I got up and looked outside and there were multiple Amazon Prime vans in our driveway at the same time like they were having a conference. I took the package inside and thanked the driver and washed my hands. It was winter’s last gasp with wet snow in the lowlands and more expected in the mountain passes. I burned the last of the wood and reheated the gumbo. I’d made fun of my uncle who started a group family text while Dawn and I were out on Valentine’s Day, a Friday, and the messages kept coming in while we were at the restaurant. It felt panicky and reactionary and I didn’t take it seriously and now I’m washing my hands and stocking up and burrowing in, thinking my uncle is a prophet or I’m a dunce, or both. We have lots of soap in the garage now and Gatorade. Might get a casket-style freezer. The wealthy have this to think about. Belly-aching over hard moments with poetry on my walks to the lake with my Yeti mug and Starbucks, wondering if I should postpone my six-month dental cleaning. The privilege to hold my life up and consider its worth the way you might a prospect or investment. Texting friends pictures of our dogs and fireplaces and beers. And now, a six-hour playlist on Spotify by a British post-punk band, The Fall. Quarantine, the new normal.
The new normal
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