Quarantine Part One | Syd Nichols Returns

Well hello friends! It’s your old buddy Syd here. I’ve been on a bit of a lengthy writing hiatus for a multitude of reasons which I’ll delve into another day. But now, with the help of a pair of dear friends, I’m going to try to get back into the swing. Hopefully I remember how to do this. Some of you may be familiar with some of my previous work. If not, I’ll introduce myself or reintroduce myself at a later date as well. I thought that now was as good a time as any, if not the best time ever for a break from what’s going on in the world around us and read a little bit of silliness.

I possess an innate penchant, or dark twisted knack if you prefer, for being able to find humor in just about anything. With such gifts, or curses I write primarily about observational humor. More often than not at my own expense. As a father of five, and Daddy by day, bartender by night, the well will never run dry. Currently however, I am on sabbatical from my night time gig. Bartenders evidently are nonessential at the moment. Though I guess that would depend upon whom you asked. Though I’m pretty sure that once the world reopens, we harbingers of adult libations will be a close second to hairdressers on the essential scale. I say that of course with tongue in cheek as my own wife is a nurse in a hospital and has been profoundly essential from the start. And I couldn’t be more proud.

The current situation is by no means indigenous only to my home. Nor my neighborhood, or my state, or even my country. It is in fact global. This means that if you are a current resident of Earth, you have been affected in some way, directly or indirectly by this pandemic. So I won’t belabor you with trivialities. So anything of mine you read henceforth is written with the understanding that we are all in variations of the same situation. That being a necessary disruption to our normal everyday lives. I’ve always been a huge proponent of social distancing. I’m just looking forward to getting back to doing it on my own terms. Truth be told, I didn’t like anyone within six feet of me before all of this.

Not presently able to go to work and sling drinks to those who at least on paper are considered adults, has rendered me perpetually anchored to my own humble domicile. I admit that once, not so very long ago I said that my dream would be to be a stay at home Dad. I’m now submitting a formal request to all of you. I give you carte blanche to do the following if you ever hear me speak those words again. Stand on a chair if you need to, or even get a running start. But please kick me as hard as you can right in the throat. Then, as I lay on the ground feverishly gasping for air and writhing in pain stand over me holding a picture of me as I look today. Thick salt and pepper hair, far beyond a desperately needed cut. Six weeks or so embedded into the grooming of said skull foliage being a tertiary thought at best. Looking like one of those trolls we used to put on our erasers, then firmly grip the pencil between both palms and spinning it vigorously. My eyes red and bleary from no longer being able to distinguish between day and night yet constantly having to wrangle one or more of the spawn of my seed. The black circles under my eyes look like I’m preparing to go play a football game on a bright, sunny day. My skin pale yet slightly jaundiced from involuntary hibernation and lack of natural sunlight. My youngest child tossed my beard grooming kit in the toilet around day five of the quarantine. So my facial follicles have reached a point that if I were still a smoker I’d be a legitimate fire hazard. This look may work for hipsters and hillbillies, but not so much on me. My face and belly are swollen like I just bobbed up after a two-week soak at the bottom of a brackish lake. I’m wearing pajama pants emblazoned with images of the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile. I’m not sure exactly when I put them on. I do know that they were a lot baggier last month. Completing the quarantine ensemble is a stretched out tattered old tee-shirt with the logo of a restaurant I once worked in that’s long since defunct. I only recently found it as I binge cleaned in the early days of lockdown. I decided to keep it and several others like it that I unearthed from the bowels of my closet. Possibly for nostalgic and sentimental reasons. But more likely in case I’m ever too lazy to write my resume, I can just walk into a job interview with a garment bag full of old tee-shirts. And with all of this, I have a look on my face like the engineer of a train that has just started a high-speed derailment.

Don’t read too much into this. I love my kids more than I ever dreamt it possible to love. But they have most certainly both tested me and provided me with plenty of material in the past six weeks. Material that if permitted I hope to regale you with in the coming days. So until then…
Thanks for playing along.
Syd Nichols