I’m Ba-a-a-ck!

I thought my computer had died but it turned out it was just in a coma. Didn’t cost me my firstborn, either. Even if it did, I have no children, so the neighbor’s kid would have had to do.

Gawd…a week without my computer. Couldn’t access my bills (those that aren’t on auto-pay) couldn’t work on my manuscripts, couldn’t access my e-books. It’s kind of funny how much I’ve come to depend on technology for just about everything. I remember thinking I’d never get a desktop, those newfangled things…what’s wrong with paper and pen? Now my handwriting’s deteriorated so bad I can hardly read it. I don’t even use paper and pen anymore, except for writing the rare check, or when a document needs a wet-signature. And you know what? I said the same thing about microwaves. My housemate does all the cooking but before he came along, if I couldn’t nuke it, I didn’t eat it. In the 15 years I’ve lived in this house, I think I’ve turned the oven on maybe 3 times.

Have you noticed how life has come to a standstill because of this COVID-19? The silence is all but deafening. Haven’t heard from my attorney. The robocalls have stopped (thankyuhjesus!). Still, there are some things that are chugging along. I’m working as usual and my bills are coming is as usual. But it’s weird–for the day job, I’m supposed to find a victim to interview for a column the magazine launched a few months ago. I can’t find anybody. I mean, no one’s returning emails or anything. These are people who are partners in law firms–surely they’re working from home and have access to their office email. State agencies I can understand a bit better, but again, these are the top people–the agency heads. They’re on vacation, too? It’s like everybody’s dropped off the face of the earth. And of course, my boss continues to insist I find someone. Well, I write fantasy. Maybe I can interview myself.

So my newsletter mailing list keeps growing by leaps and bounds. In the past 2 months, I’ve received refunds from the service I use. I guess the more people who sign up in a month, the less they charge. Occasionally, someone unsubscribes saying they’re no longer interested or whatever. I can’t help but feel a bit of a pang when that happens. It’s not a blow to my sense of self-worth or anything like that. More like what Zora Neale Hurston said about people who wouldn’t associate with her because she was black: “Why would anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company?”

COVID-19 has hit home for me, though. An old high-school friend, Wallace Roney, died the other day. He played jazz trumpet and he was brilliant. Others thought so too, because he won a Grammy. At 15, he could make you cry tears of joy with his playing. He didn’t go to college–he was picked up by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers right out of high school. When he left them, he became a protegé of Miles Davis. Which is saying something, because Davis wasn’t like that. Quite the opposite. But he saw something in Wallace because not only were they teacher and student, they were close friends. Wallace was cut down at the top of his game and it’s heartbreaking. You know, I can’t help thinking about The Moreva of Astoreth throughout this. As a scientist and healer, Moreva Tehi’s in a race to find a cure for red fever, a deadly, highly contagious virus that appears every four years or so and kills within a day. In the past, entire villages had been wiped out by the disease. As Laerd Teger, her future love interest says, “if you didn’t have someone in your family die from it, you knew someone who did!” Yeah–I kinda feel like that right now.

In fact, I kinda feel like that about everything right now.

Ciao.

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