There ought to be an asylum for such as me, harassed and haunted that I am. As thermometers blaze high temperatures of suffering COVID patients, I gripe at sunburn on my pampered potted plants. Loved ones watch the dying through hospital windows, while others write for a loan, file for bankruptcy, apply for unemployment, or write obituaries, but I fume at wording for an inconsequential poem—would a green pen inspire, a long walk, or Trader Joe’s chocolate coconut ice cream bring focus? Headaches pound afflicted thousands while my chronic colonial classist British breeding hammers and thumps on my disheveled yet defiant African slavery-infected history; nailed fast to both yet disdaining the two, this mutated hybrid self. Around me, others suffocate with strangled breathing while my entangled soul not firmly clutched in this current COVID world, dangles like a hanging from a reluctantly complicit tree. While others battle for a chance to escape death, I fumble with my angst against others’ devastation. There ought to be an asylum for such as me.
Joy Alexander is a licensed Psychologist and Professor Emeritus from Indiana University South Bend, and is a novice writer living in Tucson Arizona.