Frankly, I’ve never been cool. Not being cool has it’s advantages. I drive a 2001 Toyota Camry. Homeless people don’t even approach me at intersections to ask for money. When I was an early adolescent, my Mother bought me a book on how to be popular. She would have been well within her rights to have asked for her money back. I’m from New Mexico. It’s hot here much of the year. It may be that my lack of coolness is environmental. Of course that doesn’t explain why I was never “hot.”
As far as not being cool in a pandemic, there are the tragically serious things that move coolness to the back burner (that sounds like an oxymoron) such as lack of adequate funds to pay expenses, isolation and loneliness, illness and the accompanying drain on dignity; and then there is the pandemic-produced coolness sieve that is my life. Last night I finished making my 100th mask. I’ve given most away, but I’ve kept a few so that I can do my part in limiting virus spread. None of my homemade masks are beautiful, but I do try to coordinate the color of the mask I wear with whatever else I’m wearing. Today, I ran to the newly re-opened fabric store and forgot to take one of the masks that I’ve made. I had to wear my emergency mask which is a pre-fab mask that you would typically wear when working in the yard or while completing a mildly-toxic home improvement task. It’s not cool to go to the FABRIC store while wearing a pre-fab yard-work mask.
My homemade masks are fairly thick (the better to protect Little Red Riding Mask), so it’s difficult to hear me when I speak through them. While wearing my homemade masks I’m frequently asked embarrassing personal questions to which I must shout out the very not-cool answers. Happily, I am wearing a mask while shouting, because a couple of nights ago I heard on the news that virus-carrying particles travel further when a virus-infected person shouts. I don’t have the virus, but if I did, I would not want to spew virus-carrying particles because I had to shout in order to have my embarrassing personal information heard. I am also happy that I’m not readily recognizable, due to the mask covering two-thirds of my face, as I shout out embarrassing personal information.
I shop for a friend when I do my weekly shopping. When I pick up toilet paper for her and for myself, it looks like I’m a hoarder. I want to publicly state, here and now, HOARDING IS NOT COOL, so even when I’m not being not cool, I appear to be not cool, which I am, so I guess it’s okay.
I do not wear a mask while I’m driving. While driving, everyone can see just who the not cool person is who is driving the 2001 Toyota Camry.