YOU WANNA GO OUT? NO!
It’s summer! It’s official! Covid is waning! The “normal world” is back!
Between a family birthday, a weekend vacation trip, my own birthday, and July 4th weekend, I have been overwhelmed with being in close proximity with other peoples’ faces. Frankly, it’s too much. No one has cleaned their pores in a year. Including me.
I’m getting a lot of mental whiplash trying to wrap my head around everything. It feels like we’ve gone from “we’re all gonna contract a deadly virus and be hospitalized” to EVITE EVITE EVITE EVITE “Come to my house, we’re all gonna take turns licking a cake and then eat it! TOGETHER!” I went to the grocery store on 4th of July, and it was as if lock-down had started again, but instead of toilet paper, people were mass-buying hot dogs. There were so many illegal fireworks set off in my neighborhood from parties, my cat was traumatized and actually let me snuggle her for 30 seconds. (She hates me, I hate her, it works for us). I bet the area squirrels had a hard time, too. But don’t feel bad for them. Those little a-holes keep eating my baby pomegranates before they’re ripe AND JUST TAKING ONE BITE OUT OF THEM! Let the fruit grow up and eat them when they’re ripe at least, ya puff tails!
Before my birthday, in June, we went to San Diego, a few hours south of our house, just to test the “be around strange people” for a weekend. Little did I know Orange County, being a right-leaning area, was all the way in “let’s breathe on each other again!” territory. NO one was wearing masks. I felt like the dorky kid with braces who wore corrective shoes when I walked into a restaurant as the only one covered. *muffled* “Hi guyzzz can we order a pizzazz?!”
The absolute worst part came when my kid wanted to go swimming at the hotel pool. We were just entering a large pool full of half-clothed strangers enjoying themselves, seems okay, right? But as I stepped into the water, it turned into a full-on horror movie. In slow motion I saw a person laugh and spittle fly out. A drip of sweat glided over a man’s very big Covid belly and dropped into the communal water. A child sneezed full on and snot dripped down and then they wiped it off into the pool. It was literally all I could do to not run screaming. My brother made it worse by lifting the drain cover and showing me what was caught in the pool filter. “Look at this pile of skin flakes!” I almost puked. Thanks bro! After splashing for ten minutes in a corner with the kiddo, far away from other humans, I drew the line at getting in the communal hot tub. “We aren’t gonna go in there and cook ourselves with strangers, baby. Let’s go get ice cream! AS MUCH AS YOU WANT, PLEASE LET’S LEAVE!”
Sooo, wasn’t the BEST entry back into society.
Since then, I’ve had a dinner, two lunches, a park meet-up and one single pool party with two other kids. All my closest friends. It was awesome to see them! I love them. But I literally winced when they hugged me, I couldn’t bring myself to eat off the snack table, and after five minutes of in-person socializing I felt like someone had drained my life force and turned me into one of those corn dolls you make in grade school for Thanksgiving. Dry, brittle and pretty weird looking.
I knew I was an introvert, and that public interactions were draining rather than invigorating (read the wonderful book Quiet if you want more info on my self-diagnosis), but this is next level. And to be honest, I’m bummed about it! In theory, I’m excited, to get back to the world! I’d love to go on a work trip and meet fans and watch Law and Order in the hotel at night, but I’m worried about my general stamina, physically and mentally. Can I do a whole con without dodging around people’s hugs? Will my hypochondria flare up and make me feel like I’m getting cancer when I go through airline security again like it did during book tour? If I get con-crud, which I definitely will, is it just going to be a cold? Or am I going to be a vaccinated break through person and transmit Covid to my baby who is too young to be vaccinated, which is an actual, not-neurotic concern?
Also I forget what sniffles feel like. They were bad, right?
I know slowly it’s gonna get better and I’ll get more comfortable with the world, day-by-day. I’m already feeling more comfortable going out and about. I got a facial last week and a woman smeared 15 layers of gunk on me and massaged my cheek bones for a half-hour and I didn’t have the impulse to shove her off the edge of a building, AND my pores are clean now, so that’s promising? But I’m gonna be gentle with myself and do this at the exact pace I’m comfortable with, and no faster. I don’t think this experience of moving from trauma to “normalcy” again, should be like ripping a bandaid off. It’s going to be unique to who we are, and the most important thing is being considerate of our own needs, and not forcing ourself to get out there just because other people are ready to play corn hole again! WE EACH need to be ready. To corn hole at our own pace. Even if there’s a taco truck involved.
I just wanted to type “corn hole” and ”taco truck” in the same sentence. Snicker.
So amongst all this summer revelry, with my birthday last week, so what did I do, you may ask?
Well, I spent the morning writing in silence for a few hours, went to the mall by myself in the afternoon to buy myself a single new t-shirt, ordered some take-out gumbo for dinner to eat in the privacy of my home, and went to sleep at 10pm.
Snuggling back into my world Covid comfort. Aaaaah. It was so VERY satisfying.
Weekly Recipe: Rigatoni Alla Vodka. Stop what you’re doing and cook this.
Animal Crossing Monopoly out in August? I’ve never wanted anything more.
It’s not gonna be universal, but I found this article on the origins of the watermelon pretty interesting.
Another announcement of Assassin’s Creed going online has me reeeeeling! What a great time to be a gamer!
Finally, Michelle Yeoh will be in the new Witcher prequel on Netflix as a SWORD ELF. HEAVY. BREATHING.
PERSONAL LINKS (Also Interesting):
For the month of July I’m doing LIVE Felicitations! podcasts on my Twitch! Tuesday nights 7-9pm PST! July 13th I have special guests Jim Beaver, Sam Smith and Kim Rhodes! Tune in please!
Undressing The Witcher ep 4 is out!
The Dungeons of Nahuelbeuk is out on CONSOLES now! Play with me! (Er..my voiceover, lol).
I star in an episode of the adorable show, Owl House, July 10th on Disney Channel or on Hulu! Such a fun character!
Lastly, please subscribe to this newsletter so you get it in your inbox every week.
See you in two weeks, and on my Discord channel in between for chatting and friendship! <3