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The Storming Bohemian Punks The Muse: 2021 Edition #11 – ‘Covid Has Turned Time Around and Upside Down’

It is 5:55 P.M. and today I was supposed to publish a column for The Storming Bohemian Punks The Muse. And here I sit. Facing the blank page.

And I’m hungry. I am 64 years old and can eat whenever I like. But when I was a child, dinner was at 6. Precisely. Never at 6:15. Never at 5:45. And certainly never at 7 or later. That would have been unheard of.

And after all these decades, my stomach remembers. There is just something WRONG at eating any time other than 6 p.m. Just like a proper desert, till the day I die, will be precisely three oreo cookies. Not four, not two, but three. ‘Cause Mommy said so.

I’m reflecting, I suppose on the power of habit. Because for a year now, at home hiding from COVID, habit has been anything but habitual. The habits of a lifetime (a phrase that suddenly jumps from cliché into meaning) flew out the window with COVID. No getting up to go to work, no end-of-the-day ritual–days have had no ending, really. They have just stopped.

As the vaccination program grows, and the view gets more hopeful (although we must remember it’s not over) and plans and possibilities resume their place in my life . . .

I went for a walk around the lake today. A first in what now feels like the time after.

I worked online as a middle school substitute and actually taught a class of engaged children. Another first.

I delayed my dinner to write this column.

I can feel the thaw. I’m starting to live life again–and I thought I’d been living throughout this year. But as the change begins to work in me, I begin to realize how completely isolated I have been. How shut down. How much in suspended animation. I like to think of it as the COVID cocoon.

Is this what it feels like when a war is over? It’s overwhelming.

And I got off easy: I have had no financial crisis, no loss of work (although my job has been tenuous), no loss of income (thanks to extended unemployment), no illness, no deaths among those near and dear.

My year has been one of fear of a horrible fate that has not materialized, and otherwise, a steady drumbeat of another day like yesterday, ho hum, the te-di-um.

I wonder how quickly I’ll forget. Will San Francisco seem truly new to me? Will it be like moving to the Bay for the first time when I start to move about again? Will my friends look the same? Act the same? Will they still be my friends?

I find myself wondering if I will recognize the world I’m returning to.

It’s only been a year but I feel very much like Rip Van Winkle.

COVID has done what I have never accomplished through all my efforts at spirituality, and occult explorations, and psychic adventures, and shamanic journeys, and sudden cross country moves, and changing jobs, and running away–a long list of experiments with a single goal–to escape the predictability of the march of time.

COVID has turned time around and upside down and shaken it up like dice in a box, and everything is about to be tossed out onto the table into what is really a new configuration.

It’s scary and wonderful, I think.

What’s it like for you?