Pandemic journal: Day 27

Thursday, April 9, 8:35 AM

Day 27 of voluntary social distancing, Day 24 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 21 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: pleasure 

I was supposed to be in NYC with KK today, for a reunion trip we of course had to cancel. 

Yesterday morning, while I was writing with HB and AS, A greeted me by asking me to turn so she could admire my newly shaved sides. It was very pleasing, being told someone wanted to look at me, being looked at, in these days when our three-dimensionality is reduced to flat, indistinct, inches-wide rectangles on a screen — when we literally see little of each other. 

Asian woman with short hair and shaved sides, black glasses, taupe sweatshirt

In the afternoon, after being on the iPad for way too long, ignoring Owl, sad over X, feeling lethargic and unmotivated, I finally roused myself and said let’s just do 3 things offline and set a 30-min timer to make it happen. I ended up cleaning Owl’s potty, scrubbing the bathtub, scrubbing the stove, and rearranging our food-storage containers. Not terribly fulfilling, but it did give me something concrete to do, and kept me warm, and it’s very satisfying now to see the clean surfaces. 

I felt better later. I procrastinated all afternoon on taking Owl out to get the CSF — AGB and I had a convo about knowing it’s helpful to leave the house but still feeling tense and nervous about it, and in my case I wasn’t sure how people would respond to my Asiannness, or lack of mask — until finally E got off work and I was able to go out by myself. I took the walk pretty briskly, because I didn’t have the stroller, but also because I was anxious. I felt nervous about slipstream from the runners I saw out on the sidewalks. Lots more people were wearing face coverings and lots more people were either stepping off curbs or thanking me for doing so. It felt very, very weird to be out, but also good to use my muscles and breathe the (I hope non-infectious) air and talk to J while moving about. J gave me a rousing pep talk about my angst over X, telling me she’s never found me intrusive, and even if I were, this is not the time to hold back from people we care about. She also delivered an equally-needed pep talk about my new role as preschool board president. It means a lot to have a friend who’s known me so long and so well, and who’s seen me in so many different situations with so many kinds of people. 

In the evening I went to dance class, which felt lower-energy than usual, because of my back. But I am so grateful for this practice. I even recorded a video of myself dancing, and it was interesting to see the difference in the way I move after I’ve already warmed up, versus my usual first-thing-in-the-AM videos. 

At the preschool general meeting there wasn’t much discussion but there was a lot of feeling; teachers cried, and I think some parents did too. I guess everyone is missing our community a lot and just dealing with it in their own way. 

I’m amazed that I really got through this notebook this fast. At this rate I might have to dip into the unruled sketchbooks after I fill up the ruled ones! 

Owl is on preschool circle time, so I might as well keep writing…

… aaaand they just smeared orange juice all over my laptop, fortunately not on the keys. 

Sending loving thoughts to dancers.