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  • WJ King

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Outside, my residential street is virtually void of people. An occasional car or pickup truck goes by, no doubt on their way to an ‘essential’ job or to retrieve a take-out order for themself and/or family. The birds and squirrels enjoy the perpetual soupline on my front porch. A feeder for the birds and a bowl of extortion seed for the squirrels, lest they destroy the bird feeder. Squirrels are enjoying the lack of pedestrians to interrupt their repast, birds are somewhat annoyed at the lack of moving targets. Three of them in succession dive bomb a garbage bin by the curb, understanding this is no replacement for their precisional blitzkrieg exercises.


My habit has been to check in on my facebook page intermittently, only for current events mind you. Now, not a week into the ‘Corona Virus lockdown’, I find it necessary to share each and every ‘cute’ meme of a kitten doing anything. It started as a self appointed responsibility to lighten the moods of others but at this point I have no idea of motive. I laugh out loud, LOL if you must, at things on facebook, I would have found annoying a week ago. A meme depicting a large woman falling through the floor at the dinner table with the caption, “that’s the first time she’s ever left the table without a third helping,” left me absolutely giddy. Laughing, snorting and wiping my eyes, I couldn’t resist sharing it with each and every facebook friend.


I am alone in my social distancing adventure and I wonder about the families on my street going through this. I would imagine their responses vary from siblings and parents holding hands and enjoying a booming refrain of Kumbaya to a collection of bloodthirsty malcontents, sizing each other up for slaughter. The mind not only wanders during emergencies but also unearths subconscious terrors. Admiring Jeffery Dahmer, the infamous serial killer/cannibal from Milwaukee, may be judged as an abnormal response to stress. When one finds oneself looking at a group of people, in much the same manner one examines a box of donuts before choosing the creme filled eclair, one might want to think of expanding their social distancing.


People not able to visit family in the hospital or assisted living establishments have very good cause to be forlorn. Those who don’t give a fat rat’s ass about their mother-in-law or her appendectomy, give a sigh of relief. Me personally? I ponder, as I pop a cough drop. I enjoy the illusion of no responsibility for my being and just sitting at my house waiting for a scratchy and skeletal knock at the front door. The Grim Reaper I imagine, will be a good old boy, only doing his job as it were. Before I can get the question out, he assures me the plan entails the squirrels and birds being cared for. He apologizes, muttering “wrong address” and disappears as quickly as he arrived. I receive a text and now have a real emergency on my hands. My grocery delivery service reports only eleven, not twelve cases of Budweiser are available for my order. I send, “buy it, buy it, buy it,” with the fervor of a politician with inside trader information. I shall survive.

wjk/3/21/20/556


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