The Countdown


Not the rocket ship. Not that countdown.

I missed it.

I’m sure it was amazing and awe inspiring.

I can barely be bothered to shower anymore. It takes more than a rocket ship to blow up my skirts these days.

Not that I actually wear skirts. I exist in pajama bottoms and t-shirts these days. I haven’t worn a bra in nearly 3 months.

When we visited my mother on Mother’s day (We all sat, in the driveway, at least 15 feet apart). I didn’t bother with shoes. I wore red fuzzy slippers because I didn’t see the point of shoes.

Now, I have to find the point of shoes again. I’m going to have to wear a bra. I mean, I don’t have to. I don’t think anyone can force me to wear a bra, but since I’m going back to work in an office around people in a week, I’ll probably wear a bra.

Yes, even though Covid numbers are climbing, I have to go back to work.

I am going to do everything I can to stay safe, but I’m still terrified.

I have to be around other people and don’t know that they are doing what they need to do to stay safe.

Also, I haven’t been around other humans but Randy for a long time. I hardly leave my front porch.

Sometimes, we take a drive.

I’m not looking forward to being around people again. People already freaked me out. I have no idea how much worse that is now and am assuming it’s reached some new depths.

I’m still figuring out how to live entirely in my house.

I made plans. I bought supplies.

What I mostly do, is work, struggle to keep my house sort of clean, and look at the unfinished, mostly not even started projects.

I bought a subscription to “Catch a Killer”. You get a box of clues sent to you and then you figure out the mystery. I thought it would be fun. Something Randy and I could do together.

As it turns out, there’s a lot to it, you guys. First, it says to get a cork board and note cards and conduct an actual investigation.

Who has time for that? I mean, other than people locked into their house for 3 months.

Seriously, I meant to get started on it. Then, I’d read a few paragraphs, gauge Randy’s interest, and we’d watch Youtube videos about cheeseburgers.

We also started playing a game, where Randy would pick a year and pull up a play list.  I would have to tell him the song title and artist without looking. Things got tense in the ’70s when I identified Mandy by Barry Manilow in 2 notes. Randy sort of wanted a divorce. But then I identified Anarchy In The UK by the Sex Pistols in the same amount of notes and we were all good again.

In addition to wasting money on fake crime evidence and art supplies, our diets have changed.

We eat fish sandwiches all the time. We’ve been together for 25 years and never, in a quarter of a century, have we made fish sandwiches.

Now, we can’t get enough of them. Pandemics are weird.

I would love to say that I’m hanging in there and keeping a handle on life, but really? I’m struggling. I know a lot of you probably are too.

Everything is on fire. I’m so sad.

Now, I have to figure out how to be around people again. And not breath any of their COVID breath.

Wish me luck.



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  • We don’t like but a few people and our dogs and cats anyway, but now we have to go about among the rest. And wearing a bra and shoes, like it’s a fuckin’ party.
    The virus thing was allowed to fester and smolder, now we’ve got actual flames, both of which, when all is said and done, were ignited by the same Thing.
    Mme. Michelle, I wish you some joy in each of your hours as you endure.
    I wish all of us the same. Especially me.

  • Watching the demonstrations down here in Florida was horrifying. Not the marching – I did that enough in the late 60’s, but the ‘loose canons’ in the crowd – the ones who threw water bottles at the surprisingly calm police – the ones who tagged I-395 highway signs – in front of the surprisingly calm police – the ones who, without permits, interrupted other’s lives for hours and hours and hours, and still didn’t piss off the cops – until the end of several very long days (someone torched a police car) and then came the tear gas. I believe by then, the real protesters had gone home, having made their point. Then the rabble-rousers showed up and decided to make a different point. It was reminiscent of the demonstrations years ago when Elian Gonzalez was removed from a relative’s home and sent back to his Father in Cuba. Shutting down major highways to protest got everyone’s attention in a hurry. And I think the Amy Cooper story got buried under all the virus crap.
    I don’t know how we are going to change anything – obviously there’s a line that the police shouldn’t (but do) cross frequently. How do we get that to stop? How is that poor man’s death supposed to exonerate the people who decided to break windows and steal and burn stuff? What was THAT point? We’ve just spent 2-3 months in lock down and now we have a curfew like little children because some of us ‘don’t play well with others’. I just got started feeling optimistic about going out in public, and now we have a new outrage. 2020 hurricane season is just beginning, so there’s that to look forward to down here as well. Please November, don’t fail us again! (Sorry for the rant).

    • Stay safe! And I think when the flames die down, we will understand that the damage is being done in a large part by the extreme right wing. The Nazis.

  • Michelle, it’s often creepy how much you and Randy remind me of my husband and I. We do have our 2 adult children home (ages 21 & 25), which I love, but I sometimes long for the “before,” when we were successfully empty nesting. I also struggle with anxiety & a myriad of various ailments. I fight to stay above the darkness during this time, but with a boss trying to micromanage everyone from home and the world having lost its damn mind, I often flounder at positivity. I look forward to your post each week because though we both suffer with these things, it is reassuring to hear your perspective and, dare I say, it often validates my feelings or at the very least lets me know I’m not alone. Thank you for that!

  • According to Trump, it’s ANTIFA, not the Nazis (who, don’t forget, have ‘good people’ in their organization).

  • I’m really intrigued by the fish sandwiches–I love fish sandwiches, and also fish just about any way it’s served, but between the eating and my exercise level dropping significantly I’m gonna need a bra when I eventually go back to the office.
    Yeah, I’m trying to find a little levity here, as well as some good news–like the fact that in Minneapolis this weekend thousands of bags of food were donated to people whose lives have been disrupted by events there. So there is good being done in the world.
    Focusing on the good seems to be the best way through. I hope you keep staying safe and balancing Barry Manilow and The Sex Pistols. Seriously, that sounds like a fantastic mashup.

  • Yay! Michelle posted again!
    Fuck, back to the office already? Can’t you program computers from home?
    And yeah, fish sandwiches. My new doctor, Dr. Bains, looked at my lab results and told me that while my liver seems to be booming and my bad cholesterol levels are good (I take atorvastatin for them), my good cholesterol levels were kinda low. I asked him what to eat to get them up, and he said “avocados, nuts and salmon” and I don’t really have the teeth for that many nuts, or easy enough access to a kitchen to make things out of avocados before they go bad, so we’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches made out of canned salmon and hoping that will work. They’re actually pretty good, good mustard on the bread and mayo and horseradish mixed in with the fish.
    They tore the fuck out of Oakland, which isn’t really news; they riot in Oakland over anything and sometimes nothing at all, but I found out that they rioted in Emeryville, and that kinda made me smile.
    See, the Emeryville cops are weird. They sort of want to be a big city police force like the neighboring OPD. but they just aren’t. They used to jack me up at work when I had to stay until the wee hours of the morning because they saw lights on in the warehouse and “it’s a high crime area” which it was most emphatically not. I didn’t mind them looking after me there, but they kept banging on the slightly open door with their night sticks and pointing their guns at me when I came to see what was up, which I could maybe understand the first time, but over and over?
    So they had a riot to deal with this weekend. I wonder if they brought the police dog my boss paid for with a donation?
    Naw, I don’t wonder that. Fuck them.
    I hope you will be OK at work, Michelle. Don’t let them make you do anything crazy, it’s still the middle of the goddamn apocalypse.

    • Man, that is fucked up. I’m sorry that happened to you.

      I don’t know if I could do the canned salmon sandwiches. My mom made salmon patties a LOT when I was a kid and now I find it gross.

      And yes, I can program from home. I have been for 3 months now. But they are calling us back anyway. I’m really not happy about it.

  • I wish you luck. Too funny about Mandy. Any time I EVER hear someone say “I remember” I have to break out into the whole first verse and chorus of Mandy. Even though I’m not a huge Manilow fan. It’s like it’s ingrained in my head. Yet I couldn’t tell you any of the other verses if my life depended on it.

  • I have not worn a bra since January ehile I am at home going out I do, also this year I bought 3 singlet tops with built in support and wear them a lot.

    Shoes, I rarely wear them either as I have a tendency to fall while wearing them so I go barefoot most of the time, in winter I wear socks

  • #YouGotThis <3
    That was the first thing that hit me, too… I wasn't any good at the Rules of Society to begin with and now they changed 'em again :/
    I went to hug my vet's wife and she put her elbow up for one of those 'elbow bump' things and since I had no idea what she was doing, I just kept coming in for the hug and at the last second she gave up and hugged me back.
    Still clueless as to what had just happened, I got in my Jeep and left. About 2 miles later, it dawned on me what she was doing, and I about melted with shame through my Jeep seat.
    It feels very strange out there, right now. But – NOW it's really OK to say, "I'm feeling uncomfortable with you standing so closely. I'm going to move away so I don't infringe on your right to stand where you want."
    That's better than, "Get the fuck away from me."

By Michelle


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