Update on Joyce

Ok…here’s something Mayor Garcetti doesn’t explain when he comes on the TV every day at 5:30.

What do you do about your girlfriend when it comes to self-isolating and social distancing?

Joyce lives alone in her house up in Altadena, and I’m not sure how often or even if I should see her. It’s easier with Keaton, since we’re a little like roommates and have no trouble staying 6’ apart when we’re together. Yeah, we had to learn to stop shaking hands, but we’ve gotten used to that…and the good thing about not shaking hands is that it only takes one person to stop you. It still happens that one of us puts his hand out, but then the other says ‘dumbfuck!’ or ‘jerkoff!’ and we remember not to touch. And like I’ve told y’all, we measured out 6’ in his apartment from where we usually sit. We even wipe down the bag with those Clorox wipes after each of us is done using it…at least while our supply of Clorox wipes lasts. (Keaton got the ones we have, I’m not sure how. I wouldn’t put it past him to have tackled a hoarder in the Walmart parking lot and helped himself to a reasonable quantity of toilet paper and Clorox wipes lol.)

But that’s easy. Keaton’s a friend and it’s easy applying common sense to our situation.

But what about my girlfriend?

First off, I don’t like the idea of Joyce sitting up in her house all by herself all the time. It’s not that I’m worried for her safety; I’m worried for her sanity. She’s luckier than a lot of people, I guess, since she’s got a hobby that can keep her busy by herself, but I know she misses her weekly bridge, and, yeah, she must miss me too. She had a pretty full life going there for a while, and I know it made her very happy…and, now…

Well, y’all know dang well what’s going on now.

So what are we supposed to do? Not see each other for months? That doesn’t seem fair or even possible for two people who’ve been dating steadily for getting on 2 years. I mean, there are people who have been dating for less time than me and Joyce and who are living together already. And it’s no secret from y’all that me and Joyce are what you can call ‘intimate’ – or at least that we have been up until this happened.

So what are you supposed to do?

I’ve looked around and it’s hard finding an answer. Although I reckon me and Joyce could just not see each other for the duration of the crisis, that’s too much to ask of people who have learned to depend on each other’s company for a lot of things…and I don’t just mean physical intimacy. I’m not too clear on what families are supposed to do either. I mean, it’s easy for the Andrews, say, because they have such a big house and there’s plenty of room for the 5 of them to stay 6’ apart from each other, but what about Chuy and his family? True, there are only 4 of them, but they don’t have a very big house, and I don’t know how, for example, all 4 of them can be in the living room and stay 6’ apart. And what do Chuy and Aracely do at night? I got a glimpse of their bedroom when I was over there for Abel’s birthday party, and, like most married couples, they have one bed. I don’t think you can stay 6’ apart from someone if you sleep in the same bed.

Ok, so that’s one side of the coin, and I reckon you could say (I reckon a lot of people have decided) that you’re not in any real danger from your family and that the social distancing thing only applies to strangers in the street and in the supermarket.

See…I’m not so sure of that. The people you’re most likely to catch the coronavirus from are the ones you spend the most time with and with who you live at closest quarters with. There’s just more opportunity for someone to sneeze on you when you live with them. And, no matter how much we shelter inside, most of us are gonna go out sooner or later and could bring the virus inside into our homes. Then you’re perfectly situated to spread the virus to the rest of your family. That’s just common sense.

So, by that logic, the people you should social distance yourself most from are the people in your family and the people you spend the most time with.

Now, put those two together and what do you get?

Real, real confused, that’s what you get.

There’s no good answer for what me and Joyce should and shouldn’t be doing. Although it’s not what either of us want, I think that being intimate is not a good idea, fortunately that’s only for the time being…although who knows how long the time being is gonna be. (And I’m only human.) But then does that mean we can’t even see each other, since we live in different homes? That doesn’t seem fair…and I don’t like the idea of Joyce being up there all by herself all the time.

So I think we came up with an ok compromise: I go up there a few times a week and we stay 6’ apart. It’s really weird and I’m not used to it yet, but it’s better than nothing and at least it means we both get some company. We watch movies…and Joyce makes two bowls of the parmesan cheese and rosemary popcorn we always have when we watch TCM together. I don’t spend the night, but at least we get to be together some.

I think the only ones who are pleased at this situation re MooMoo and NumNums, who get the run of the house most of the time now. I could have sworn that NumNums shot me a ‘see – told you we would win!’ look the last time I saw him. Fuck those cats are evil. (One of these days I’m gonna figure out why it is that cats hate me. And it’s just cats: I’ve never met a dog who didn’t like me.)

One thing is for sure: this thing is tough on everyone. And it pretty much sucks all around. I wish I could find a bright side to it, but, aside from the fact that all this social distancing and shit are keeping us from getting very sick, I don’t see one. I’m not sure what the world is gonna be like on the other end of this, either. I mean…is going to a ballgame ever gonna be the same??


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