Covid Updates (last part)

I was updating y’all on how my friends are handling the quarantine. I covered my family back home, Sloppy Joe, Josh, David, Dave and Travis in my last post.

Who all does that leave?

Trey, for one. He’s doing good, considering. He was the one who thought online classes were bullshit at first, but now he’s being pretty careful about finishing up this semester. He’s close to having enough credits to transfer to a 4 year college, and he wants to do that as soon as he can. He doesn’t want his life to be on hold any longer than it needs to.

Then there’s Adam. I told y’all already that Allan’s told Joyce that their business is at a standstill, but they have a bunch of projects that are on hold. They should be able to get back to them…assuming that the people who’ve hired them have enough money to go on with their decorating. Even rich people are getting into financial difficulties not being able to work, and Adam told me that some of their clients are in that situation. (You can also think about one of Cody’s moms, Daphne, who’s had no income from her botox clinic since March 15 and says she’s feeling the pinch.) Rich people spend more money on things like housing than other people, and just because people are living wealthy lifestyles doesn’t mean they have a lot of money in the bank. So both Adam and Allan are kinda worried where their business is going to be when things settle down again. Neither of them has any income at this point: since they own their business, they’re not eligible for unemployment. Them and Daphne are among the small business owners you hear about who are pretty much fucked by the virus crisis

That leaves the newest Parrot, Ryan, and I’ve saved him for last because he may be in more trouble than the rest of us. Ok, so if rich people can be hit by the virus, so can people with very little money, and that includes Ryan. If y’all remember, he had a job in a restaurant bussing tables, and he got laid off a while ago.   He’s living in a sober living place, which means he doesn’t have a lease, which means that he’s not protected from eviction like people who do have leases. They haven’t told him anything about getting kicked out yet, but he’s worried that it may come to that, especially if the economy reopens in California and the owners kick him out because there’ll be other people working who can pay rent before he can go back to his job.

He says he knows that the owners of the sober living like him, and he knows that the people in the Mexican restaurant have taken to him like a son, but the restaurant business isn’t going to be the first thing to take off right away, and there are other people who’ve worked longer at the restaurant than he has. Like at the L******, it’s always last hired, first fired (or laid off.) That’s fair…but that doesn’t help Ryan’s problem none.

He’s still going to his AA meetings several times a week (online, of course…but he hasn’t said he minds that), and he’s trying to tell himself not to worry. Keaton’s told him that he’s got a couch with Ryan’s name on it any time he needs it, then I said that Ryan could go back and forth between our places if necessary, so he doesn’t get on either of our nerves too much lol. One or the other of us talks to him every day on the phone and we’re trying to keep his spirits up. From what I understand about addiction, he’s still at a very risky time of his life, when it’s super easy to slip back into using drugs. The funny thing about Ryan is that he feels so alone in this and he’s actually got a whole bunch of really good people behind him: the social worker who he says has been his guardian angel, Adam and Allan, me and Keaton, and the rest of the team too. He’s got a lot of people who’ve got his back, but I reckon he may still be freaked out by all his past experiences. You can’t exactly blame him for that.

I thought that college acceptance letters weren’t going to be going out on time this year, but I was wrong. Seems like admissions offices were all on schedule and that they were able to get their letters out when they meant to. That means that Lucas has his acceptance letters now and has just decided where he’s going to go. His dad was super pleased that Lucas got into USC, but, like I told y’all, he’s not sure that that’s where he wants to go. Without having been scouted, he’s probably not going to have much of a chance to play baseball at a big school like that, and, since he missed out playing ball this year, he definitely wants to play in college.

He applied to a bunch of smaller schools all around the country, and he got into 2 of them. One’s in Ohio and called Denison and another’s in New York called Vassar. They’re pretty good (and pretty expensive) schools, from what I hear. I reckon because I made Knoxville sound so cool, he actually applied to the University of Tennessee as a ‘safety school’ – although I’m not sure that Lucas is ready for the south lol. So he had a lot to choose from, and he didn’t decide until the last possible minute where he’s gonna go.

So what did he decide on? Denison. He told me before he told his dad, and I told him just to tell his father and get it over with. Yeah, Mr. Andrews was disappointed that Lucas didn’t choose USC, but his brother Carter already went there, and he wants to try something different. He says his mom was favoring Vassar, but Lucas thinks that the baseball possibilities are gonna be way better at Denison, and, academically, it’s apparently pretty much on the same level. Since I let baseball decide where I was going to college, I totally understand Lucas’ decision. I’m just gonna miss him when he goes away.

As for the other Andrews, Carter’s been holed up in the house with his parents, Lucas and sister Jennifer. I see both Carter and Jennifer when I’m over there to work with Lucas (and use the pool.)   Carter’s doing ok. He’s starting law school in the fall, and he had some kind of a bullshitass internship this year that he got laid off from. Mostly he took the year off to, well, be Carter, and he’s pissed off that he’s missed out on several months of what was supposed to be a fun time in his life. Keaton says there’s one good thing about that: the longer he’s in quarantine, the less Carter’ll be able to get into trouble Keaton’ll have to get him out of. Meanwhile Jennifer still checks me out every time I’m over there, but I’ve gotten over it being creepy. So she’s got a crush on me. It’s not like that’s never happened before.

And what about Chuy, Aracely, Eric and Abelito – and Abel and Guadalupe? The car wash is closed, so they’re hurting financially big time, although the taco truck is still trying to make money. It’s hard, I hear from them, because a lot of people don’t think that food trucks are sanitary and they don’t like seeing other people touch their food these days. These are the days of that fucked up pizza ATM thing at Little Caesar’s that Sloppy Joe likes to use. It’s not a short drive from East Pasadena to Alhambra and the truck, but I try to go there at least once a week. I know they need the business, and it’s good to see Abel and Guadalupe and hear how the family is doing. I haven’t seen Chuy since this started, and I know that Lucas and Eric miss each other a lot. The end of senior year is a great opportunity for boys their age to get into all kinds of stupid trouble…but that’s one more part of senior year that they’re missing out on. It so sucks for them.

My friends up in Santa Barbara are doing a little better than that.  Justen and Luke have that big ole house to be cooped up in, so at least they ain’t getting cabin fever anytime soon.  Justen works from home anyway, so he’s not missing going to the office, although Luke tells me he misses being able to go to school normally.  He’s doing his classes online and everything, but he says it’s not the same.

Last but not least, Mrs. LaSalle is still holed up in her condo next to where Keaton used to live. Me, Keaton and Joyce take turns checking up on her by phone, and Keaton’s been making sure she has groceries. Now that he’s working, I’m the one who gets to go to the Kroger and Trader Joe’s to get her her stuff. She tells me what she needs, and I pick it up and leave it on her doorstep to avoid contact with me. She’s 88; I can understand her wanting to be super careful. We all want Mrs. LaSalle to be around for a long time.

I think that about sums it up. Me and Keaton and Joyce are getting along like I’ve been telling you. Nothing too new to report, basically because nothing changes and all the days are alike. Even when I get to go out, it still all feels flat and the same. That’s what Keaton says too: he’s already kinda bored with his new job, but he says he likes the money…and it’s only 3 days a week (but it’s 10 hours a day those 3 days and he comes home pretty beat.) A real good indicator of how we’re all feeling is that Joyce says she can’t get up the energy to get much crafting done, and y’all know how much she likes her crafting stuff. She’s still working from home, though, so that’s good.

But, hey, the computer says I just got over 2000 words written this morning. Been a while since that’s happened. Good thing I have such good friends to write about.

And I promise y’all…next post I write ain’t gonna have nothing to do with the fuckin virus lol.


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