Here in the house of sloth, the bungalow of boogaloo, we wait for no man. We watched the lightning and saw the light and it was black. We listened to the thunder and heard the sound and it was silent. We went from window to window, eight windows looking out for ourselves and we saw no one.
The storm has moved on. Everything is slowly stopped. Without leaving the house we have cleared away much of the debris. Face masks have been unmasked. Viri surrounding the house have been picked off with a Henry repeating rifle. Pop-pop-pop. The pandemic is systemic racism, racism is the color of purple haze. We don’t want to hear about it. The six o’clock news has been punched in the mouth. The national news has been shot on sight. Politixxx has been swept under the rug.
The hermitage is empty. Even the ghosts have left. They left without saying a word. We are alone. The cat is on the bed. She contemplates the moment and appears to come to a conclusion. She looks at me. I am in bed. It is going on noon.
”What?” I ask. She answers monosyllabically in her own language. After two years of just the two of us I’m beginning to understand her. I translate her meeck as, “This is it, then.”
“Yep,” I say, “this is it.” Her look says she’s okay with that. She lowers her head and curls up to sleep.
I used to fight tigers, hand to claw combat. I fought demons, hand to pitchfork. I went from job to job and place to place like an itinerant farm worker, Boxcar Billy, four countries, two provinces, nine states, a dozen cities and towns. I’ve been jailed and nailed and loved and loathed. I’ve buried loved ones and love the dead. And now it’s past noon and I’m still in bed.