Or rather, just, ARE you still sane? Just checking in. How’s everybody’s quarantine going so far? Has it been as distracting and off-topic as this post is about to be?
It actually hasn’t been the worst for me and I know I’m very lucky to be able to say that. I’ve been staying up in Lake Tahoe with my mom and sister. I didn’t want to be in my studio apartment by myself for weeks on end, so I retreated to the mountains (my home town, not a vacation home, for all of you out there flooding small towns with unnecessary visitors during a pandemic induced quarantine for which our tiny hospitals are not equipped.)
I’ve been having a lot of ups and downs; feeling like this is the best time to write and then not being able to sit down and write a fucking word. Everyone is putting pressure on everyone else to be productive right now, and I have to say, it’s fucking stressful. As a creative type, and particularly, a writer, being holed up in the mountains indefinitely seems like the perfect time to get some writing done. Right? These are the things that writers kill for: solitude and an empty schedule. I should be able to finish my screenplay re-write, knock out the first draft of my novel, get second drafts going on my sitcom pilots, pump out more dating stories for my blog, and start that one-woman show I’ve been wanting to put together no problem. What’s my excuse?
Oh right, the GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
And currently, this giant fly that keeps buzzing around the loft where I am currently sitting and attempting to write that I thought I smacked on the first try but now is just endlessly taunting me by flying just out of reach. I know he’s just trying to get outside and now all of a sudden I sympathize with the fly. He’s trapped inside. He doesn’t know he can’t just fly out through a screen and a locked window. All he knows is it’s sunny outside and that’s where he’s supposed to be. When will this be over? When will I get to be outside again? Is she really using a fly as a metaphor for humans going through quarantine? Is there really even a fly buzzing around her right now?
How easily I get distracted these days.
Normally, I am home by myself all day and this allows me to get a lot of writing done. But right now, I am at home with my mom and sister. And we like each other. And we talk a lot. And we go for walks. And we watch a lot of House Hunters. We ran through all the regular House Hunters and now are onto House Hunters International. Literally planning our escape from this country and simultaneously praising the fact that we live in California and have a governor who is handling the pandemic as responsibly as possible while cursing the fact that $200k won’t buy you an empty shack here but will get you a beachfront house with a pool in Costa Rica.
I don’t want to be so presumptuous as to assume that any of you actually noticed, but I didn’t post my blog last week. I usually post on Wednesdays (well, I did before quarantine, now I don’t even know what day it is), but last Wednesday, Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for president. And I was sad.
So no, I didn’t feel like writing a post about another botched first date. This may come as a shock to some of you, but it’s difficult for me to write light, funny stories about bad dates when I am feeling sad and hopeless about the future of our country. I don’t enjoy exacerbating the hopelessness I’m feeling at a macro level by delving into my failed love life on a micro level on top of it. Here’s something else you’re bad at, in case you’d forgotten…
You know what IS good though? I am writing testimonials for two of my closest friends who are using this time to market and launch their own bad-ass businesses. I am so proud of and inspired by them. And if I can’t focus my mind on my own projects, at least I can write about how great my friends are.
OMG you guys the fly is so loud though!
I AM DISTRACTED.
I do want to give kudos to my awesome friends who are kicking ass and taking names right now. Another friend is a nurse practitioner who is working in a parking garage in the Bay Area doing drive through swab testing for coronavirus. She is also a mother of two boys under age three and a rambunctious golden retriever. Her husband is a doctor as well, and is working on the front lines at Stanford hospital. I AM SO PROUD OF MY FRIENDS! They have found ways to kick ass and take names through this whole ordeal. It’s also her birthday today so Happy Birthday Claire! And to all of you celebrating birthdays during quarantine.
But I also want to give kudos to those of you who are just hanging on by a fucking thread. This is hard. This is scary. This is like the beginning of a disaster movie but the ending hasn’t been written yet, and we’re all just waiting for the writers to finish the fucking ending so that we can start making our plans and either really step the panicking up a notch by buying more toilet paper for our bunkers or scaling it down because we finally know when baseball season will start and we can hug people again.
But this isn’t a movie. It’s real life. And I don’t know about you guys but I go back and forth between consuming way too much news and media and going into a full-on tailspin and then overcorrecting by being the consummate ostrich with my head buried deep in the sand.
I THINK I KILLED THE FLY!
I write comedy for a living. (Well, I try.) Yes, I know that now, more than ever, we need comedy. I also know that it’s hard to shake off all of the negativity that is swirling around every single day and write something funny and uplifting.
OH MY GOD THAT FUCKING FLY!!!
I was wrong. I didn’t kill the fly.
Is this another metaphor? We thought the fly was dead; that all was lost; that it had fallen, incapacitated, to the bottom of a box of my mom’s old engineering blueprints, never to be seen again.
But no, this fly is resilient! It will not be smacked by a long sleeve t-shirt fresh out of the dryer and knocked into oblivion. It will lay low, stay quiet, just long enough for me to think that it’s dead, but then it will fly again! Haha!
Are WE the fly? (Wait, does that make me the Coronavirus? This metaphor is getting weird…)
The point is, it’s time to lay low. If that means being productive for you, great. If that means going through the entire Netflix catalogue and not creating any sort of masterpiece, that’s okay too. Just remember to bathe. If you’re somewhere in the middle, like I am, and are having some productive days and then other days where you just accept the fact that you’re going to binge an entire season of Schitt’s Creek and eat a lot of peanut butter, then you do you. Be nice to you. We’ve never done this before. We don’t know how it’s going to play out, and that’s scary.
But if that fly can evade me and my evil t-shirt weapon, then surely we can survive this unprecedented, bizarre, frightening, but also kind of peaceful in its own way, pandemic. And maybe we can be stronger, kinder, and better for it on the other side.
I miss you all. Hang in there! Until we meet again. ❤