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Monday, April 27, 2020


by Earl J Wilcox

When he awakens—eyes too full of macular
to see any clock—Alexa, his roommate,
tells him the hour, temperature, date, begins
their day with Adagio for Strings. It’s 6:30.
Robed, peeing done, doddering, wobbling,
he shuffles down a hall, toward his kitchen.
Morning meds taken, coffee perking, he
strolls into his sun room; late, white
azaleas wave in a Carolina breeze. Two
squirrels scamper, a red bird flies away.

The NYT headlines on his ancient Windows
screen blur. Numbers of new cases, deaths,
something about masks, T***P fibs again.
He glances at the theater section. Fun.
Performers posting happy videos. This early
Monday too young—he feels—to count as
another day just yet as the sun is still hiding
behind lush dogwoods, cherry trees. His coffee
smells better than it tastes. His macular eyes focus
slowly. Spring pollen clogs ears and throat from
clearing properly until mid-morning. Abetted
by coughing he could sound to some is if the virus
found him overnight. Until time for the women
on The View to take up their verbal cudgels exactly
where they left off yesterday, the TV is silent.

Online the local rag counts case and death numbers
on page Two. He avoids noting too closely how
many who die are near his age, though the papers seem
to equivocate or just don’t report for some reason
the causes of death among some elderly folks.
People in pictures atop obits are smiling. Why not—
he sighs—since the snaps were made thirty
years ago. His ancient computer is now fully
engaged as is he ready to surf. He avoids all accounts
of the virus. About ten pages of an EXTRA
section of the newspaper are devoted to almost
every nuance of the disease. The online news has
run the same section for several days. There is
no lack of news about COVID-19. In the
Sports section, more reports of games canceled.
Are the NFL, MLB, NBA going defunct?
He gives a mental “thumbs up” to ball-playing
millionaires helping raise funds for needy families.
Seems the NFL draft is the spring sporting event.

His puny small stocks made modest gains
yesterday, and the weather will let the azalea blossoms
hold their blaze another day. The morning
meds taste funny without food. He eats a banana.

Sinus clogging and sneezes are common. It is not
the virus season after all. A classical radio station
plays Bach and soothing, nostalgic olden goldies—
Brahms’ How Lovely Are Thy Tabernacles by Mormon
Choir. In his best dulcet tones, the radio announcer
avoids mentioning COVID-19 until the end of his
shift. It is good to have four hours of music
uninterrupted by updates on cases and deaths
and prospects for future. At his age, some of these
projections have been in his profile for a decade.

Earl Wilcox is reopening his back yard to squirrels, robins, and cotton tail rabbits. Early worms show up at their own risk.