There Are Bodies On My Facebook Feed And Nothing Else Matters
I make muffins in the mornings now. Warm oatmeal muffins with berries on top for my teenage boys and chocolate chips for my daughter. The kind of muffins that smell like love and taste like safety and coax you up out of bed and down into the kitchen to start another day.
Sometimes it takes me a while to get downstairs to make the muffins. It takes me a while because first I have to sift through the news and my Facebook feed to see who’s still around to post funny memes, who’s sick, whose mom or uncle or husband is dead. It takes me a while to come downstairs because first I have to count the bodies.
But I do come down. And I make the muffins and I drink coffee and talk to my kids and try to laugh a little and maybe even dance to some Balkan Beat Box because I’m still alive and it seems wrong not to celebrate it.
Sometimes I post about being happy, about dancing, about enjoying my coffee. Mostly because I’m not that happy, I don’t really want to dance, the coffee is cold, we’re out of cream and none of these are real problems so it’s dumb to focus on them because there are bodies on my Facebook feed. Bodies and healthcare workers in mortal danger and dead husbands and none of my problems are real problems.
It’s not a real problem that I’m stuck in the house with three kids and lots of work and grocery deliveries that keep getting stretched out later and later so that I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to start thinking about what will happen if they stop. It’s not a real problem that my daughter is lonely and sad and has mostly given up sleeping unless it’s in my bed sometime well after midnight. It’s not a real problem that I’ve been waking up at 4 am every morning to a racing heart and dark thoughts that crowd my brain and leak down into my stomach. It’s not a real problem that my parents are old and far away and I miss them and can’t visit them because I don’t want them to be one of those bodies on my Facebook feed. It’s not a real problem that I’m having a harder and harder time getting out of bed because there is not a damn thing to look forward to but those muffins. It’s not a real problem that my husband still has to drive two hours a day back and forth to work down deserted roads to hold on to his job that we so desperately need so that we can keep those grocery deliveries coming for as long as possible. It’s not a real problem that my teenage son is restless and bored and lonely and complaining because many of his friends are still gathering, still playing basketball, still hanging out at each other’s houses. It’s not a real problem that I can’t go anywhere, can’t see anyone, can’t hug my parents, can’t stop worrying, can’t celebrate Passover with my family, can’t have a minute alone to read or write or think.
It’s not a real problem because there are bodies on my Facebook feed.
There are bodies on my Facebook feed and yet I keep dancing, keep smiling, keep posting, keep making muffins.
Because, if I stop… there won’t be any more reasons to get out of bed.