Half-Thawed Pea and All

May 1 2020 Rachel Hurley Roche 5th Year

At 6 am me and my sister both get up so we can share a breakfast or a coffee together before she goes to work in the hospital. This morning she’s making her lunch and she flicks a frozen pea at my head. I pelt it back at her, but it lands in her cup of coffee. Looking up slowly I move to make her another cup. No need, she chugs it, half-thawed pea and all before I can start the kettle. After a moment of disgusted silence, we both start laughing, simultaneously trying to shush each other so we don’t wake anyone else up. As you can tell, the bar for entertainment has dropped in recent weeks.

Once she leaves, I’ll take this time to get some work done, might as well while I’m up. Work is different now, teaching through Zoom calls is unfortunately the worst nightmare of most students, and to be fair, most teachers too. Doing exams remotely has presented an interesting challenge. It seems you don’t know what it is you don’t know until the book is closed. I don’t think I’d make a great teacher. I can’t even teach myself with the assistance of a teacher.

I come back from a run, having passed the same trees I see every day. I have quite possibly never been this bored. If this lasts any longer, I may resort to flushing my head down the toilet for entertainment. I just think it would spice things up. Not going to do that…yet. I respond to a message from my sister on her lunch break. She’s tired, she tells me. I ask her what’s her favourite insult she’s received from a patient today. I’m not going to repeat it for the sake of civility, but I’ll admit, he was certainly creative.

A new part of our routine in the last week or so has been sitting on hold for quite some time to the broadband company. It cuts out for hours at a time, and we’re all like people having lost a limb. In all fairness we have someone working from home who depends on the wifi. Frankly, I wouldn’t expect a kick in the face from this company. They’d probably start flashing red and shut down mid swing. They always send the same technician. We should set him up a room in our house at this stage.

The time between now and bedtime will pass in relative monotony. While the start of the day appears long, these hours blur into one time lump. This is the time you’re least likely to realise you’ve missed several meals due to an absence of routine. I will attempt to entertain myself by making my own soup. I will add too much salt, and not enough garlic. An entire broccoli stalk escapes the blender. It seems I should not be a chef either.

When Nicole comes home the day really ends. Her uniform is thrown immediately in a boil wash, and she gives herself a similar treatment in the shower. We have our last coffee together, outside, in the dark, at around 10 pm. I head to bed and think about all the boring things I will do tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll run backwards, for a change of scenery.