Once upon a time, Modern Philosophers, I woke up not sure if I even wanted to get out of bed and face the day. Ever since COVID 19, social distancing, and stay at home orders hijacked our lives, every day has seemed like a Pandemic Groundhog Day.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, it might have been safer to simply stay under the covers.
I did get out of bed, though. As much security as my comforters seemed to provide, I knew I couldn’t allow the anticipation of what might be waiting to control me.
The main problem with yesterday, other than the usual isolation and boredom, was that another big storm was headed for The House on the Hill. The one last Thursday had been a blizzard that dropped over a foot of snow and knocked out power all over the state. As of yesterday, there were people still without power.
Yesterday was supposed to be a rainstorm with wind gusts up to 55 mph. There were warnings all over the news and social media that more power outages were expected.
So I spent the day stressing/preparing for the worst. There wasn’t much I could do to prepare other than charge all my devices, make sure the batteries were working in my emergency lighting, and pray.
I did a lot of pacing, which was good for my step count. My goal was to be at 110,000 steps for the week by the end of the day. I was stressed enough to get to 113,000.
There was a lot of writing since that’s an excellent distraction. Plus, if I lost power, the crappy battery on my aging laptop wouldn’t last that long. So I wanted to get my pages for the day done early.
I pressed forward with Chapter 8 of my novel. This is the one where my main characters spend an awkward second date in a pizzeria. I must confess, hanging out with them in the pizzeria all day was exactly what I needed. They’re a fun couple, they have really witty conversations, and the pizza smelled delicious.
All afternoon, as the rain pounded against the house, and the wind rattled the windows, I’d turn up the heat just in case the power was about to fail. I figured I should make the house as warm as possible since it might be many hours before the heat worked again.
Then I’d switch between pacing, writing, and watching Gilmore Girls. Poor Rory had so many stressful things going on in her life, but I would have traded places with her in a heartbeat. As would I have happily transported myself to the pizzeria in my novel.
I kept checking the clock and calculating how much longer the chaos would last, since the Wind Advisory was in effect until midnight. I constantly checked Facebook for posts from friends about power outages.
I marched my way to 113,000 steps and wrote my way to the end of Chapter 8.
At 8:00, I discovered that Comedy Central was back to Season One of The Office. I decided my safest plan was to hunker down on the couch, watch the adventures of my friends at Dunder Mifflin, and pray the power wouldn’t go out during an episode.
I had resigned myself to the fact that I was now a prisoner of the Fates. I had absolutely no control of my life. I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t visit friends, I couldn’t go five minutes without worrying that the power would fail and my quarantine’s supply of food in the fridge would spoil.
Just when our handsome, charming, and severely neurotic protagonist was hitting rock bottom, a surprise plot twist caught him completely off guard (I promise to stop talking about myself in the third person now. So sorry!)
My phone chirped with a video call just as Michael was giving an inebriated Pam her Dundie Award (Yes, the marathon had advanced to Season 2 by this point). It was my producer from LA, which was a nice surprise since we hadn’t touched base in a long time.
After some quick small talk about the Coronavirus’ impact on California and Maine, he got to the good stuff. A quarantine is a perfect time to prep a movie for production. People are running out of things to watch while stuck at home, and distributors will be hungry for new material once the Stay At Home order is lifted.
So he wanted to organize a table read of one of my screenplays via Zoom. We talked about the two scripts we always discuss, but then he surprised me by bringing a third one into the conversation. It’s an old Film Noir screenplay that had gotten interest from another production company and Charlize Theron, but had never gotten off the ground.
Suddenly, I’d gone from couch potato zombie who felt sorry for himself to the excited screenwriter eager to debate which screenplay was best for a table read.
He asked if I’d have time to participate in the table read, and I laughed. I told him I had nothing but time right now, and as long as I had power, I would be online for it.
We spent the next fifteen minutes talking about all three projects. He asked if I’d be willing to add some new scenes to the car chase in my heist script. I laughed because it reminded me of when I met Dr Dre to discuss the same project. Dre was all pumped about the car chase, but his production partner, who would have directed the flick, had some concerns. Dre called him a pussy, and told him the scene was definitely staying in the film.
And that, Modern Philosophers, was how the day that began with me not even wanting to get out of bed, ended with a surprise Hollywood twist. And hopefully, our hero lives happily ever after…
Have you had any surprises to help you get through this challenging time?