Back to reality: Day 1 of self-isolation
The story so far:
Our hero, fresh from his brave running away from the epicentre of a virus, tail firmly between his legs, has made it home to the bosom of his family, the Ottawackers. He, while probably under the influence of Rioja at the moment of making it, has decided to self-isolate in the basement of his house for 14 days. Not even the cats are allowed down. So far, so good.
Camera pans to then zooms in on hero, sat hunched over his laptop, facing the wall.
So here I am, on Day 1. And what a day. Crisp and glorious on the outside. I awake at 6 and start on the mountain of laundry, detecting immediately Mrs. Ottawacker’s plan during my expected five-week departure: leave everything till the day before he is due home and then take it to the laundry. My sudden return has caught her in flagrante delicto.
Not too bad so far. Keeping busy, mustn’t grumble, etc. Phone call from Pat O’Node, keen Irish observer of the blog, confirming I am home well and telling me I am missing nothing by being in the basement. My godson turns 18 on Thursday. Plans having to be postponed. Fortunately, my godson is stoic and balanced. If plans for my 18th had been put on ice, I’d have never recovered.
Request from Ottawacker Jr. Since I am here, could I make myself useful and read him a story. Yes, is the response, what do you want. The Hobbit is his reply. I read that to you just before I left – we finished the day before, 12 days ago. Okay, he says. Is there another hobbit story. No, I answer, somewhat untruthfully. You said, he says, there was another story that came after The Hobbit and so there was no need to be scared about what the dragon might do. Have you any idea how long that story is, I ask, unhopefully? No, he says, also not entirely truthfully, since I had shown him the enormous paperback version of The Lord of the Rings during a moment of misguided largesse. Our hero has many of those.
So, we started The Lord of the Rings. He, now just turned 7, may be at least 9 by the time we finish it. I am seated on a chair on the small landing twixt basement, chez moi, and the kitchen, chez lui. There is, as Air Canada would mandate, a six-foot distance between us – actually more. He’s hungry. So am I. Can we have a picnic while you read to me? Yes, of course. Get some cushions from the sofa. So, Mrs. Ottawacker, who is interrupting to ask questions about when the laundry will be ready, is called into service to make tea and toast and whatever the hobbits are having to celebrate Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday.
Then, a break. More laundry. They go out to kick a ball around. I catch up on emails and blips. Shall I work while I am down here or shall I write? The eternal question.
Only 13.5 more days to go until the seal is broken and I can arise, Tutankhamun-like from my basement tomb.
A discovery. More frightening than the time I found the spider on the pillow. There is no whisky in the house. Worse, there is only one bottle of wine in what is laughingly called my cellar. Then, a solution: LCBO delivers.