I won’t be able to fly to Argentina for two years – until I can walk and the pandemic is eradicated. I haven’t been able to fly for two and a half years. Before my hemorrhage, I used to travel every year. I’d see all my friends and relatives at least once for dinner or coffee, and Eric and I would go to a poetry reading and a music concert (Argentina has great musicians). I had such a good time. Of course, I know it’s an ideal view of Argentina that has nothing to do with everyday life in the country, but my memory of it is fragmented and has all the bad aspects (economic, political, and social) cut out, especially since I don’t experience them. The bad aspects have been erased by nostalgia.
The summer’s brightness and warmth (which seem to be favored in my memory, because summers have become quite unbearably hot), combined with the presence of one of my best friends whose work I admire, are a perfect recipe to escape the doldrums. After two years of disability and seizures and the prospect of two more years, I have a hard time fighting against them, more so with the knowledge of the approaching winter and the solitude that COVID will bring with it.
But if I can’t find ways of defeating them, I’ll have to invent them. I’ll have to take advantage of all these great discoveries of our century: cell phones and apps, mainly WhatsApp (chats with friends, here and in Argentina); Internet, and among its businesses, YouTube being the best recourse (music and lectures!); and Zoom (maybe I’ll have to give up and listen to my synagogue’s services and discussions). And I’ll have conversations with Eric and Nathan, if I can get past the anger caused by a teenage son. So, I have to close my eyes, make a fist (a single fist, for a while, at least), and charge; with a smile. And maybe I’ll get through.