Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas mourning

It is one am on Christmas morning. I am wide awake and feeling stressed. This has been a hard year. The year of living in solitude.

It could be worse I know. Luckily, I have my husband and the moms here. But I am all in my head and just want to sleep. This week, I've been very bad company. I'm irritable, then jolly then irritable again.

The pandemic is just starting to hit me. Today, I feel as if I'm being pelted by metaphoric bricks. My heart hurts. And my brain.

I can still taste last night's beer on my breath. Silently in my head, I tell myself that for Christmas I will detox and exist on water and caffeine. Drinking makes everything worse. The panic that is always right below the surface with me comes welling up. 

So here I am. It's Christmas and the house is so quiet that nothing is stirring except me, this little mouse.

Merry Christmas. I wish I had joyful thoughts to make you feel peace and comfort. But all I got to give is this. Just this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


Yesterday, Jupiter and Saturn aligned closer than they have in hundreds of years. The alignment was so close that from Earth they appeared to be a double planet. 

One star.

So it seems fitting that I am listening to Bowie's magnum opus of an album, Blackstar. My favorite song on that album has always been Lazarus. Bowie's words were a prescient omen. He sang, "Look up here I'm in heaven."

Bowie died two days after Blackstar's release, and just like my father, Bowie was dead at 69 years of age. 

When my dad died many years ago, I was in shock. But my dad's death made me change my life and after he died, I became a writer and a deputy public defender. I left corporate law and never looked back.

My favorite Bowie album is not Blackstar but Ziggy Stardust and my favorite song is Five Years. That song is so timely now. The lyrics are hard to listen to, that's how much they strike me in the heart. 

"News guy wept and told us,
Earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet,
Then I knew he was not lying".

It all seems so surreal right now. As if the Earth is on its last legs. Christmas seems at points meaningless and then at times, everything. Like the two planets aligned, it's as if hope and fear are the same emotion in the universe, to become one entity.

Maybe, I can't tell the difference anymore. Yet, I have to think that up there, where my dad and Bowie are, they know the difference between light and dark. 

So I will remain hopeful and thinking of my dad and of Bowie and while singing a prayer, I will continue to reach for the light. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Baby it's cold outside

It feels like a dark winter is here. The virus is spreading in California like wildfire in a dry field. It's getting closer and closer to home. 

I wake up early. I can't sleep anymore. It's as if the weight of the world is on my chest. Over and over I tell myself to be positive because I want to have faith that everything will be OK. Will it?

The things that comfort me are my dogs, the Christmas tree and soft music in the background, candles and a warm bed. I want to huddle under my blankets for the rest of the month. But I can't. We all can't. Some people have to go to work, but truth is, I don't want to go outside. 

It's too cold figuratively speaking. It's scary. Terrifying really.

They should make up adjectives for a post pandemic world. New words for a novel world.

So my friends, stay healthy and indoors, as much as you can. Appreciate the moments you have with your immediate family. Call your friends. And be safe.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Snow globe

It's Saturday morning and I'm up at 5 am. I can't help myself. My eyes pop open. It's probably because I fell asleep at 7 pm. 

Things are in a weird dystopian phase. There's a vaccine on the horizon with a lockdown looming. I'd prefer to sleep the next month away. We all know I can't.

Thursday in court was stressful. But that is my job. My clients need me. I want things to go back to normal. Pre-pandemic, I took much for granted, from concerts to get togethers to brunch to sitting by my clients without a mask in court.

Will life ever go back to normal? Maybe not. Perhaps I have been irreparably transformed into a homebody. Is that a bad thing? I'm not so sure. 

All I do know is that I don't feel the same restlessness I used to feel at the prospect of the next three weekends inside. I am trapped inside a snow globe without snow. I look through my real and virtual windows at the world outside. I marvel at its beauty and at times, its lack thereof.

And then I snuggle under the covers and go back to sleep.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hello world

Today, I realized that I need to go outside more. It's easy with remote working to stay inside our cocoons. Being snuggled inside for hours may be cozy but is it healthy? We are isolating ourselves. 

Court days are a reprieve in a way. I stress the day before, prepping my cases, and reading reports in a frenzy of productivity. Yet court is usually anti-climatic. Most of my stress is self created. I am setting a trial but it is a bench trial.

Still, I am aware that all of us on the front line are in harm's way. We still need to be careful. Watch ourselves. Protect ourselves. Practice safe practices for us and our clients. But still create a connection. I shake hands with my out of custody client and his father wishing I could hug them.

Office life has changed. I sit alone in my office memorializing my day after court. I miss walking to get coffee on my breaks. I miss lunches with co-workers and chats in the break room when I walk over to get a Diet Coke.

I miss the pop ins into my office. "Juanita, you got a minute?" 

"Of course!" I would always say waving the attorney in. I am a social butterfly by nature. I love to talk about work, as well as music, movies and television. 

My wings have been clipped.

Yesterday, I took a phone consult from a newbie attorney on a case. It was nice to hear a fresh voice. I miss that. I kept her on the phone far too long because I was craving a new human connection.

Today I have a work lunch zoom that I'm actually looking forward to! 

Imagine that?