The Way We Live Now #5

A man hurried toward me as I came out of the market. He touched his hip pocket, got a chagrined look on his face, and ran back to his truck, where the woman in the passenger seat handed him a face mask.


It was ridiculous how happy I was when my haircutter reopened for business. A tiny clear spring of happiness bubbled up in the center of my chest, and even I could hear the lilt in my voice when I called him. He has a one-station shop, so the deep-cleaning and safety protocols are do-able for him. He wore a mask, I wore a mask, which I held on my face while he cut around my ears.


Spouse was out on a walk. A woman walked toward him, maskless, and showed no intention of moving aside, so Spouse stepped off the sidewalk to allow clearance.

“Oh, don’t be such a scaredy-cat,” she said. “No one makes it off this rock alive!”

“A few hundred astronauts have,” Spouse said.


It is nice to see people sitting at outside dining establishments now, but I probably won’t be one of them for a while. And it will be quite a while before I choose the dine-in option.


Other things are happening.

It’s early June, and already the town of Winters has evacuated once due to a wildland fire. Parts of Southern California have been under red flag warnings for the past three days. People have stocked their freezers so they can limit shopping in the time of the pandemic, so how long will it before PG&E starts its rolling blackouts again, destroying all that food?

In spite of Covid, people are taking the streets (mostly wearing masks); risking their lives to save their lives and the lives of others. In Hong Kong, people fight for their autonomy. Here in the USA, people march and demonstrate for equity, justice, and real change in the corrupt and racist practices of police departments and a justice system that is systemically unjust.

Our Ignoramus in Chief has done the best he can to gouge the wounds deeper and wider, to pour salt into them, to fan the flames or racial hatred, and feed and nurture white supremacy. In spite of him, police and military leaders are speaking out in support of the protests, statues of Confederate leaders are coming down, and even the NFL, which engineered the firing of Colin Kaepernick for speaking out on the very issue of police brutality four years ago, has apologized and aligned itself with its Black players who are speaking out against injustice.


It’s late spring. The parks are open. Juvenile birds are getting adept at flying, but they fluff up and squawk like babies, demanding food, whenever a parent bird is nearby. The weasels are back in Ragle park, and their press corps with them.

The farmers market is approaching its peak, with leafy greens, cherries, strawberries, blue berries, squash, beans, carrots, potatoes, and the beginnings of tomatoes.


I haven’t bought fuel for my car since March. That’s not really surprising, but it was an eye-opener.

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