Plague Diary 15: Things Do Not Get Better, But Worse

My daughter informs me that I have become longwinded with age and so nobody can read this blog anymore. She is right! It is true! And it is even more true in this time of decreasing attention, when none of us can even muster up the concentration of a goldfish. It is hard to maintain interest in more than a paragraph when your morning doom scrolling is so, well, doom laden. My doom has been interrupted by more doom! I no longer remember last week’s doom! From now on, I’m going short and choppy. Like the headsman’s axe.



A family member came to stay for 10 days. Yes, thank you, I know we are not supposed to be traveling and I don’t want to hear about it. Like lemmings, we’re all going off the cliff together. At least we’re doing it the public mask wearing, socially distant way.  It was good to see them and it was fun to play tour guide and they were impressed, as who could not be, by the scenery and the cool breezes and the obligatory drive down to Nehalem Bay with a stop at Cannon Beach and the crabs and crossing the river to Cape Disappointment and Josephson’s Smokehouse and the eclectic mix that is downtown Astoria on an Artwalk afternoon. Then, out of the blue – the literal blue; the weather has been unsettlingly beautiful, just clear, clear blue skies, day after day – two old friends from originally Baltimore and then Western North Carolina (they’re going to have to move here, we’ve been moving around each other for twenty years; can’t stop now) arrived with their dog Chauncy. They only stayed overnight but we drove up to the Column and did some driving around Astoria and then a morning beach visit and it was lovely. I like showing off my house and my adopted home town.


And, well, hopefully none of us will die from this. None of us are actually particularly social even in the non plague times, let’s be honest, so we are probably somewhat less at risk than many. It’s worth it, maybe: even crabbed old hermits like me enjoy speaking with other humans now and then and humans who have known you most of your life are a special kind of beloved. I don’t know. I do know the campgrounds are packed and the beaches are busier than you would think they should be and there are lines around the block for the Bowpicker just like any ordinary August, so, here we are in the sixth month of the end of the world as we know it. Add a few middle aged people sitting outside on the patio and chatting to the mix and, yes, doom, doom, doom but at least we go with love in our hearts.


Of course when another friend called and asked about coming down for the day in the middle of all this I howled NO. Then two days later when I put the last visitor on the train in Portland I called her back and said, I am so sorry, yes, please, I was just having a company overdose. Introverts unite! She completely understood. And I am ready now for more people. I’ve had three days of glorious solitude: lying on the couch, eating too much, drinking too much and talking to the dogs about politics.


okay maybe we did have one day with mist in the morning. Look! Friends!


Weather! Plants!

1O0A5228The sun just keeps on shining. I miss the fog and rain, to be honest, but I’m weird. Meanwhile, I am harvesting cucumbers – you can, in fact, grow cucumbers in a deck box perched on top of a rickety 7′ wooden fence – and I even got one relatively decent, if small, tomato. I have dill coming out my ears and there is a birdbath with a working fountain in the garden! I did that before the plague dollars stopped coming but it still cost only $40 – half for the tacky ass white plastic birdbath and half for the magical solar ever burbling fountain – and an afternoon of painting it and filling the hollow plastic base with concrete so that it looked better and would not fly away in the first gust of wind. I am mightily pleased with it, myself, although I have yet to see a bird making use of the facilities.

But it is too hot. I hate the heat; I still get hot flashes; they apparently will never end. I lay here last night and thought I was going to die in the heat as the hot flashes took me over, 82 degrees in the house and I feel like I’m dying. Pacific northwest houses are not built with heat in mind; they have no idea of airflow, no fans, no shutters, no ways to beat this kind of heavy weather.  I watched some v shaped flights of small birds this morning, heading due south down 101, twittering – no, in the old sense, not, I think, on tiny phones – and I thought, please, yes, draw in the days, bring back the long fog and the gray mist and the soft autumn rain.


The World At Large


the world might end but there is always cannon beach

Yeah, okay, this is the end of the world as we know it. The plague dollars are gone; we’re all desperately poor now except for the people the ruling party cares about and they’re rolling in the dough. When I finish posting this blog I am going to apply for foodstamps. And for jobs but I have more hope for the foodstamps, honestly. People are dying every day in the hundreds, the thousands, of Covid 19 but the schools are reopening, because the rich have realized that this plague isn’t really touching them except for Herman Cain and he’s tweeting from beyond the grave anyway. Mammon must be appeased with the bodies of the poor and Herman Cain. The rest of the world wants no part of us and all the borders are closed so there is nowhere to flee. The battles continue in Portland and they are being taken up at Stone Mountain and elsewhere; the cops have come out for Trump, surprising exactly nobody, and the current scandal is the evil dismantling of the Post Office. They can’t DO that, shout people, disregarding that we are about four years into them doing exactly what they want with no accountability whatsoever – turns out that running a government on the honor system doesn’t work when the real crooks come in – and here we are. Is there going to be an election in 80 days? Do you believe, like I do, that he stole the last one? Do you think he’s going to steal this one too? Does it even matter because the planet is dying? Why is Biden such a drag? What about Harris? Does the VP even matter? Are we going to vote for them anyway with grim desperation? Should we have dismantled the electoral college in 2000 when it robbed us of President Gore and a chance to stop the arctic from burning? YES, is the fucking answer to the last two and for the rest, I despair and all I can do is lie on the couch, drink sun tea and read terrible novels on the iPad, enriching Jeff Bezos by $10 a month so I can lose myself in unending streams of poorly written paranormal cozy mystery romances. Bring me a goddamn werewolf, somebody, anybody, and together we will take on this mess. Or at least flee together, our hair: perfect.


and also there is cape disappointment which would be an awesome place for a getaway with my werewolf lover


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4 Responses to Plague Diary 15: Things Do Not Get Better, But Worse

  1. What a wonderful finish! I’m coming with you……

  2. I read these. But I also assume you write them for yourself and not others.

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