Going Home

I am in Florida. My Winter home. But for the wrong six months. It’s Summer!

The weather is glorious. Hot as hell and extremely humid. The beach is empty except for the weekend. Now, only a few people venture out. The pelicans fly all around, and then all of a sudden they swoop down into the water to go fishing.

This self quarantine for the last five months is getting to me.

Why am I so frightened? Why can’t I go home?

Why can’t I go out for a drink or a meal?

Why do I run to the TV every morning at sunrise to hear about the problems of the world?

Why is my every minute a panic moment? It never used to be this way. I was always just a happy go lucky,healthy, old man. Now all these new rules and cautions have stilted my feelings and taken away my freedom.

Don’t go to the grocery store, you are at risk! You are too old! But I am as healthy as a horse!

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Don’t walk too close to another person on the beach! Safe distance yourself from everyone!

Who, gregarious me?

I feel like a prisoner in a concentration camp!

All the freedoms I have known and worked for to have for so many years seem to have slipped away. Where have they disappeared to?

When will this end?

When will these feelings disappear?

It is so uncertain. When will I be happy again? 

Now it’s time for the hurricane season to start! I am always in Denver when that happens. This Topsy Turvy world is getting to me. I can’t make any more decisions!

He began to sweat. His pits were soaking. His heart began to race with an audible thumping. His breath was coming faster and faster. He could smell the acrid odor coming from his mouth up to his nose. His eyes became blurred with his tears. He felt as if he was being backed into a corner, and had nowhere to go to escape.

“It’s just a ride in a car.” How many years have I driven? Why this panic?

I can do it!

Three days behind the wheel. My body aches already in all of my joints, and it is still two weeks away when I plan to leave. I have been so careful for five months. Even though I am healthy and still alive and kicking, I’m scared. Fear surrounds me.

Can I make the journey?

When my stomach aches for food, where will I eat? How the hell can I eat my food in a restaurant with a damn mask on?

My colon is writhing already. Sit on a dirty toilet seat?

Oh, the thought of this journey is making me go crazy.

I don’t want to get sick and die.

When my bladder begins to stretch too far, I guess I will just have to stop and pee alongside my car so no one can see me.

I must take clean towels and sanitizing equipment.

What will I do when I am driving and I have to eat? At this very moment, I have just finished dinner and the thought of it all makes my stomach rumble. This is so overwhelming.

I need to know! I need to know! I must have all of these answers before I decide to leave. 

What is that waitress carrying behind her mask? Infection droplets from the coronavirus? Who sanitized the toilets?

Oh my god, Oh my god, when I lay my head on the pillow in the motel, have they really sanitized this room?

Maybe I won’t go. Then, a big sigh of relief. My breathing is normal again. My heart is my heart again.

Jim Moses is a writer living in Denver.