Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other
I feel like people have gone over the edge. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know.
I have a friend who has a dog. This dog is a magnificent animal. He really is. She thinks his mom is half wolf. as her daughter owns both of her dog’s parents. When my friend came to live with her daughter last fall (because you can “work from home” from anywhere with WIFI) in the thumb, it was a family reunion for Bo as well–with his parents Malik and wolf-dog Lola. This dog is sucking up all of my friend’s time, energy, and money. He needs special, expensive food. Her neighbors on the East Coast seem to be trying to see if Bo can be trained to dogfight. It sounds like they want to steal him. Her fears regarding that look well-founded.
My friend has given notice to the place she lives that she will not be renewing her lease. She needs to be out by the end of June. What she needs is a nice apartment near the workplace for when the office opens back up. What she is looking for is a house with a yard for Bo. That’s a pretty serious disconnect. She makes enough money for an apartment but not enough for renting a house out there. No apartment complex is going to rent an apartment to someone who owns a dog pushing 100 pounds. And, to add insult to injury, her job could end any day as a government contractor.
What scares the crap out of me is that she has expressed a willingness to live under a bridge if that is the only way for her to keep Bo. My term for that is “mental illness.” She is not getting near the edge. She has gone over it and is now in a freefall. I truly feel that the pandemic has forced her to be alone to a degree not healthy for any human.
I work at a Goodwill. Our clientele is diverse. Yesterday, a black family came up to my register. It included an older gentleman, a young lady, and a pre-teen boy in obvious emotional distress. I told the boy it was okay for him to feel whatever he felt. Not all days are great. The older man got all defensive and said, “How do you know it’s okay for him to feel that?” I said, “It’s always okay to feel whatever you feel.” He started talking about being a black man and racial oppression and stuff like that. I felt like, “Huh?” Should I have been obnoxious to a child? Would that have made him happy? It just struck me as a really odd encounter.
I believe social isolation to the degree we have been under for a year now is not healthy for anyone. People are losing it. If we can’t take care of ourselves, we are going to have a rough time taking care of each other.