Thirty-Eighth Wednesday of the Pandemic

chris field
4 min readDec 2, 2020
a person in silhouette watching an assortment of fireworks exploding in the dark night sky
Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları from Pexels

Drinking bitter coffee at our small dining room table, I can look out the window and see the piles of camping gear on the back porch. Everything is covered in five inches of snow. I should have put that stuff away weeks ago. I wonder if mice haven’t figure out how to get into our sleeping bag tote, the lid askew, to make themselves a cozy winter nest. Do I want to go outside right now to shake all that snow off and bring the bags in? Then I would have to reorganize our storage room to make it all fit again. Or should I just leave it to rot and buy four new sleeping bags next spring? These thoughts come with dollar signs attached to them. This is a moment to activate some inertia!

I take another slow sip of my coffee. Lukewarm. Still bitter. Perfect.

Maybe I can halfway the job and just drag the tote inside without checking for rodents first. We have cats, I recall, who are capable of handling mice. More likely, they will lazily watch the mice eat through my stores of pandemic food supplies.

Have you stocked up for the pandemic? Once finished, have you looked at what you decided was important and made any assessments of your life and where you are as an adult? Did I really need so much Ramen Noodle? Is that how I want to go out? Eating a month’s worth of chicken flavored noodles and powering through ten boxes of Cheez-Its? Didn’t I even think to buy one can of Pringles? Where are the beef jerky and packs of frozen bacon?

I am pretty sure no one on death row requested six family-sized bags of pretzel thins for their last meal. But with absolute freedom to choose any food products, I have unwittingly coalesced around the world’s most comprehensive selection of salted carbohydrates that can be delivered by mail. And whiskey.

Yes, there he is now with this week’s shipment. I open the front door, and the delivery guy gives me that half-smile and head nod when I sign for it. He knows what’s up. He thinks. “Gotta stock up for that pandemic!” he says.

“What?” I asked, “Oh, sure … for the pandemic.”

I quickly move the cases inside to our basement liquor room. It used to be the camping storage area, but all that stuff got moved out somewhere.

chris field

I want to be a novelist.