We were nonstop in the morning. Then they sent us to cover a suburban town. From the radio, I could hear the city was still busy. We parked next to a small basketball court that no one ever plays at. Since they shut down all the hoops in my hometown, I have been coming here on off days with my daughter, and I bring my basketball to work hoping to get sent out here to cover the town. I work on my free throws and three point shots while I wait for a 911 call to come in. No sooner did I get there today that the cavalry –the town rec department–arrived and, with apologies to me, they put boards across the hoops, per edict of the mayor. At least they let me make my last shot. I texted my daughter that our court was shut down, and she replied “Noooooooooo!”

My wife is officially on home isolation now. She needed me to get her a thermometer and so my partner and I drove all over town to all the big pharmacy chains, but no one had any. I tried Amazon, but they couldn’t promise a delivery until the middle of April. I finally found one at a 7-11, hidden behind the cold medicine. I was able to find a pulse oximeter at Walgreens, which was shocking as I had also tried that on Amazon and the delivery date for those was not until May or June.

Things were going my way. I got the idea to check the Catholic schools in town for basketball hoops, and BINGO – I found one with a hoop against the back brick wall.  I texted my daughter again that I had found a new court for us.  Thank goodness for the Catholic Schools, I wrote.  She texted back with the prayer emoji.

Back in the game.

It was such a beautiful day like so many of the days lately.

I can’t wait for this time of Corona to end.

At home, we talked some about Corona, but I cut it off, as I can only take so much of it.  Let’s watch a fun movie. I could tell my youngest daughter was troubled when instead of focusing on the TV, I saw her sitting there, just looking into herself. After a few minutes she got up and went into the kitchen. I asked what she was doing, but she didn’t respond. I sent her sister after her, but she didn’t come back either, leaving me alone watching the movie. I could hear sounds from the kitchen, and then twenty minutes later, my youngest daughter came back out carrying me a glass of mango bubble tea that she had made — an elaborate effort that includes cooking tapioca pearls and combining ice and mango powder mix and milk in a blender. She had made one for her mom too. I told her how good it was, how special a treat.

Later, when she lay in bed, I went in and talked to her. She said, “I’m worried about Mom.” I told her her mom was tough and she would be all right. Before we knew it, her mom and I would be watching her play softball on the town fields again, cheering her and her team on.  

She smiled and then asked me to give her a back rub. I started with a message, then did karate chops. Then she asked me to itch her back, which I don’t understand, but she seems to like it. She sticks her thumb out as I do it, directing me. This way. That way. Up. Down. Over. Back.

Then she thanked me and I kissed her good night and she told me she loved me. I told her the same.   

I turned the light out and went back out into the hall.  I stood outside her room, while he said her prayers.

Then I got in bed by myself, and lay there in the dark, listening to the sound of a cough from a different room. I’m worried about her mom, too.



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