The Battle of Waterloo

Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” keeps running through my head today. It began with my morning micturation. I looked down into my toilet bowl, and a fly circled by in that dark hollow. Flies, you know, have those two large compound eyes. They can process visual information about seven times faster than I, which means mini Jeff Goldblum had a tremendous advantage over me, even with my tall vantage point and thunderous thighs.

Wellington at the battle of Waterloo used his Royal Horse Artillery to “plug up holes in his line . . . Major Bull’s troop was brought forward in support from its original position towards the rear of the allied position.” Cannons served that army well. My unbridled hair had yet been tamed into its Zoom-Room-ponytail. But, I too brought my artillery from its original position towards my rear, up front. I jammed the wadded TP into reverse (which any OB-GYN will tell you constitutes a risky tactical maneuver) and pelted the fly with my Cottonelle. Then I, with the haste of one confronted by a creature whose mouthparts have evolved for the express purpose of extracting a liquid diet, stood up, and pushed down hard on the lid. He was trapped. Maybe he’d drown in the water.

Not one to take chances, I texted my husband. “FYI FLY trapped in the loo. All yours . . .”  Liberate not the offender.

So, it probably started this morning. I have some vague recollection of the lyrics running through my head then. “If that’s what it’s all about / Mama if that’s movin’ up / Then I’m movin’ out.” I’m not saying I wasn’t unnerved. You would be, too, I’d venture to guess. But my day got busy. And with my hair now wrangled into a ponytail, I quivered. I shook it off.

Until I had a break from work and checked my email to find my parents had filled my inbox with these headlines:

  • US ECONOMY PLUNGES AT TITANIC RATE (“Economy in Shambles,” was all they wrote.)
  • FORMER PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL DIES OF COVID ( “Sad. He probably got it at Trump rally where he did not wear a mask.”)
  • DR. FAUCI: WEAR GOGGLES OR EYESHIELDS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF COVID-19 (No comment. Maybe this spoke for itself)

And my best friend had sent me a blog from a parenting expert which began, “I am not a doctor. But I have plenty of friends who are.” The blog contained 2,876 words at press time. I found it helpful, maybe, but it keeps getting updated and updated again, and contains so much information that I wanted to crawl into a hole. I tried so hard to read it all. Elementary school children do not spread Covid. And not ten seconds after I finished that opus, I got my daily New York Times Covid update saying the exact opposite. I emailed said friend the new information hot off the press.

“Yikes,” she replied. “I guess we are just stuck at home forever.”

And from somewhere out of the unconscious archives where record needles drop down, that Billy Joel song played again in my head.

                  It seems such a waste of time

                  If that’s what it’s all about

                  Mama if that’s movin’ up

                  Then I’m movin’ out

                  I’m movin’ out

Listen, I know it’s bad. I’m praying for us all. Some of us will suffer more than others. Some of us already have. Some of us will lose our jobs, our lives. Our children face inescapable loss. You don’t have to tell me this thing is awful. I don’t have my head up my ass like some nosey fly. But, I gotta stop talking about it, reading about it, analyzing it, second guessing it, predicting it, bemoaning it, and railing against it. I’m putting a lid on it.

        I may be wrong, but I may be right.

        I may be wrong, but I may be right.

        I may be wrong, but I may be right.

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