Lockdown: Catching up

Back in a Honolulu groove

A couple of Thursdays ago, I met some coworkers after work at a brewery a block from the office. It opened May 1 and it’s too convenient to ignore. I envision a lot of pau hana get-togethers. For me alone, if not for me and my officemates.

There were seven of us, including our new assistant controller whom I just met that day and invited to join us. I was the oldest person at the table by 12 years but whatever. Everyone my age has people waiting at home. Sylvia and Sharon were there, probably my two best friends at work, and they were my coplanners.

My first social gathering. My first time in a restaurant with anyone other than just me. It’s not a restaurant but it equates. It was fine. We’re all vaccinated. We wore masks when we weren’t consuming. I found myself not at all stressed.

It was a good warmup for the following Tuesday: my first day back in the office during regular hours. This was less fine. I had an upset stomach most of the day, and I’m not ruling out stress. Still, it was super nice to see people, and we caught up, and I could tell my coworkers were as happy to see me as I was to see them.

I wasn’t nearly as productive as I’d have liked, because I got only two and a half hours of sleep the night before. I used my lunch break for napping in my car.

Steppin’ out

The weekend walks around Keehi Lagoon, at about 6,000 steps, weren’t killing my knee. I still felt it but I wasn’t waking up crying as I did that night last summer. So now I’m going 7,000 steps about five nights a week and my knee feels about the same.

It’s better than nothing. It’s far, far better than nothing: the fresh air, diminishing sunshine, and quiet reading time are good for my heart and brain, and while the benefits to my body are probably questionable, 7,000 steps is better than zero steps, so for now I’ll take it.

It’s gotten to be such a part of my day that a couple of times when circumstances wouldn’t get me out the door early enough ahead of sunset, I went anyway and perambulated the park at night.

They’re closing Keehi Lagoon at seven in the evening, which is cruel in these early summer days, as there’s still a good chunk of daylight left. So more frequently, I’m doing Makiki Park. It’s a much shorter circumference and there are a lot more people, but it works. The park’s lawn is easy on my footsteps, my car is pretty safe, and “one more lap” is easier to make happen. Also easier to turn into another “one more lap.”

My books and my poetry to protect me

Stuff I’ve read while moving my body (including titles I’ve already mentioned): The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le. NBA Jam by Reyan Ali. The Time Machine Did It by John Swartzwelder. From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn.

Oh, I also volunteered to beta-read my friend Stella’s novel-in-progress. It’s a good first draft and took about a week’s worth of evening walks for completion.

I started The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner last night. It’s super compelling and very interesting. Probably, strictly looking at the quality of narrative prose, better than anything else I’ve listed. I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

I’ve got my orange crush

In fifteen months, I saw Crush Girl exactly twice. Once to give her something (at her request) and once to do her a quick favor. A few weeks ago, I meant to write something about how I’m over her, pleased no longer to be swooning and instead to be enjoying what’s becoming (ever so slowly) a nice friendship.

But in the past two weeks, I’ve spent some quality time with her, and it’s coming back. Definitely not with the heart-stabbing sadness that once kept me awake at night, but with gentle aortic squeezes when she says my name. I can live with this kind of unrequited affection. And probably will for some time until I get over her. Again.

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