Lockdown: Where my homies at?

Last night after I wrote, I did go for a walk. I meant it to be short, just down to one of the bus stops down the hill and two or three blocks over so I could tie a few grocery bags full of recyclable bottles and cans to it. I don’t need the nickels but I need the exercise, so I leave the returnables for those people who collect them.

I had three bags full of ten to twelve cans and bottles each. Tied two of them to a trash can at the bus stop near Joey DeSa field, then was going to tie the third to the can at the bus stop in front of the Catholic church a block away. But there were suspicious-looking guys hanging out in front of a house where there are always suspicious-looking people hanging out, and this time they were going back and forth across the street, which was right where the bus stop was.

So I detoured and took my cans to a bus stop on Liliha, then decided I might as well walk to the 7-Eleven near Kawananakoa School and get a money order to pay the rent. But the ATM was out of order there so I walked to the other 7-Eleven, on Nuuanu and School. It’s a only a slightly shorter walk than what was my norm before my knee started killing me.

It ended up being 10,000 steps. I set out shortly before midnight, and got back close to 2:00. Sigh. I cooled off and wound down, then put myself to bed and was still wide awake at 4:00 and was still kind of awake at 6:00. Ugh.

It must be that a good walk takes me three hours to really wind down from. Which is insane. I’m not running a super marathon; I’m strolling through a neighborhood. Geez. I don’t know what to think or do. Because I was very tired and sleepy before the walk and then not at all for hours after.

Despite my two hours of sleep, I woke up Monday ready to go. Revised a draft that was supposed to have been done but came back for more changes. Finished the second of those stories that took too long. Did some background on my next story. Submitted a rough first draft of a proposal for the college of engineering. Emailed a couple of people to get approval on a story draft. I was productive as heck.

I read chapter one of Quiet and wrote some pretty extensive notes. I don’t want to have to read this yet again, so I’m trying to get as much out of it as I can. Watched the news. Took a nap. Read the news and ate. Moved some of my kitchen countertop appliances around to make better use of my space. Tackled the Monster.

I was feeling pretty weak by then, around midnight, so I really dilly-dallied through the task, taking more than two hours on something that usually takes just shy of ninety minutes. But I got it done, and after all these weeks of commitment, I’m beginning to see some big differences. Rather pleased.

I felt so good that I set up some space in my laundry room to do jigsaw puzzles. When the Monster is slain, I’ll rearrange my living room with a dedicated jigsaw puzzle table, but I felt I deserved a temporary space for it in the laundry. AJ sent me a gorgeous puzzle a couple of months ago and I need to show her my gratitude by actually working on it.

I didn’t work on the puzzle — separated the edges from the interior, then took a photo to send to AJ, and that was it. Because it’s past 4:00 in the morning and I need to get to bed.

Breakfast and lunch were the leftovers from L&L. The chicken katsu was unusually good. I made a large pot of hapa rice and had canned chili for dinner. Just still didn’t feel like actually preparing something.

I decided that for hapa rice, a 3 to 1 brown rice to white rice ratio works best. Equal parts is hardly noticeable as brown rice. Drank kalimotxos out of my huge beer mug. I still have a third of the bottle of shiraz but I’m out of cola, so that’ll be it until the weekend I think.

There was a lot of interaction Monday. AJ and I traded texts before I fell asleep to see if I was awake. She guessed wide awake at 3:00, which I was. Then much later I thanked her again for the puzzle and sent her a photo of the edge pieces separated out.

Called my parents during my lunch break. They seem okay. Not as upbeat as the last time I saw them. I told them about Bloody Wednesday and they reassured me if it ever comes to it, I always have them and their home to fall back on. I thanked them and said I know; I appreciate it.

The writing partner was super super amped about some revisions she made to her novel, so she wanted to talk on the phone. I was annoyed at having to make a second voice call in one day, but it turned out to be really nice to hear her voice, and we had a good, productive writers group session.

Jennifer and I traded a few texts about canned chili (this is what inspired my dinner) and her working in the office situation. I texted Crush Girl to tell her this story I saw on the news — I thought she’d think it was sweet. She did. Then I sent the same story to Ali in Boston, and she said she’d read the same story too.

Penny and I traded some book talk. That was nice. I like having friends who read. It makes me sad about Silent Book Club being on hold for the foreseeable future.

Didn’t go for a walk so I could take care of the Monster, but also to give my knee a break. If I don’t do laundry Wednesday morning, I’ll at least walk down the hill and back up Tuesday evening.

Don’t tell anyone I said this; I need to maintain my lone wolf cred. When I was out walking last night, I realized that it has taken four months of pretty steady solitary living for me to miss spending time in person with my friends, coworkers, and family. I miss human company. Live, in-person human company. With people I know, not just with the strangers in cafes and restaurants and movie theaters.

It feels a little weird. Like, I’ll experience something like this all the time for specific people — like hey, I haven’t hung out with so-and-so for a while. I wonder if she wants to get coffee. Or a general kind of hanging out — like man, I could really use some social female company. But missing being around people who know me, all of them at once? Very odd.

Four months. And it could be another four or eight before it ever happens. It feels weird, but also I’m trying to take advantage of the distancing. Undistracted by social stuff, I’m taking care of a lot of stuff I should have taken care of long ago, and that feels good.

Anyway, something to think about. I might have expected my threshold to be closer to six months, but here we are at four months and I’m missing getting a pizza with my writing partner or coffee with Grace or lunch with the coworkers or dinner with the folks. A passing mood? Or the beginning of a descent? Let’s find out!

And if you’re needing more connection, I’m happy to participate. Leave a note here and I’ll send you my contact info for DMs, IMs, and texts. Let’s message.

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