The mornings are easier. I've never been a morning person, and now is no exception, but I do feel better in the mornings. There are more sweet, comforting routines: the smell of my partner making us coffee, drinking it together with shortbread cookies, watering the plants. Those things haven’t changed.
I hadn’t realized how weird it would be to rely so much on Zoom and other video conferencing apps — not only because of the quasi-apocalyptic experience that entails, but also because of how much time I am now spending staring at a digital reflection of my own face. I’m not uncomfortable seeing myself, but this particular version is getting to be a bit much. Every time I log on and see my small self, I think, “Ugh, you again?”
My partner moved in with me at the beginning of the pandemic. We had planned for this move before everything happened, but the process was proportionally sped up when quarantine restrictions tightened. That meant his cat, Sal, also moved in.
Sal is a shockingly loving and curious cat. If he isn’t sleeping he is climbing, scratching the furniture, making small chirping sounds. He wakes us up at dawn to demand breakfast, but we hardly mind.
Before my partner and his cat moved in, I lived alone. I’ve always been comfortable living by myself, but this move could not have come at a better time. We began moving furniture, clothes, and, importantly, Sal, as early as March. It feels obvious to say, but man, I am grateful for that timing.
One of the most enduring, if small, new routines has been the regular cleaning of masks. Two of my friends sew, and kindly sent over a couple of handmade masks. We clean them every day we use them, sometimes in the sink, sometimes in the shower. Because of this, they appear perpetually wet, always clean and drying.
My partner has been, traditionally, more of a nap person than I am, but we now regularly take tandem naps in the middle of the day. Even now I am surprised by how tired I can feel despite spending the whole day inside. Important things have already been written about that — about the mental weight of this massive trauma, of the fight-or-flight response. It’s all true, I have to assume. It certainly feels that way.
Night is, perhaps unsurprisingly, less easy. WIthout the sweet, soft light in the windows, my apartment begins to feel much more insular, more confined. I’ve had the same problems seemingly everyone has had — trouble sleeping, bizarre and vivid dreams — and the emergence of nighttime has become almost redundant. This again? But the promise of the morning, the coffee smell and the shortbread, is a comfort.