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April 05 • Temperature Rising

Day 636 I do not want to write the story of today. I didn't like what happened, and I don't like my observations about my actions. However, I need to remember this.

My wife and I have been in self-quarantine for three weeks due to COVID issues. I was going to write about how this has been affecting me, and how it hasn't. My wife — who has multiple underlying health issues that put her at high risk — goes outside only to get the mail, and I've been out twice to get meds and groceries.

I have recently been trying to resolve why my mind has been so much at ease when so much is at risk all around me. My tentative conclusion includes some of what I've learned from the program, and it still surprised me. In short, it seems I'm not near as worried about losing everything as I am looking like I somehow failed in this situation. Since I had nothing to do with the pandemic, the risk seems low that it comes back on me as being my fault.

That's what I was going to write, and maybe I'll get back to that subsequently, but first, I had to make an unexpected grocery run. All went well, or so I thought. With mask and gloves in place, I got our supplies and even picked up a load for a neighbor. I did good. Or did I?

Apparently, I left a bag of groceries on the self check-out and did not realize it until after I had gotten home, showered, and disinfected. No big deal, right? It happens. But my wife made it clear to me, very much out of character, that it was a big deal, and the stuff I left behind was important to her. She even suggested I did not get the items because I knew how much she wanted them. I showed her the receipt proving that I did get and pay for her goodies.

She was angry, and I got angry. True to our histories, she started organizing stuff, and I started getting very passive-aggressive. Without telling her, I got in the car and drove way too fast back to Walmart. I was mad that she would make such a big deal out of something that I knew was not a big deal. I was confident I was right to be angry, and I reveled in my self-righteousness. I re-purchased the items in question and spent the windshield time to-and-from the store forming my positions for the argument we were going to have when I got home.

I walked in and plopped the bags on the counter. When I finally looked at my wife with my wound-up passiveness about to come to an end, I noticed that she was standing there crying. "It wasn't about the groceries," she sniffed. "I took my temperature while you were in the shower. I have a fever. I'm scared and I didn't know how to tell you. I'm sorry."

We embraced, and her tears flowed.

Sometimes it's really not about me or even what I have or have not done. Damnit. –JR

April 05 • Temperature Rising
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