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#45 You Were With Me All the While

I spent the better part of today looking for pillowcases. Not online — in my apartment. They’ve been missing for a few months now and it’s driving me crazy. How could 2 white,100% long-staple cotton pillowcases just up and vanish? And what is “long-staple cotton” anyway?

I live in a 900 square foot apartment and my personal living space is probably around half of that. I do laundry in my unit, so no laundromat/laundry room. We haven’t had a cleaner or any guests staying in the place since quarantine commenced. I have one closet and 2 drawers. While this set up is positively palatial by NYC standards, those of you living in less crowded cities and towns might consider me to be essentially crate trained.

Where the hell are those pillowcases?

I didn’t plan for today to be a pillowcase scavenger hunt. I made a list of things that I haven’t been doing all week because I was so busy being sad and catching up on NBC sitcoms: prepping the next episode of Canoodle, a trip to the post office, writing a blog post before 10:30pm (for once).

I didn’t do any of those things. Instead, I spent half the morning sitting on the kitchen floor coaxing Delilah to eat. When all of my usual tactics failed, I went to the grocery store and bought her a rotisserie chicken. Eureka! Dogs love rotisserie chicken!

After that, I just felt done. But it wasn’t even noon, so I did what any sane sad person would do: I started tearing everything out of my closet and drawers and piling everything on the bed so I could get to the bottom of this mystery. And if I end up doing a little life-changing tidying up while I’m at it, well that’s a bonus.

About 5 minutes in, I started getting that awful “I’ve made a terrible mistake” feeling. My room was completely turned upside down. Too late to turn back, I put on my favorite murder podcast (it’s called “My Favorite Murder”) and got to work.

Anyone else ever feel like just napping on top of all the clothes?

As the hours passed, I realized that this kind of mindless and easy physical activity is the perfect thing to do when my brain has turned to mush. It was soothing and repetitive, a moving meditation. I sorted through my old clothes and, to my surprise, found some new items with the tags still on. I had purchased them right before the quarantine and have had no use for them since. I boxed up things to donate and put the things I'm keeping back neatly, practicing the folding technique that I will abandon within a week.

Over dinner, my roommate and I talked about how we’re coping as the pandemic and the horrible political climate wears on. I miss live, in-person human connection. The world feels unstable and unsafe - not just for me, but for all of us. There’s my sense of adventure that’s usually satisfied with some kind of travel. Despite my efforts to live in the moment with Delilah, I’m already feeling the loss of my constant companion.

I never found the damn pillowcases.

But, I’ll focus on what I do have: family and friends, a roof over my head, time to take care of Delilah (and myself).

And I ordered new pillowcases.


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