Coffee and Contemplation: Quarantine is Just Another Day for Me

Before anything with this virus happened anywhere, I lived an uneventful life. Since October, I’ve limited going out and other social activities. My main goal was to save money. I filed for bankruptcy. Worked many jobs. I had seven W-2s when I filed my taxes for 2019. I haven’t seen some friends in months. Other friends don’t want to see me. Despite several jobs, I had to watch my money and buy cheaper food. Ramen. Rice. Spaghetti. I managed. I knew my financial situation would improve at the end of March. That’s when I’ll finish paying my attorney fees for the bankruptcy.

Then the pandemic happened. I lost income because a couple of my jobs are in entertainment. They canceled the events. I also work part-time in a coffee shop. A national chain that I won’t mention here. They have cut back operating hours. All my coworkers and myself are losing hours. With the cut in income, my shopping essentials are more important. But the grocery store is out of all the things I often buy. Everyone else panic bought all the cheap stuff. I have to spend more than I usually do, but I can still manage.

To add insult to injury, everything in Tucson closes around 6pm or 8pm except the grocery store. And everything in grab and go only. I can’t go anywhere to get out of the house. Not even to read a book. I understand why. I’m not complaining about the reason behind these decisions. I’m only documenting my experience. Sometimes getting away from the house, a change of scenery, is comforting. My options were always coffee shops and libraries. I don’t have any friends I spend time with anymore. I don’t spend time with anyone. Now I’m not allowed to sit in any coffee shops and the city closed the libraries.

When all this is over, everyone will go back to their normal routine. I’ll sit in coffee shops again and buy the food I always buy. Otherwise, my routine will remain the same. Others may look back on these weeks as something exciting. That time they had to focus on survival. I’ve only known survival. I don’t know what normal life feels like. I imagine things will pick up for me by the end of the year. There is a gloom of uncertainty hovering over the future. I’ve only known survival and I know I’ll survive this. Don’t forget what it felt like to lose everything you took for granted. Stay safe readers.

Coffee & Contemplation: The Beginning

I am adding a couple new things to my blog. For you poetry lovers, I’ll soon start Twofer Tuesdays, where I post two poems in one post every Tuesday. Twice the poetry you get on Mondays. I have not decided if I want to bring back Hump Day Haikus. Currently, I just have not written enough haikus to make that a weekly consistent thing. Maybe I can do something once a month. For now, the only poetry item I’m adding is Twofer Tuesdays. If that’s not enough poetry, you can subscribe to my Patreon for $1 per month to gain access to my unpublished poetry before anyone else.

The other item I’m adding to my blog is posts like this one. Coffee and contemplation involves me writing out my thoughts while drinking coffee. Topics are only limited to things I think about. I may rant about society. I may tell you my favorite things. I may word vomit nonsense into the post and have no real agenda or purpose with the post. I’m trying to get myself to write more on my blog in between writing fiction and poetry. If you want to see more writing, tell people about my blog and my books. If enough people buy my books and subscribe to my Patreon account, I’ll make enough money to write full time. That’s the dream anyway.

My next book comes out September 19. You can pre-order The Morbid Museum on Amazon Kindle. Amazon does not offer pre-odering of paperbacks, but you can pre-order a signed copy of the paperback in my Shop. Visit the shop for more details. I also have a few events coming in October and November. I’ll provide more details once I have them. Until then, the best thing you all can do is share and comment. Tell your friends about me. If you’d like an advanced copy of my forthcoming book, I’ll email you a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Reviews are what help writers succeed. Fill out the Contact Form if you’re interested. Happy reading.

Summers in Alaska

Photo by Errin Casano on Pexels.com

I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.