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Showing posts from April, 2021

Wearing My First Mask

This post isn't really about wearing my first mask. It's about why masks are so irrelevant.  * * * I began exchanging letters about two years ago with a young woman in jail. She is my age: twenty-four. All this time she has been awaiting trial for murder. Due to COVID, she hasn't been allowed to see her family (including her young son) in nearly a year. Even before that, though, she wasn't allowed to touch or hug them. Her mother contacted me last month. "Her sentencing is beginning of April." I'd heard Biden had mandated masks in federal buildings, no exceptions. "I don't think I'll be able to come."  What am I basing right and wrong on? I wondered. On whether or not a mask was to be required?  I laughed at myself. Here I was submitting to all sorts of other outrageous violations: TSA and paying car insurance, among many others. And yet I couldn't wear a mask to be there for a friend who really needed support and comfort?  Scripture

"Our God, Teach Us To Smile"

 I know we anti-maskers are supposed to flaunt toothy grins. But when I shop, I just want to get out and not invite any extra attention.  If I see an employee coming toward me my glare automatically sets in. "Don't mess with me," I want to yell. Or maybe cry?  I'm not really rebellious. Just stubbornly uncomfortable.  And then the employee often drops their mask and smiles. "Need any help, ma'am?" Then shame hits me. It's all I can do to hide my tears. "Yeah. Do you all have any eggplant?"  It's odd how at ease I am eavesdropping in other people's homes. And that I get paid on top of it. Ah, but I've been so tired these days. Not sure why I clean anymore. I don't really like money this much. In fact, do I like the money? No. I think I do because I want to be free from the burden of poverty. And yet, I'm still enslaved. I want time, not money. Time to write, read, sleep.  And eat. I never eat while I clean. Maybe that'

Just Want To Spit on Somebody: Fictional COVID Satire

I once worked in customer service. You know, the job where you paste a smile on your face when all you want to do is let that other person have what ought to be coming to them. But of course, you keep the smile, keep the words, and keep on serving. For the small, silly reason that you want to keep your job (though, those of us that have quit, know that we’d never take such a job back. Even when our bosses have told us over and over, “Oh, but you were made for customer service!”).  Hah. Made for it.  But how the world has changed.  Now, or so I heard, rude customer service is encouraged. Of course, only for the correct political reasons. Maybe I would have stayed in the business, had it been so in my day . . .  But then maybe not. Back then I definitely had my moments of wishing to spit in people’s faces. But now . . . with that warning constantly being bombarded into my eardrums, I’m sure I’d not be able to curb the temptation.  Back then I’d merely have been fired. I’m thinking it mig

Stopping To Start

  I haven't worn a mask since  . . . when did COVID start?  * * *  I didn't really mean to not wear one, to be honest. This summer I was applying for a job at TacoBell and thought I might have to go ahead and wear the thing. Life had other plans, I suppose. And then came pride. I remember being weirded out when I first saw people wearing them. I was shocked, humored, slightly scared.  The day before Trump announced he'd be banning international travel, I was laughing with my au pair family about whether or not this virus thing was worth worrying about.  "I don't think so many people could be that stupid," I'd said. "Just in case," my au pair mother said. "I'll buy some groceries." She asked me to come along and bought me a dirndl. I told her I thought I might like somebody. If I married him would she come to my wedding? She laughed. I'd been living with her for four months and hadn't mentioned the guy once. And we had bigger