I explained in a blog a few days ago why I write. But these days, I’m not writing, except for this blog. Why?
The answer is a series of events that arrived simultaneously. The onset of the pandemic brought with it a lockdown. I found myself threatened by a disease that might kill me (an older man with a history of lung cancer) and isolated from all human contact. The economy crashed. It was my extreme good fortune that my income is a federal government annuity that continued despite the shutdown. The Trump administration spiraled downward in competence and effectiveness. Worst of all, my partner for over twenty years, Su, died at the end of March.
So for the better part of a year, I have been living in a strange new world in which my life is at risk and I am devoid of human contact while I grieve over the loss of my mate. Nothing is the same. I can’t even spend time with my children lest we infect one another. I am more alone than I have ever been in my life.
One result of inhabiting a barren realm is that my drive to write has vanished. Worse, I can’t write even when I try. A part of me has gone silent. The creative juices have ceased to flow. I am voiceless.
I believe that over time I’ll return to a normal life where I meet with others and communicate. My voice will return. The story I most want to tell, of the death of a loved one during the pandemic, will finally find its way onto paper.
Maybe I’ll call it Love in the Time of the Coronavirus.