Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Another bad dream

Any dream that features a Trump loyalist is, by definition, a nightmare. And I just had one with Rudy Giuliani in a starring role. For some reason, he was in a position of professional authority over me. In my dream, he didn't approve of the work I'd just done for my client. "We can do better. No, YOU can do better!" He just kept yelling and yelling at me.

This is my second nightmare in three days. My slumber is not usually disturbed like this. 

I discussed this with Patrick, who mentioned his dreams have been "weird," too. We compared notes, and agree that it's because both of our lives are changing.

I haven't been in the city since mid-March. I haven't gone this long without the sights of the Loop since Peter Frampton was on the charts. I miss it. I also haven't done any in-person socializing in two months. It's been an unreal existence, but I've eased into this unreality. It's become comfortable. And every day I receive another email from corporate:

•  How comfortable are you returning to the office on June 15?

•  How do you feel about taking public transportation?
•  Read the new procedures for cleaning and disinfecting the office. 

I know these messages are meant to make me feel more secure, but they don't. They remind me that I live in a county where nearly 60,000 have died of the corona virus. I am trying to keep things in perspective and remind myself that most people don't get virus and that most who do aren't hospitalized. But that 58,457 number is sobering.*

I appreciate how lucky I am to have a job in this economy, but I can't be unreservedly happy because there is something real to fear outside my front door.

Part of me is afraid to go back to work. Hence, the nightmares.

Patrick is  the maître d of a high-end restaurant in Portland, Maine. After Thanksgiving, when the weather gets rough, business drops off precipitously. They don't need a full-time maître d and he goes back to waiting tables. He doesn't make much money doing this and they really don't need another waiter, either. They just give Patrick that wintertime option because they appreciate how much he adds to the dining experience when they are busy, and they want to keep him happy.

Patrick has worked it out with his boss that he take six months off without pay. All they have to do is keep his job open for him when the busy summer season starts. He then moves down to Key West, moves in with Reg and Henry, and waits tables during South Florida's busy season. It's hard work, but it pays so much better than serving in a half-empty Portland eatery. Also, Reg likes having Patrick around. They have been friends for decades, and Reg appreciates Patrick's support as he deals with Henry's traumatic brain injury.

Well, Covid19 changed all Patrick's plans. He's been unemployed in Key West since mid-March. He has yet to receive payments from Florida's overburdened unemployment system. Yet he couldn't go back to Maine. While he's in terrific shape -- you can bounce a dime off Patrick's derriere -- he has serious health problems. He's HIV positive and he has a defibrillator implanted in his chest. Flying at the height of the pandemic was inadvisable. PLUS the restaurant in Portland closed because of the virus. He had no job there, either.

He wants to go home. He's eager to go home. Being locked in that house with Reg and Henry isn't conducive to good health. He wonders about his backyard in Portland. He worries a lot about money. He has a tenant and they need to talk -- face-to-face -- about finances, since his tenant is currently out of work. 

Restrictions are starting to loosen. His boss hopes to reopen the Portland restaurant in July, and says he's welcomed back if he quarantines himself at home for two weeks. He's booked his flight. He's going home (I think) June 1.

But he's scared to expose himself to all the other passengers as he navigates his way back to Portland. So he's been having weird dreams, too.

Restful sleep: one of the forgotten victims of the corona virus.

*As of 5/18/20.

May Music Meme -- Day 19

A song that makes you think about life. I'm 62 for a moment and the sun is getting high ... (Play along! Click here for prompts.)