Pinkie Crack

When the Lockdown began I tried writing on my website every day to…well, I’m not sure why. Perhaps I was trying to document the experience first hand or maybe connect with my neighbors or contribute something to the whole event. After about a month and a half I had to rest. We all did really, didn’t we? We rested another year! I am embarrassed to admit I really, genuinely thought the Lockdown would last 30 days and life would go back to normal. It was my mom and the more mature folks in my social circle who predicted it would be a year before folks returned to the office or to school, “a year if we’re lucky” they said.

Washington State went into Lockdown March 2020. Our state governor has declared beginning July 1st, wearing masks in public will be optional, not mandatory. *Some folks have already stopped wearing masks after being fully vaccinated. It’s a little confusing right now isn’t? I have personally decided to wear my mask until July 1st. However, last week I had an “Oh shit!” moment walking into Lowes Hardware store. About halfway down an isle I saw a person with a mask on, and realized I forgot to put my mask on. I just freakin’ walked into the store barefaced like I had no respect for all human life on the planet. What the hell? I touched my face to confirm and sure enough–NO MASK. However on that fine June day, I noticed fairly quickly that half of the patrons and clerks were NOT wearing masks. (?!?!) Was I safe from social condemnation? Yes, from HALF of the people apparently. “OK, so today I’ll be one of THOSE people.” I joked to myself. I went directly to the isles I needed, checked out at self-pay and hustled out of there.

Can I just say how exhausted I am of all this. One year and three months of all this. I’m using hand sanitizer throughout my day, so much so that occasionally my skin cracks. Has this happen to you? If you are fortunate enough to have access to an ample supply of hand sanitizer and/or you’ve been a front line worker the whole 15 months I imagine you’re skin has also cracked.

Here is a picture of a recent crack on a fold of my skin. (BTW, a very difficult angle for a photo) Under my right pinkie is a new “line”. A couple of years ago I studied palmistry for a story. I knew this area of the hand is about marriage. As a middle-aged divorced woman I giggled a bit. Was a new marriage being forged into my future or perhaps another being wiped out? Either way it required hydrogen peroxide to heal. My mind traveled down that thought a bit, farther than necessary as I often do… How wonderful it would be if troubled couples could simply dip themselves in a healing solution to fix their relationships. Many arguments stem from past hurts, hurts and calluses that were formed before the marriage began. We sometimes bring those unresolved events into our new relationships. As I date a little these last few years I find the most attractive dates are those who are actively working on self improvement. In your 40’s and 50’s it’s time for a “refresh” I think, whether you are single or in-couple. You are no longer who were at 22, or even 32. What do you think?

Here is a meme for my mood today. I’ll try not to take myself too seriously. Hope you have a super day. -Shannon


*Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

Faces I Make Under My Mask

Celeste Headlee, in 2016: At this moment we are more polarized, more divided than at any point in history
2020: Hold my beer…

September I noticed a shift. I’m still trying to put my finger on it. Perhaps those folks with school-aged kids in the home had their Stress Level knob turn to the right about five notches? That could be it. America is also inching its way closer to the election time. Also, the air is slowly getting colder and our nights getting longer. I wonder if by January I’ll board up my ground floor apartment, bust through to the roof through my neighbor’s bedroom to build up a makeshift roof fortress a’la Walking Dead. There is an anticipation in the air. A tension. It manifests in various ways I encounter daily. Folks driving distracted. Folks having problems talking clearly or remembering what was said a few minutes prior. Folks are having problems listening consistently throughout a full meeting or conversation. Opinions these days have sharp edges. We cut each other discussing the wildfire smoke in the air, that a favorite store shut down, or about wearing masks.

2020 summer/autumn matching
mask and outfits at D.H. Gate

THESE LIPS ARE MADE FOR MOVING

One day when I was having a conversation with someone about something I can’t remember, I caught my lips moving unconsciously. I wondered, “Do lips have a mind of their own under the mask? Is this something my brain wanted my lips to do all these years? Did social pressure keep my lips on lock-down? Is my face free to be itself?” This was an interesting conversation. Much more interesting than whatever the person I was staring at was trying to tell me about. I’m sure I moved my lips prior to the COVID Mandate but THIS animated?

The top lip curled under itself like when Peter Brady was practicing “Pork chops and applesauce.” for his drama class. Then they moved in and out over and over; out to fish lips then into a flat smile. My cheeks were jealous and began to flex altering left to right. …and now back to pork chops and applesauce. It was like my face was doing exercises under the privacy of three layers of cloth.

I hope and wish for your lips to be free and wild as each lip dreams to be.
Below is my current mood expressed in a meme.

Take care of yourself,
Shannon