Lockdown, Letter 3

Lockdown, Letter 3

Dear Someone,

Every single person I live with has a firm grasp on how to spend their time during lockdown, but not me. No, I find it hard to concentrate on most things. I’m on book 2 of Harry Potter and, last I left him, he’d been attending a death day part with a bunch of ghosts. It wasn’t exactly pleasant but he chose to go as did his sidekicks, Hermione and Ron.

I didn’t read those books when I was young, in part because everyone seemed to be reading them. So I’m a bit behind on how this whole Hogwarts thing works. Maybe I’ll watch the movies when I’ve finished reading the series (if I finish reading the series). For a 40-year-old adult on lockdown, I should’ve at least made it through book 4 by now! But no. I simply can’t focus.

If I’m in my room I want to sleep.

If I’m in the living room, other people talk or watch TV. And the recliner chairs also make me want to sleep.

I’m in need of exercise too but it’s hard to wake up in the morning and stay awake for an entire day since I have no incentive to do so. No job. No children to care for. Not even a pet to feed and water! I do put out seed for the wild birds which has to be replenished daily and it’s worth it to see the adorable green love birds and finches come right up to the kitchen window.

There are still nights and days when I feel stuck and start to cry. Sometimes I even yell in frustration. Last week there were a couple of days like that. I just didn’t want to deal with not being able to retreat to my favorite Starbucks for a few hours or visit a friend. It’s tough being stuck with my parents and sister 24/7. There’ve been times I’ve even thought a return to the psych hospital would be preferred over this. But then I remember the strict limits to phone time, the requirement to attend groups, not being allowed to have shoe laces or bras with underwire, and dealing with new roommates who aren’t always easy to live with.

Sunday I finally did get to see a friend and it was glorious! And we did our best to maintain social distancing. We at least decided not to hug even though we really wanted to. I wish I could see more friends! But it’s still not advised. What will the world look like when all of this is over?

I also had my hair cut almost as soon as the hair salons opened. It’s a bob cut that seems to suit my long, fat face perfectly. Before my hair had been falling out in small clumps in the shower. Even the hair stylist noticed it when she washed my hair. Maybe it’s a side effect of medication. Maybe it’s stress. My solution is to not wash my hair so much; maybe twice a week.

When I was young I’d wash my hair every single day. But now times have changed.

I know what I need. I need meaningful work that takes me out of the house for a significant portion of the day. Is that too much to ask?

I suppose that’s where vocational rehabilitation comes in. This a program offered by the department of economic security specifically in place to help those like me who’ve been disabled for a significant amount of time to successfully re-enter the workforce. But I’ve only done my intake session so I’m not exactly sure how the rest of this is going to work. I know one thing – they don’t actually find jobs for disabled people. The just help the disabled hone in on what we truly desire and then help us acquire the skills needed to find a job in that realm. At least I think that’s how it works.

I wish it would work faster. Then again, not everything is open yet. This might not be the right time to try new things.

Welcome to the memoirs of 40-year-old who spent so much of her 30s writing memoirs that she doesn’t know how to write anything else.

So I’ll tell a story of a child. She’s easy to conjure because there are video recordings of her singing in front of a camera. She wanted to sing on stage, in front of people and in time she would. She just wouldn’t sing in front of that many people. Just people at church, people at school. But why did she really want to sing? Was it because she thought she was great at it? I don’t think so. In fact, she’d listen to the pop stars who were the same age she was and knew right away that she didn’t have it in her to do what they did.

No, the songbird wanted to be loved and on that dark night when she walked to a pay phone far enough from her dorm room that she could call her boyfriend and privately cry over the phone to tell him she was done, she wasn’t going to major in music anymore, there was no more she could do. Her life lost all meaning.

Am I starting to sound like a memoirist again? Oh, how I enjoyed going through old letters when I was archiving documents in the early years after I moved back home! I’m a memoirist and an archivist!

Nope, slow down, Clara.

Does Someone want to hear my story? Do They?

Well isn’t that strange. Lockdown letters are written in the now and then drift toward the “then.” I thought my story was just about me but it’s actually about us. Took me long enough to figure that out, didn’t it.

I’m not sure what all this means. It’s late and I don’t always trust my late night writings.

Tell me. What is a quick and easy way to get a fictional character to talk about themselves? You have another character ask them questions. J.K. Rowling uses this tactic so many times! It keeps us all up to speed on individual characters and the overall plot (which I assume has something to do with Voldemort and Harry Potter – NO SPOILERS!)

So do you, my dear Someone, have some questions you want to ask me?

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