more and more i find i look better behind a cat

lockdown has sped up some processes that were already in play. i have never really liked my jawline and the profile view of my chin. my eyes were always the highlight of my face. sometimes i liked my cheekbones. my sister always mentioned the petiteness of my nose. i am fine with the current mask restrictions. in fact, i’ve been thinking about continuing it. i guess i can’t really do that and still be accessible, but i can’t take my cats with me everywhere.

i have recently noticed i only send images of myself behind a cat to my friends. this series is a collection of images i have sent over whatsap.

As if gravity were not enough, I am spending up to 10 hours a day on zoom. I can never get away from my image. Of course I could turn off my camera, but it’s kind of like an accident I can’t keep myself from watching. I know all the tricks and now have several ring lights to make sure I look my best.

But somehow I think it’s more than that. I feel I’ve aged more rapidly during the lockdown. I don’t know if it’s the fight or flight pace at which I have been working or the lack of human contact. My cats are doing their best and are glad I am at home so much, but the conversation is not as interactive.

It could be my asthma and the constant fear every time I leave the house. When someone gets too close to me in a checkout line, I really lose it. I buy food early in the morning or just before closing to keep away from crowds. I went on a Saturday once and will NEVER do that again. I try to only go places I can do automatic checkout. I feel safer.

I have so much I haven’t done yet. I don’t want to die now. And really, I don’t want to die from COVID. With numbers rising each day, it is hard to see the dead as individuals. They die without loved ones. There is no closure for those left behind. Celebration of their lives have to be postponed indefinitely. It is all so heartbreaking.

I fight the fears, real and imaginary, from behind the purrs of my cats.

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