When I left the high school for the last time
on Friday, March 13
I thought we’d be closed for a week.
I told my students to enjoy the week off.
I didn’t bother saying goodbye to the students
I didn’t have that day.
I left a water bottle in my room.
I left a stack of papers, ungraded.
I left a sweater.
I left homework written on the board.
I miss my students.
I miss even the annoying ones.
I miss the busy halls and filled-up lunchroom.
I miss the hectic joy of graduating seniors.
I wish we knew, when we left, that we were leaving
Because now we’re gone
And the school is a ghost town
But the ghosts have all left.
Sometimes I feel like I should put more effort into uplifting the world. Sometimes I feel awful. Sometimes I feel bad about the fact that I’ve apparently spent 17 hours staring at a screen today. Sometimes I don’t, since that includes my yoga class and all my time with friends, now. Sometimes I just feel alright. Sometimes I feel pretty damn good.
I just want to go to a restaurant.
I should feel lucky. I’m not dead anyway. I’m not sick. No one I know has died. People I know have gotten COVID-19 but no one has died. No one has even gone to the hospital, yet. 5,000 people in my state have died. 50,000 have gotten sick.
Is it lying dormant in my body?
“Well, in normal times, we’d…”
“But because of ‘all this’…”
I think I’ll find my mask in the bottom of a desk in a few years. What will I think about it? How will I feel about it? Will I smirk? Will I fold it over in my hands? Will I tell young children what it was like, like the Great Depression? Will we all be traumatized by “nights in”?
What will the next sickness be like?
What will the next school year be like?
What will the next farmer’s market look like?
When will I be able to dance again?