I am getting pretty sick of beans and rice. I really didn’t think this through very well. I didn’t even know I ate so much, not to mention my kids. My kids remind me of those termites on cartoons that saw through a tree in like five seconds flat. The fridge is already empty and it’s Wednesday. I return to the storage room and try to find something tasty. It’s all stuff that needs to be cooked and mixed with other ingredients. The oatmeal for breakfast was good but today I used the last of the raisins I add in every morning. Tomorrow starts hard oatmeal breakfast with no taste. Why didn’t I buy that tasty apple and cinnamon oatmeal? Where are the cookies and sweets? I swear I bought all those things but I can hardly find anything as the room is a giant storage bin. God I would kill for a slab of Canadian bacon with three eggs a waffle and hashbrowns. How did people survive the war? We are so spoiled. Broccoli soup it is. I fried up a couple of onions, piece of chopped celery, butter, oil, salt, and broccoli. Then I saw some spinach, so I threw that in as well, blended it up 30 minutes later and yummy. At least it was something nobody else in the house would eat.
After the soup I moved over to the window and saw that couple sitting out there on the balcony. I swear they have been sitting there smoking since Babis announced the quarantine. Where did they get all those cigarettes? We sawed through a packed fridge of food in three days and they haven’t even budged! I envied them. I even considered yelling over if they would throw me a smoke but it would never make it. I can’t smoke in front of the kids anyway.
I looked at my phone and it was almost 10:00. Another conference call. We were supposed to all be in Munich at a fancy hotel, talking about our strategy and sales goals, eating steaks and big breakfasts with tasty drinks and good coffee. Laughing at jokes colleagues are translating from their mother tongue and getting lost half way through. The strategy and goals have been the same for five years, but something tells me this year will be even harder. The strategy of sell anything you can is also questionable. I dialed in and cringed thinking about the virus jokes again. Please nobody cough. There it is…..silence…..no joke! What a relief. It was good to see people were finally taking this seriously. Nobody really knew what to say. It was hard calling up a customer and asking if they needed to reorder when we had no idea what was happening with deliveries and production. The call ended quickly, and I was relieved as it sounded like there was a problem going on in the living room.
My kids were back to fighting. They were out of their routine, locked-up in an apartment, no hope of escape. It was a really nice day, I think it was 17 degrees outside. Taking them to the terrace I looked over at my neighbor and the little girl had a mask on. Are we supposed to wear those on our balconies? I Googled it, I think not. I looked out at the nice weather and wondered how to turn that t-shirt of mine into a mask, but then I decided I was going to see how long we could go without going anywhere. And so the time ticks, day three.
It is gardening time and I showed the little ones how we plant cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and mint. A bit of water from a spray bottle was great fun for all. Every year we do this and every year this stuff dries up and never yields more than a lonely tomato or a few leaves of herb. This year I am really going to try harder as maybe this will be it for fresh veggies and herbs. The statistics in Italy don’t look great. This virus is tough as nails. It lingers around waiting for us and then jumps into our eyes infecting our whole body. Don’t touch your face!
Lunch was upon us and I decided to mix it up a bit. I made Couscous. Beans and Couscous is healthy too I think. It would look better with a bit of fresh basil on top. Our family has been on a health kick for the past year or three. We have been trying to eat almost no meat, fresh food, grains, and less bread. It is actually very nice but sometimes I just want a pizza. The smell of pizza is coming through the window every day. I think my neighbor’s stocked up on a shopping cart full of frozen pizzas and that is how they are getting through this. They have a bag on their balcony filled with all these pizza boxes. We have one in the freezer but are saving it for a dark Friday night special!
My wife was in a pleasant mood and I asked her about our plans for the day. There were lots of cooking plans, games, running around and playing hide-and-go-seek. My oldest calls it hide-and-go-secret, so we’ve renamed the game. The game went well until it was my turn to count and the kids tried to fight over who gets to hide in the storage room. The result was another couple of broken jars of fruit and lots of toilet paper soaked through. I should have put it on the beer crate shelves! Then my wife came in and told me that I should not be getting the kids soiled because there is no more laundry detergent. The news was devastating. I thought I had planned it all but we had already chewed through a fridge full of food, destroyed half the toilet paper and ran out of laundry detergent. Do we really need detergent? We are not really going anywhere or doing anything. Give it a good splash with the spray bottle we use to water the garden; clean. I told the kids to go see mom and I got to work, enough games.
The routine is starting to get set. I cannot say it is the most productive of times, but certainly brings us all closer together. As I sat in the storage-office reading an email the sweet smell of oatmeal chocolate cookies slowly entered the room. I knew I had a yummy evening coming up. Hope you all have something to look forward to as well!
Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.