A Time to Play Mask

Corona Two… more than just a beer thought

If you have never had the opportunity to read the short story “The secret life of Walter Mitty,” make a grab for it during this period of solitary confinement and enjoy.

Okay, it’s not that bad – maybe house arrest would sit better with the greater population. The point is that I want you to enjoy a brilliantly written story and to understand where I am coming from in producing this piece.

So, my approach is anything but novel, the way I hear so many people around the globe describe the Corona virus, COVID 19.

As I started to ready myself for a journey into St. John’s, I found I was being slowly transformed into Mitty.

Clothes were very carefully picked out and the shoes selected were the most comfortable I had.

Chances are, I might have to run, at pace and over a long distance.

After more than a quick look in a full-length mirror I said, a little louder than I meant to, “This is the damn thing self, except …”

It was not hard to find my daughter’s rat-tail comb.

I held it in my right hand and brought it closer to my face, à la that iconic 007 pose.

There was no sultry and sexy vixen but that was fine. She would probably only become a liability at a very critical time.

I was already out of the front door, when I took a furtive glance up the road where a black, diplomatic-type vehicle with yellow plates, had just turned the corner and was crawling in my direction. I stooped, pretending to tie the laces, which did not exist on the style of shoe I was wearing.

The grey shirt of the driver could not be mistake – Antigua and Barbuda’s finest – big heads, bad haircuts and more belly than a goldfish suffering with dropsy.

They were laughing when they looked in my direction through the twenty percent tinted windows.

They must have found each other very amusing but what if they were laughing at me?

“Imbeciles!” I said under my breath.

“They had better believe that where there is laugh, there is bound to be cry.”

Having opened the driver’s side door of my SUV, I then proceeded to pull the short latex gloves up to my long sleeves. I enjoyed the slapping sound and sensation, as I carelessly released them, right and then left against my wrists. Once I was sitting behind the wheel with my seat belt pulled across me, I drove in the same direction in which the policemen had travelled.

I suffered an almost fatal lapse in concentration and as I turned the corner, the two policemen were there, standing outside of their vehicle. One held out his hand, indicating for me to stop.

“Where is your mask, sir,” the darker of the two yelled at me.

I was tempted to inform him that I was not the reason why he had to leave his home without his wife having presented him with a decent breakfast. I managed to hold my tongue.

I reached into the glove compartment where I had placed a couple of dust masks and placed the straps of one to the back of my head before fitting the mask snugly to my face.

“We letting you off with just a warming this time.  You can consider that we just did you a $5,000 favour.  The chief magistrate not playing around these days so count your blessings. If she is in a really bad mood you might be fined and confined too.”

They looked at each other and laughed before walking into the small village shop, probably to buy a breakfast drink, one, which I suspected, would not necessarily contain any “daily recommended vitamins”.

I went along my way, having gotten over my Peter Tosh Cold Blood moment.

“Every time I see Babylon, my blood runs cold, cold, cold

And every time I see those wicked men my belly moves, moves, moves.”

Now I was pure gangster. I had the “system” beat.

By the time I passed other officers executing a stop and search I was quick to let them see the mask. I was hiding a wicked sneer underneath it but the beat inside my head blasted victory, which sadly, only I could hear.

“They see me rollin’,
They hatin’,
Patrolling they tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty,
Tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty.”

Indeed, just a few weeks ago, wearing a mask would have signaled to the Task Force that I was ready to commit suicide. Now the authorities want to punish me for not wearing one.

Corona badder than cocobey (leprosy)!

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