Birthday Eve

by Jonah

Tomorrow is my birthday; I turn 46. I was looking forward to going to Carlos’ Bistro. Usually, he’s closed for the month of March, but he announced a couple weeks ago that he’d be open starting March 18.  Now he’s closed.  Every restaurant in Colorado is closed.  But even if the restaurant were open, we wouldn’t go now.


Fortunately, we have enough cake flour from last year for Berck to bake me a cake.  It’s only been expired for like a month, which counts as fresh in my house. Berck cooks me whatever I want for my birthday, and this year I chose meatballs, because Berck doesn’t like meatballs and won’t cook them normally.  Meatballs are one of those things that can be really bad… or really good.  I love good meatballs.  Heck, I love decent meatballs.  My favorite sandwich at Subway is the meatball sandwich with everything except olives, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, yes, banana peppers, yes, jalapenos. But I only get it if if I can eat it sitting at a table because it makes a huge mess.  We fortunately have enough ground beef to make meatballs.  Our vegetable options, on the other hand, are limited.


We’ve self-isolated since Friday, March 13 and have been working from home. We have plenty of toilet paper because I bought a Costco pack a couple of months ago.  We’re running low on milk.  This morning I put in an order at the grocery store for pick up, but the website said I couldn’t pick it up until Wednesday.


I haven’t been allowed to return to work because I have a sore throat.  Other than a sore throat and some congestion first thing in the morning, I’ve felt fine.  I’ve been working remotely 8 hours a day on weekdays.  I’ve been trying to get sunshine and exercise (shoveling snow).  I’ve been leaving Zip-Locks of sourdough starter outside for neighbors to pick up after a discussion the neighborhood Facebook page because everyone is bored and staying home.  I wipe the Zip-locks down with alcohol before I leave them outside.


But today I don’t feel good.  I feel like I just want to lie in bed and read.  I feel cold.  I’m not coughing or running a fever. But I have no appetite. I don’t even want meatballs. 


I’m not afraid, and I’m not anxious. I moved most of my 401(k) assets into bonds and money markets a couple of years ago. I have a full pantry and fridge.  My cheese drawer is as intimidating as always. I am ashamed that we are out of peas and kidney beans (though we have dozens of cans of all the other beans).  Last year Berck bought a UPS for the pellet stove and a generator.  I’m also not afraid to die, though I was kinda hoping I was only halfway through life.  The news keeps talking about how young adults, age 20-45, are less likely to die of COVID-19.  Which means tomorrow I am more likely to die.  And am no longer a young adult. 

Which I find a little insulting. 

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