Ottawa, September 8, 2020
Today it’s cloudy. It seems like a switch went off at the end of August and autumn began. The darkness, yes, that was inevitable. I turn on the light now at 5:15 a.m. when I pad out to the kitchen to pour Charles’ coffee into his two big travelling mugs that will get him through the day. The coffee maker is programmable and during the times of Covid-19, I appreciate that feature very much. We never used it BC19. Before Covid-19.
It’s cool now in the mornings, often in the single digits. Dark comes earlier at night too, around 7 pm. So the days are shorter and shortening until December 21 when they begin to lengthen. I’ve seen a few trees on the turn already. On the turn, like traitors or spies. Things you can turn, change the mind of, convince. I love autumn. It is the season of my birth, Charles’ birth and our wedding anniversary. We got married on the day that summer turned to autumn in 2002, September 23. Can I still love autumn at this time?
This morning I had to pick up a book from the library and it was cool enough for me to don my autumn attire: a pair of green corduroy pants, an orange jacket with a queer button pinned into the lapel. Apparently I am queer only in the autumn, or so my jacket tells me.
After mailing post cards to dear friends, I wandered over to the library. Before using up some hand sanitizer and a fresh, clean mask, I went up to the door, but it was closed. Usually there’s a woman my age or older there with a mask on, inquiring as to the purpose of my visit. If it’s for holds, she waves me on through, reminding me to stay two meters away from others and to use the hand sanitizer, but today the automatic door is closed. It is about 10:30 a.m. The library opens at 10 a.m. on weekdays. There’s a big sign on the door with the hours reading 10 a.m. beneath all the days except Sunday. I google and discover that today the Main Branch doesn’t open until 1 p.m. Several fellow library users arrive, and I let them know. We are all flummoxed.
This is how things are now and will be for as long as it takes. I keep hearing folks say, “when things get back to normal…” but I’m not sure there will ever be a return to the way things were. At least for me. I’m expecting things to be tricky and uncomfortable for a while. I’m expecting everything that I took for granted to be different. So yes, the library is opening later. It’s not completely closed all the time, which is amazing in itself. I appreciate the library staff and the risk that they are taking so that I can take out books. I also feel guilty about that. I think all of these things while standing outside the library and watching several others come and go.
I have to remember to check hours of any place I have to go to in future. Especially the library.
I enjoyed walking outside. Yes, there were men wearing masks on their heads or around their ears. There were construction workers standing close together. I had to resist the urge to buy coffee from a local café.
Not only am I trying to spend as little as possible at this time, but since I am in control of only my own decisions, I let as little as possible fall into the control of someone else. This means avoiding in person contact with people as much as possible except for Charles.
I go to the post office once or twice a month, the library about the same and the pharmacy once in a while. That’s it. That’s what I’ve decided to do for now. I can’t guarantee what I will want or do in future. For now, this helps keep my anxiety at bay.
What are you doing to keep your own anxiety at bay?