Low, low, low. The bottom. The blues. Just don’t feel like it.

Knee hurts, back hurts, people’s voices too loud. Low, low, low.

The system of a down. Low pressure moving in, the front is coming, an affront to my sensibilities, an assault on my chronic optimism.

Tired of it, tired of getting up for being up for a crisis, have a headache, and no dammit I didn’t take an aspirin ‘cos it’s questions like that, that gave me the headache. Everyone in my shit, in my space, telling me how and where to stand and breathe and wash and talk.

The low pressure system has now overtaken the kitchen. No place for bright and chipper in the fusillade of I told you so/I know/I just said that/weren’t you listening? Obviously not so now I have the right to be sharp and impatient with you – yeah, I know, of course, you always say that.

And can’t you see my dead eyes staring back at you with no hint of irony or compassion, more deadly than the virus: my contempt and lack of compassion.

We are living together, within earshot. We hear the floorboards creak and probably even smell each other or pick up vibrations. We are not alone.

In this “isolation” the feeling I can’t shake is that I’m being observed, sensed by others, watched through my windows. Everybody is home and there are lights in all the other windows, too.

More people on the remote path at the Y camp and more kids on bikes on Happy Valley Drive. Louder music leaking between the tall pines that don’t quite shield the concrete patio with umbrellaed table and “Ticket to Ride” blaring for the whole neighborhood: “…and she don’t care!”

Hearing and seeing each other, we end up discussing our habits, or more precisely noticing and commenting on each other’s habits, with the intention of correction.

Now I can safely say that is not the secret to living together. Keeping tight lipped with Victorian reserve and decorum serves that purpose better. And who would have thought my walkabout this sunny spring Carolina day would lead to empathy for the stuffy British.

They who had to live in big drafty houses with people not of their choosing, in English weather, year after year, no means or reason to travel, writing at night by candlelight, learning that it’s best to keep some thoughts private.