Lockdown: The Downy quietude of All

Alternate title: All quiet on the Downy front. There’s something better here but these are the best I could come up with. Also, I use Bounce dryer sheets, not Downy.

Another pretty productive day today. Slow progress on the stories I’m creating now, but good back-and-forth energy on some other stuff I’ve (mostly) completed. One of the local news broadcasts saw a story we put up last week. It’s a cute story about an athletics donor. They reached out (not to me; my name’s not on it) for contact with the donor, possibly to do their own story on her. Neato.

A story we put up this week might go to one of our print publications. That’s not unusual, but there are some logistical and technical problems with this story, so I was involved in getting the issues taken care of. It’s been pretty easy going so far, which has me partially encouraged and partially nervous.

Ali responded to the photos I sent her of the misspelled signs. She was pretty amused. I texted Sharon something dumb I noticed on her FB timeline. Sylvia and I traded texts about the chips she picked up the other day, and I thanked her for these snacks she left on my desk the week before last. I finally got to trying one of them and it was pretty good.

After work I had a late lunch and packed my laundry while watching the news. I was determined to get to bed by 7:30 for a 2:15 alarm. I did pretty well but got distracted by something on my phone, and didn’t get to sleep until around 8:30. I woke up about three hours in, checked social media to see if you-know-who had blown up the world, then got back to sleep ten minutes or so later. Nice. It doesn’t always work out that way. I slept soundly until the alarm.

Which gave me pause. I was getting such good sleep. Maybe I should skip the laundry this week. Because I was especially lazy this past week, I didn’t even unpack my clean laundry from last week until yesterday morning, getting by on my second-week clothes. This meant I could wear my usual rotation this coming week and not feel bad. I was tired enough that I though I really should give it a try.

But I didn’t. I’m here now. The stupid water dispenser at the little supermarket on Liliha wasn’t accepting coins or paper, so I didn’t get to refill my containers. I’ve got enough water at the house not to worry about it — at least two days’ worth — so I’ll just fill up somewhere else later today, but if I’d known I wouldn’t get water, I might have just opted for sleep. Dang it.

I’m at the laundry now, and not only are there no other people here yet, but the TV is off for the first time in the five months I’ve been coming here weekly, so the infomercial voices of Emeril and Dr. Quinn aren’t pounding through my brain. When I get finished writing this, if nobody else has joined me here, I may just watch the last half of Digging for Fire on my laptop.

Oh my gosh. I just paused to stand here and listen to the ambient sounds of my washer, the whirring of ceiling fans, and the infrequent unidentifiable noises coming from outside, at this strip mall in Manoa. It was nice. A different kind of quiet darkness from what I get at home or on a late walk. It feels good to be out, haunting a different space.

Monday nights always feel kind of desperate, time-wise. If I’m going to get to sleep at a decent hour, I have to jump on the Monster without much procrastinating (itself a Herculean task). If I’m planning to hit the laundry early the next morning (which I haven’t been doing for a couple of months now), there’s added pressure.

I hate the thought of a week passing without my having put a dent in the work, especially since I’ve been so diligent for so many months. Early early Tuesday morning is really a kind of practical weekly deadline, and it’s a job I can’t double up on if I miss a week. There are logistical and practial realities I have no control over, and the Tuesday morning do-or-die is one, and the certain-amount-per-week is another.

But I also had these chili ingredients, and I’m trying to figure out life with this smaller fridge, and I’m trying to be a little more disciplined about getting takeout, although I think my takeout rate is pretty reasonable for a bachelor living alone. I have single friends living alone who get takeout twice as frequently, one (a woman) who gets takeout for just about every meal. She has a high-pressure job in a hospital’s operating rooms, so I totally understand if during her downtime she’s not up for cooking. Although in fairness, she herself says she’s a terrible cook.

It doesn’t take much time or energy to make a huge pot of chili. Still, that plus working on an unpleasant task meant staying up too late, and I didn’t have it in me. I gave myself a break and will pick up the Monster’s severed limbs before next Tuesday morning.

A reasonable person would say it makes sense not to let obsession drive me on these things, but obsession is the only reason it got done at all, because it’s such an unpleasant, disheartening task. I’m a little nervous that a week off leads to never finishing this thing and then never moving on the Beast, which is of greater importance and has been a plague for much longer.

So this is on my mind quite nearly all the time. I look forward (not really) to making some kind of progress before next week Tuesday morning.

Wednesday breakfast was instant ramen with a large pile of bean sprouts, tatsoi, and bok choy. It was pretty good. I had a slice of POG pie for a snack (yummier the second time for some reason). My late lunch was a too-generous serving of chili with hapa rice. I think concern about making room in the little fridge influenced my ambitious ladling. This can be solved with smaller food containers next time. A half-filled large container is a waste of space in a small fridge. Oh yeah, and I snacked on Sylvia’s snacks just before lunch. Dinner is a Big Mac combo from McD’s, which I am finishing as I type this.

I didn’t go for a walk because laundry. Yeah, I’ll blame laundry this time.

Don’t forget to reach out if you’re hoping for some connectivity. It occurred to me last night that someone might be hesitant for fear of being mentioned in this daily accounting of communication during lockdown. Just know that some of the details I include here are changed, that I don’t share everything (particularly to protect Crush Girl’s anonymity, but not exclusively), and I’ve changed a name or two. I can do that for you, too. So hit me up in comments if you’re wandering the dessert.

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