Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cassandra Coping

As I was driving to do some errands on Thursday (or was it Wednesday?), I thought about the nuclear war movies that used to be my favorite type of apocalypse tale.  I thought about The Day After, the scene where the Jason Robards character is in bed with his wife watching the 11:00 newscast about the East German blockade and the heightening crisis.  They talk about the Cuban missile crisis, and they agree that "people are crazy, but not that crazy."  Of course, people are that crazy, and this moment will be the last one in the movie where we see the wife.

As I drove, I wondered if I would look back on these days and marvel at our innocence.  Each day I have wondered what I would wish I had bought if I had known that the stores would close for months at a time.

Yesterday, I was on a mission to find sketchbooks.  I wrote this Facebook post:  "While others were on a quest for toilet paper, I got enough sketchbooks to last for a month or two--and I got a deal! Buy one get one free at Michaels. So I bought 2 and got 2 free. Usually I might leave some for others, but not now, not when I can't be sure I'll have access to an in-person store again in the near future. When you hear of someone hoarding sketchbooks, that would be me."

I find myself shaking my head at times as I think, wow, I'm in the beginning of a dystopian narrative, the early chapters, where we see what might be coming towards us, but it still doesn't seem real.  I have friends who have gone into total isolation, while I have others who scoff at the closures and the stockpiling.

This morning, in the midst of Internet wandering, I came up with an idea for a poem, and I've even written much of it:  how does Cassandra cope in a world where her prophecies are coming true, but her spouse still does not believe her?

Today a friend and I may go to a friend who owns a wine bar in Miami Shores.  We can't stay there and drink, but we can buy wine and yummies to support her.

Or we may not--by now, there may be restrictions on alcohol sales.

In some ways it's a normal Saturday:  we've got homemade pizza in the oven.  In a way, it's not normal.  I'm going to watch the movie Contagion, but I'm going to watch it early, in case it makes me too scared to fall asleep.

I also need to do some strategizing for the week to come.  This virus crisis is not going to be over in a few weeks.  I need to get into some patterns that can sustain me through this.

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