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My Mother: "Things to remember"- a diary of an Outbreak by artwatch

View this thread on steempeak.com
· @artwatch ·
$2.81
My Mother: "Things to remember"- a diary of an Outbreak
In the year 2021 I had been conceived
It was a time of great troubles
A year or so before, the world had seen it's worst pandemic
A virus grew and then mutated in the year 2020
It took 1/3 of the human race
My father along with them
Young and old where not immune to the second wave of the virus
Those who had contracted it in the first wave, suffered even more in the second
The virus had many strains and one such strain 
It was a killer, a deadlier more virile monster
Many people had compromised immune systems from the first wave
They went out like lights one by one in the second
People thought they could just self-isolate
Stay inside until flu season was over
 They thought...
Play some video games until it all blew over
But the chemicals they sprayed, killed many natural predators to the mosquito
Come summer time the mosquitoes grew like the locusts did in Africa
They grew and grew and so too did the second wave of the virus
These pests spread it to all the other people who had coffee on their porches
They nibbled on the old-ladies in backyards trying to soak up that vitamin D 
They itched on their way in to help family still recovering
They itched on their way to the hospitals again
They itched as they slowly died again
--
Yes, many talk about mosquitoes in the 20s
My mother always smelled of OFF and never ate bananas
She would drown my little body in repellents before we went out
She would make me wash my hands when I entered a room or left a room
My hands would get dry and cracked from all the home made hand sanitizer 
I always had to undress in a special part of the house before being let inside
We had special house clothing
Each night it was soaked in a special liquid that killed germs
I had a fresh made bed every night
She always kept the house immaculate 
We didn't have many things in the house
We where minimalists she said
Less stuff meant less stuff to wash everyday she said
My mother didn't have many friends over
I don't think my mother had any friends
She said they where all dead now
I was yelled at for dirty feet
I was yelled at for touching my face with unwashed hands
I was yelled at for sharing water bottles with friends
She didn't like to hug but when she did it was a deep bear hug
Sometimes she would squeeze me tight
She would ask for my forgiveness before bed if we had had a fight
She was just trying to keep us safe she said
I would forgive her
I forgive her
--
When I turned 42 another virus started to spread
She went on high alert
She told me people had become complacent
No one was going to take it seriously enough she would yell
My mother had a deep mistrust of the governments competence 
My son told her she was being crazy and she slapped him across the mouth
I told her to go home and to calm down
--
I didn't call her for many weeks
I only started to worry when the borders where shut
I only started to worry when the airlines stopped
I went to my old house
I took off my clothing in the special room
I washed my feet
I washed my hands
I called out
She did not come to greet me
The house smelled of bleach
Every surface scrubbed and sparkling
In her large living room she sat quietly with her back to me
She only had one chair
It was facing a window that over looked the ocean
The room was filled with drooping plants thirsty for water
She had left a letter
--
I can not go through it again she had written

I will not watch people die again
I won't be the cause and I am not the cure
The world was too ugly when your father passed
I can't witness the ugliness again
Please remember all the things I have taught you
Please be mindful of all the things I have told you
Please do everything in your power to keep your family safe
Don't be stupid boy
Never take risks and keep your head down
Do what you need to do to keep your family safe
I have been keeping things for you and the family
I remember what it was like
You don't remember the famines but I do
Never tell anyone about what is in the basement
Someone will take it from you
I am sorry my boy
I am done keeping you safe
You have to take care of yourself now
I am sorry for slapping George when I last visited
Tell him I am sorry
I was just trying to keep you safe
Keep you both safe
Please make sure he knows how to be safe 
Again, I am sorry.
I love you more than you will ever know.

I forgave her
---
When I went to the basement
I found a room filled with things
She had hoarded toiletries and hand sanitizer
I remember her always buying an extra bottle every paycheck 
--As I stood in aw of the wall of face-masks 

--My wife calls me

My son is in the hospital she says
She says she is there too
She says they are both sick
She says not to come to them, it's not safe
She says he is dying
She is coughing

I told her about my mother
We cried over the phone
I hear a car driving by with a loud speaker
It is the authorities
---
I have been told I can't leave the house now by the police
I have buried my mother in the backyard because no one will come to fetch the body
I got rid of the chair
I just sit here thinking
I just sit in the spot where the chair was
I look out the window and wait for a call from the hospital
I wonder about all those times I hated her for telling me to clean myself 
I think of all the times I resented washing everything
I think about all the times she yelled at me about cleanliness 
I think of all the times I rolled my eyes at her
I think about my son
I think about all the times I told him grandma was crazy

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdvf_5uxuC8&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR078Nxj25fY0q47GxxmU8fR8OjCrmZ8PhqXlmC3cbnQG9fBiuOFM11kGyo
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