve got a friend who makes beautiful designer bags. She is now using her luxury fabrics to make face masks. “I’ve made more than 500!” she told me.
“That’s a lot of masks!” I said. “If I needed a mask, I would want one of yours!”
“Aww! Thank you.” It doesn’t strike either of us as odd that I am complimenting her on stylish respirator masks.
Another friend, a retired librarian, is a quilter. She is also making masks out of expensive fabric. “I hope we don’t need them all!” she says, looking over her pile of wired mask faces, sorted by color. “If we don’t, maybe we can use the matching ones to make bikini cups in the spring!”
The idea of unneeded respirator masks being transformed into bikini tops is one of the happiest thoughts I’ve had all week.
In Japan, I hear they are cutting apart bras to make masks. I saw a YouTube video on this and I think the success would depend a lot on a person’s cup size, but more power to them, that’s what I say. They are keeping busy and I think that’s the best most of us can do right now.
The news evolves so quickly. The expectations change overnight. I feel as if I am driving in a fog, unable to see past my dim headlights, no idea when there will be a sharp turn in the road.
My husband, Peter, met Joe outside and says he’s feeling better. I’m glad. But I’m still worried. And Joe’s red truck is still parked out back.
Till next time,
Carrie Carrie Classon’s memoir is called, “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.