Over the past few days since the bar closed, I’ve received a number of emails and messages along the lines of “I was planning on stopping by Lucky to see you.” Huh. That sure didn’t work out as planned. All I could think was, well, where were you last week? Last year? Not in a bitchy, complainy way but in a way that, given today’s uncertain circumstances, highlights that maybe it would be a good idea not to put off the things you’ve been thinking about doing. The people you’ve talked about seeing. The stuff you’ve been planning on getting around to…sometime in the not-so-certain future.
I’ve never been a big fan of the whole “carpe diem” thing (or YOLO, for that matter). I’m a bit more pragmatic in my day to day workings. But these days? All bets are off. Every day could be our last. I’m out in the Hamptons right now, hanging with my family before they head back west. My mom is 84. She has COPD and survived three different cancers. I am lucky she’s still alive. To say she is in a high-risk group would be an understatement. So I want to spend whatever time I can with her. Because who knows?
I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator. Yeah, tomorrow. I tell myself “I’m too busy,” even when I’m on the couch watching Law & Order reruns. “I’ll get to it.” I don’t have much on my bucket list but I do have a million things I really should accomplish. As shallow as it sounds, I own a lot of cute clothes I haven’t worn yet because I’m saving them for a special day. What, exactly, constitutes a special day? What am I waiting for? I’ve recently been forcing myself to pull off those prices tags and “dress up” even if it’s only a regular, not-so-special day. This whole pandemic has had me looking at my belongings and thinking, “What will happen to all my shit when I die?” I don’t want anyone going through my closets and asking, “Why didn’t she ever wear this?”
It may not be so weird to confront one’s mortality at 61. But people far younger have been dropping dead from this virus. Sure, some over 100 have survived. And a million people fall in between, age- and death-wise, sickness- and long-term suffering-wise. If life wasn’t already a crap shoot, it’s become more of a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride meets Coney Island’s Shoot the Freak. So I’m going to eat the thing, drink the thing, fuck the thing, and tell everyone I love them. Of course, those of my everyones who are still speaking to me. And lemme tell you, there are fewer and fewer as the days go by. Because while I feel like I’m desperately gripping on to everything I have like I may lose it any minute, there are many others who have literally closed themselves off from people who love them. I just don’t get it. The meanness I’ve witnessed while we are all losing our marbles has been additionally disheartening. I guess it’s a coping mechanism but it makes me sad.
So today I’m gonna spend time with my mom. We’re gonna drink Bud Light and do the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle and try and solve the problems of the world. I’m going to savor the days I have with her. Because soon she flies back to California, where their numbers are up and, even though her social contacts are insanely limited, the chances are statistically higher of her contracting COVID. Carpe motherfucking diem, my friends.