Journey’s before my escaping the pandemic began with a joyful sense of adventure. Blythe would be busy sorting through what we might need and what we would never want while gone. One of us, whichever was least busy, would arrange for a pet sitter. We had three orange cats ranging from age two to sixteen one female two males. We treated them like the children we’d planned we would have one day in the future.
Then after all preparations were finalized, we’d get a good night’s sleep, rise before the sun and with the electro loaded and charged we would leave. Often we traveled hundreds of miles before we returned. We knew that the sights we visited, either manmade or natural were nothing as grand as those seen by generations before us, but we were happy none-the-less.
As I lay on my back with Margaret’s arm across my chest, mine under her, I smiled at the memory of the last trip we made before the pandemic decided humanity’s time was drawing to a close.
We had driven north a thousand miles and waited for nearly two hours for the turbo-air ferry that would transport to the island of Central Park. Along the way we passed the head of liberty with a golden torch aloft in the only hand visible.
The unique thing about the island was that it was surrounded by a solid water-proof wall a hundred feet tall. The ferry settled slowly in the center of the island giving us the sensation of sinking into a hole in the earth.
Blythe was thrilled and stood with both hands on the edge of the window, face close enough I could see her breath on the glass.
We spent the night in a luxurious hotel and were treated like royalty. A journey to remember forever, Blythe had whispered in my ear after or amazing lovemaking.
By the time we returned home, the pandemic was headline news. But both of us were exhausted by the media’s sucking the life out of each story, and concentrating on what my grandmother once laughing called fear factor click bait. She’s told me her mother taught her the phrase. So Blythe and I ignored the awful news and enjoyed the trip home. Once there the first thing we learned was that our cats had been infected and died. The government demanded we go into isolation for two weeks. And it was during that time Blythe showed symptoms of the virus and I learned I was immune. She was flown to the local emergency room, and then brought to ICU where a month later she died.