As I write this column on a lovely Sonoran Desert Sunday afternoon, it is four weeks to the day that I was returning home from CPAC after four fantastic days with old friends, new colleagues, and some random members of foreign parliaments. I hosted a Kruiser Kabana every night that I was there and, upon my return to Tucson on March 1, immediately headed off to host another party for my birthday.
Four weeks on the calendar, but about forty-two years in coronavirus bat soup WuFlu time.
To say that it has been a weird month would be taking us all on a trip so far into understatement that we would need socially-distanced Sherpa guides to bring us back.
To my great surprise, I found quarantine madness getting to me last week. I thought I was probably immune, as my regular work and lifestyle involve almost nothing but social distancing and isolation.
Then Major League Baseball’s Opening Day came and went without any baseball last week and that was, in fact, an interruption to my routine. Now all of this being careful stuff had become personal and — not gonna lie — annoying to me.
For reasons that are still a mystery to me, I really let myself go during the first couple of weeks of the stay-at-home stuff. Part of being a professional who works from home is having some self-imposed structure and daily routines to keep you on track. I decided to let all of that fly out of the window. At first, I blamed it on the fact that this has adversely affected my child’s life. When her senior year of college and athletic career were both canceled on March 12, I was not happy.
Fine, Dad, have a few drinks over the weekend and deal with it.
When I was still in full Hunter S. Thompson mode two weeks later I knew that I was engaged in some sort of social experiment that wasn’t going to end well for me. My child is 21 and she’s dealing with all of this very well. Her attitude is positive and she’s focused on planning her future.
Maybe it’s time for her old man to air out his liver a bit.
I am exaggerating a bit here for dramatic effect, but it was still a little weird up in here for a few days.
What was really wrong was that I had become even more isolated than usual. It’s not that I never get out of the house. I just don’t get out to do things with other people, sort of.
I like to ride my bike 4-6 times a week and I usually go to Mass on Sundays. I’ve been hanging out with the Traddy Catholics at the Latin Mass for about a year and we’re not an interactive bunch, so that’s not really doing things with people.
Well, I had decided to avoid the bike for what I thought was a sound reason: we have a love/hate relationship and sometimes it tries to injure me. I really didn’t feel like breaking something and ending up in an emergency room. Not that I’ve broken anything in a while, but most of the bad injuries I’ve had in my life have resulted from falling off of a bicycle.
We can get into the psychology behind why I now love cycling so much at a later date.
We are going to be here for a while, after all.
Then, the bishop here gave us all a dispensation, canceled all Masses for the time being, and that was that. My two main forays out of the house weren’t there.
So there I was, a veteran lone-wolf who was quite used to being away from social interaction, but my limited weekly exposure to the outside of my house was gone.
“Say hello to stir crazy, Kruiser.”
I won’t say that I feel the pain of the office workers who have been descending into minor madness the past couple of weeks. I briefly worked in an office after I got divorced because my daughter was young and I didn’t want to be on the road telling jokes in New Jersey while she was adjusting to her parents splitting up in Los Angeles.
Let’s just say that forced social interaction in the morning for the sake of commerce is not my jam. I’m still surprised I’m not in prison.
I will say, however, that I am going to be nicer to my more extroverted friends who are getting antsy.
Most likely in the form of offers to video chat and day-drink.