I long to be outdoors, though it is cold and rainy. I made it as far as the stoop.
And now I empathize with the friend who told me, “I’m an indoors person, so lockdown makes no difference.”
Indoors? We’re all indoors now. But she confessed for the first time to being an indoors person the day I knocked at her door at 6 a.m. We’d planned to take a bike ride in the country. With great difficulty, I coaxed her out of her apartment. On the way to the lake, we stopped at a tiny country church. No idea what denomination, but I was enthralled by the service.
Less enthralled, she refused to ride on until she’d smoked a cigarette in the graveyard. “Because I’m an indoors person and I’m outdoors.”
Oddly, standing on the stoop under the awning today, I wanted to smoke a cigarette. Perhaps I saw too many photos of Karl Ove Knausgaard smoking when I was reading My Struggle last week.
Everything is boring on a rainy day when there’s nowhere to go except the convenience store. So here are some things I’ve tried. And I’m sure you’ve tried them, too. What next?
Want to watch a cabin fever video? This strange video was filmed by a woman who was confronted by the London police for sitting on a park bench. They said she had to exercise if she were outdoors, and she said she was mentally exercising. Now that’s cabin fever.
Want to go to the movies? Sure, sit down in your living room and watch one. Why is it not the same? We have treats (one chocolate egg each), and we enjoyed the comic film we picked, Local Hero. But the whole event, such as it was, seemed drab. It’s rainy! We want to go someplace besides Target!
How about TV? I’ve watched everything, including the excellent new season of Ozark, the bookstore comedy, Black Books, and the Modern Family finale… and now there’s nothing left.
Sew a mask? I broke down and ordered one on Etsy. But if it becomes the fashion, I’ll host a sewing bee. And not virtual… it will have to be a circle of two, maybe three. And somebody has to know how to sew.
Knit blankets for the Animal Shelter? My own knitting is erratic, so I love the animal blankets you get when you adopt a pet. I use an especially pretty one as a doily. Surely a little pet blanket would be easier to knit than the tea cozy I once made.
Write a dystopian coronavirus novel? Dystopian novels are banned at my house, because they seem too real nowadays. But it will keep you busy if you’re imagining the worst. Just open a notebook and write.
Bake bread? I used to picture myself as an Earth mother. Alas, I don’t bake bread or read the Whole Earth Catalogue. But last week I made chocolate chip cookies, which anyone can make. And then you dole them out over the week–just don’t weigh yourself ever again..
Paint? We painted two walls of the bedroom and then took a break. Ladders, tarps, paint, rollers… fun, fun, fun. It’s time to finish walls 3 and 4.
Board games? I wish we could go to Barnes and Noble and buy a new game. Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue: they’re exhausting. We could memorize our dictionary, I guess, and improve our Scrabble.
Transcendental meditation? Kurt Vonnegut thought it a harmless sop for the middle class, though his wife and daughter loved it, and he admitted they were serene. What’s the harm? Maybe it’s time for me to sit cross-legged and say a mantra. I can make up my own mantra, as can any blogger or writer.
Hope you’re feeling well. AND HOW ARE YOU PASSING THE TIME?