April 30, 2020

Every Night, I Wake Up & Just Cry.

Check out Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

It’s 2 a.m., and I am awake again and crying in my pillow.

It’s a pattern of behavior that is intensifying as the weeks go on.

The safer-at-home order took effect six weeks ago, and the feeling of not knowing where home is feels stronger than ever.

Ask me to point to Oxnard on a map, and I wouldn’t be able to show you. Yet, I throw my laundry in now with everyone else and send my mail here.

Each night, I wake up, search for a pillow, and sob. I feel seven years old. I hear sirens outside from the fire station and feel the bed beneath me. “Home is wherever you are,” I whisper before drifting back to sleep.

I wake up and greet Tita before making coffee. “¿Cómo dormiste, Rebe?” she asks, wondering how I slept. She passes me the Coffee-Mate and begins making eggs while watching her telenovela in the kitchen. I hadn’t met the woman before Covid-19, but now I refer to her as Tita, or my “grandma.”

After making my coffee, I head to my room to open my computer for statistics, a class of about 60. My hair is soaked from my shower, but I don’t mind. I no longer bother turning on my camera for class. I let my hair dry naturally while I write notes on parametric statistics and think about the hectic day ahead.

After class, I have five clients with individual speech sessions on Zoom. The thought of another day sitting brings up feelings of frustration and sadness.

Prior to Covid-19, I was finally beginning to feel at home in the city I had moved to. I had made lots of friends at school this year, began attending support groups for children of alcoholics, and was meditating regularly. Yet again, so much has changed and the ground feels forever moving.

Covid-19 will not only be part of our world’s history; it will be part of each one of our life stories. We will all lose something, whether it’s the death of someone we know, a job, or no longer experiencing life as it was.

While this is true, there is so much to gain. For some, it may take time to realize what this is. For others, maybe it’s clear. I am sure there are many more lessons to arise, but the one I am learning as the days go by is that my home may not be typical, but it’s beyond beautiful.

No matter where I am—Bellingham, New York City, Brazil, Costa Rica, Claremont, Oxnard, or alone, I am always home. I feel it when I put my hand to my heart.

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