The Morning After

“Funny how nothing else in my life seems to matter after 5:24 pm yesterday. Women, food, to do list, job search, none of that… that’s about it except for which friend to tell.”*

*Journal entry for Friday, August 21.

This morning I read over the journal entries from those first, critical days in August, when my very ordinary isolation life became my very ordinary survival life. Besides my literary creativity in trying to best describe what a clump of dissolving-in-urine blood mass should be called, the 24 hours after First Symptom were spent repeating the phrase,

“I’m scared. Of course I’m scared.”

The fear which consumed me, and navigating those feelings, through “very ordinary” things like eating and sleeping… and at that point, having not yet told anyone… well, I can barely remember what that felt like, even while reading my words as I compose what I’m typing right now.

By the way, my chosen simile for what came out of me every time I was brave enough to pee was “hibiscus tea”. You’re welcome. Let THAT image carve its own space in your brain going forward.

“And now the questions… How long will I live? How will my quality of life be? Who will be there in my future? Seriously, will I even see the election? What comes after that? What DOES come after that?”**

**Same journal entry for Friday, August 21.

You know, it’s been 11 weeks and I still ask most of those questions. The election question just seems silly right now, but on August 21st, November 3rd seemed like one hell of a long ways off.

There is a thing said of athletes as they mature, and as experience begins to show itself greater than any ability with which an athlete plays the game. That thing said is, “The game begins to slow down” for them. It is that moment when experience and a history of being good at something, trade places, and the doing of a thing is made easier merely by having been there and done that so many times, that there is an almost unconscious take-over by the body, of the mind. Call it Gladwell’s ten-thousand hours. Call it simple muscle memory. It’s how I know I could still roller skate when I haven’t laced up a pair of roller skates in decades. How I know I can field a ground ball behind second base and, all in one motion, throw it, without looking, to first. And it is how, without ever having been this scared for my life, the game of life slows down, and I am able to make check-box decisions, one after the other, even when, in my head, I hear myself screaming louder than the crowd of spectators that surrounds me.

Call it time served on earth.

“How many times have I mentioned that I’m scared? At this time yesterday, I was peeing clear, felt fully hydrated, healthy, alive even. This morning, I feel like I need to get my affairs in order. Seriously? In 24 hours?”***

***Even later journal entry for Friday, August 21.

(c) copyright 2020 William S. Friday

6 thoughts on “The Morning After

  1. So, you want my extra stock of hibiscus tea because guess who is never drinking it again? Ha! Anyway, love and hugs, being scared means your noggin stayed working, and I’m glad for that. We can’t both be running around with broken brains. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Bill! I happen to still like hibiscus tea, all that vitamin C. I think. However, you will probably have me thinking of you when I drink it next. I can only imagine, for sure, the courage it would have taken to pee. I like what you wrote about an athlete and repetition and I think you are onto something as is Malcolm Gladwell. Being scared while still managing to check boxes is a type of expert. And, here we are at election time! Sending you lots of love and supportive energy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Time, and strength, are strange, but I’m glad you’re here, beyond election time, writing these words. The courage to keep going, especially when scared, is such a hard and beautiful part of being human – those times often make the smallest of things resonate in bigger ways, and I hope you’re finding that too. Your words are soul stirring. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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