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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin

Fencing, Anyone?

March 26, 2020:

These are indeed some strange times. I mean, I know I’ve never been alive for a situation where the government has determined that keeping me quarantined at home was in the countries best interest. Confined with my spouse and teenage offspring? Is that really a good idea? Some countries like China are reporting higher divorce rates and domestic abuse incidences over this period of time as a biproduct of their own mandate of self-isolation. Restaurants and bars shutting down, online lawyers and true social distancing going up.

I walked into Superstore the other day to pick up a couple of essential (felt I needed to make that point) items and was promptly instructed at the door to ensure that I respect my distance with others. Of course, I didn’t hear the person very well because they were soft spoken and a few feet away, so I had to lean in and have them tell it to me again as they backed away. Maybe, it would have been a better idea all-around if they would have just simply had someone stand on a soap box with a megaphone and (rightly) belt out their concerns.

When all of this confinement protocol came into place, I didn’t think about the fact that it would actually cramp my lifestyle at home. I mean being retired and all one would think this to be no problem, right? And yet…problem. Sure, I’ve been pretty much in semi-induced seclusion ever since I gave up working for a living anyway, even though I would still go out to take care of the basic domestic chores, the gym to work out, the coffee shop to write, or certainly stuff to do with acting, but I would still spend a considerable amount of my time at home cranking up the guitar, cooking, binge watching some streaming series, and listening to music. I kind of enjoyed that alone time.

Now, I’ve always been a strong advocate of preparation meeting opportunity in terms of being ready for that moment to shine (hey, it could happen), but as I become accustomed to having my space cramped (wife working from home, younger son staying up later than he should and sleeping in later than he should), I am finding that I’m not able to do some of the things that I was doing before and my outside activities are limited. Under normal times this might have put me over the edge. Ironically though, it’s turning out to be one of the greatest opportunities of any. Sure, my skills on guitar are waning, but my Monopoly game has improved immensely.

We have all heard the unfortunate phrase, “It takes a tragedy to bring a family together”, and though I recognize and respect that this event is far more tragic for some than others, our immediate family anyways, has managed to tighten up and spend some quality time bonding in ways that might not have happened otherwise. Things as simple as playing games and just chatting about whatever random subject comes up has suddenly become the highlight of the evening. Sweet.

Of course, there is a flip side. Cabin fever (remember, The Shining). I mean, I’ve noticed that I’ve been talking to myself more and more lately and I don’t even think I’m making a whole lot of sense about it either. Like the other day when I pulled a freshly cleaned spoon out of the drawer to use for something and noticed a piece of crud stuck to it. I had just unloaded the dishwasher and once again here’s some cutlery that didn’t quite get washed properly because of the way it was put into the designated bin( a common problem in this abode). So naturally I cursed, and then said to myself, “See, if you don’t rinse the fricken shit off before putting it in, it sticks to the thing and you can’t use it for the dealy”. Sanity slowly slipping away.

Given all that has been happening of late I think I’ve determined that I’m as much in need of self-therapy as I am isolation, so it’s time to take it out on my backyard fence. Sounds kind of mean (maybe), but as shown below, it had it coming, and quite frankly I don’t have it in me to read Shakespeare aloud online to whoever cares to listen (ala Patrick Stewart aka Jean Luc Picard) just to keep from going tapioca. No, I prefer a more hand’s on approach. “Heeere’s Johnny!”

Until next time.

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