I want to remain in quarantine. There, I said it. And yes, I know I moaned about social lockdown for a bit and of course I regret the dire economic consequences of global Covid-related imprisonment, but I’m not saying everyone should stay in lockdown. I’m just saying that while the rest of humanity returns to the Rattest of all Races, I want to stay right here.

My country started the conversation on lifting lockdown to almost non-existing levels, and I find myself wrapped in layers of anxiety at the thought. And of course I judge myself harshly for it. Toughen up, Doug, I would say to myself. (Don’t know why I refer to myself as ‘Doug’.)

But the truth is, for the last six months I have grown fond of my home, fond of my routine and utterly in love with the safety of being in my nest…all alone.

From retiling my bathroom floor (myself, thank you very much!) to fixing cracks and painting walls…this time has given me the opportunity to forgive this house for letting my parents die in it. We have reconciled and I’ve pampered her a bit. It feels nice. And although this old house will forever require the patient hand of slow rennovation, it’s my house, my friend, and I can fix it for however long I wish.

I like the comfort of having my routine play out at home. Of course not everything is moonshine and roses. At almost clockwork 10am each morning I have to chase around whatever disgusting organism my cat carried into my house from the garden. It started with innocent little geckos. I’d pick up disgarded little tails everywhere. Then he upgraded to birds. I found that gross because…you know…birds… Eeuw…

Then mice followed. I have never seen mice in or near my house…until I got this cat. I suspect he pops over to the field across from my house where a plethora of small little field mice scurry about their days. Then he’d pick one and carry it into my house to play with it and, inevitably, to lose it. It then takes a special forces operation of three days to find the thing. Yuck.

But today my cat brought in the biggest rain spider I have ever seen in my long life. And I know spiders. My country is a country of spiders. But this thing was the Dwayne Johnson of spiders. In a brief moment of carrying the spider in its mouth, I grabbed my cat and gently returned him and his mouth guest to the garden. I sprinted back into my house and locked all doors and windows. I considered setting everything on fire, but that seemed a smidge of an over-reaction. I considered putting my cat up for adoption but I’ve grown to love the little schmeckle. So I just waited until he stood outside a window, spider-free.

Of course I could have killed it. The spider I mean. But there was something about this spider that suggested to me that if I killed it, others would come for me…

My routine at home also meant that I’ve inserted a bit of distance between myself and exercise. But there is less distance between my mouth and food. So a little tube has appeared around my middle that I’m working on now…but the point is, the tube is there and a constant reminder of my dangerous comfort levels.

Then there is the safety of it all. The physical safety of being locked off from crime and accident. And the emotional safety of not having to deal with people. I realise now how much input goes into dealing with people every day. I’ve unlearned that skill.

I’m meeting friends tomorrow for a birthday lunch and I’m a little petrified. I was hoping we could Zoom the thing, but no, it has to be personal. Damnit. I was so hoping that Zooming in to weddings, parties, meetings, lunches and training sessions would remain part of our culture. But alas, my anti-social pathology is a privilege suited only to the filthy rich and powerful. I – with my stupid need for money and friends – will have take my ass out of the house…

Yes, out of the house where my mask will aggravate the mask-related acne that has parked its ass on my cheeks and chin…because the threat of a lung-paralyzing virus was not all that 2020 wanted to bring this year…

Time for a chococino…or two…

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