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  • Sara Tucker

P.A.’s Diary: Everything Feels Beige

July 31, 2020. The days are rolling on, but everything feels beige. Not much is improving in California as our Covid19 cases increase daily. Regardless, our governor seems to have a handle on it, which is some small comfort.

My husband and I feel like we’re living in a Ground Hog Day loop. He changes things up with his work schedule. Sometimes he surprises me with an errand to the store, when he picks me up from work, but even now I feel like we are eating and drinking the same thing every day. What were weekends like before Covid19? Well, there was always the lure of meeting friends for Friday Happy Hour in the city. Saturday was invariably a movie watched in a movie theater, or preparing to entertain friends for dinner. Sundays were made for gatherings, like wine tastings, gallery openings, birthday parties, backyard barbecues, attending theater—or the ultimate California pastime, driving along the coast and exploring.

Normally, staying at home is a preferred pastime. I naturally avoid mega events with huge crowds. Now, I feel on edge, and it is increasingly difficult to relax and feel comfortable, even in my own home. I seem to be building tolerances to substances that help relax the mind.

I am apathetic. I have completely forgotten what it is like to want to succeed and get ahead. I’m so ready for the apocalypse. It upsets some folks when I start talking about the end of the world, or I get excited about embracing the sweet release of death. I can’t help it. I see the glass half-empty.

U.S. politics are a nightmare now. Racism is everywhere, every second of the day. Children are in cages.

I am losing the fight—the “feel good" fight. I feel beige. I want to feel crimson, azure blue, and emerald green again. I want to be delighted to make dinner again. I want to grow more beautiful flowers and amazing tomatoes. I want to create the most amazing gay Christmas tree you’ve ever seen in your life. I want to paint amazing beautiful images. I want to say things that make my husband laugh so hard he cries.

I know, I know: I have many, many things to already be grateful for, and Americans have lost far more than I these past few months. I just can’t remove this lens that makes everything feel beige. I have to get my colors back.

Above: Orlando and Betty on a recent drive along the coast.


P.A. Cooley grew up in Northfield, Vermont, and now lives in Oakland, California. He describes himself as "a middle-aged married Gay man who struggles daily to keep his inner Diva at Peace." He lives in a Craftsman bungalow with his husband, Orlando De Jesus Jr, and Betty, a toy poodle. P.A. has set himself a goal of writing for 10 minutes per day.