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  • Writer's pictureAriella Pinedo

Distantly Social | A Check-In Journal - 1

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 | Wake-up Call

I love my room in the morning. Anytime between 5 am - 10 am. Every time I catch it, I get mad at myself. I say, "I should start waking up earlier. I actually like the morning..." Unless I'm with someone, I add, "just don't ask me too many questions." It's not because I can't answer your questions or, I look away from a challenge. At first, I thought it was because it is just too early and I haven't had my coffee, so the task is difficult. And then I realized I reserve it for my Dad.

My Dad called at 9 am when I was still in bed, as I usually am. In my defense, this is about 3 hours earlier from when I use to wake up, my Dad gave me a hard time about still being in bed. After 3 hellos and nothing back, my Dad spoke. He asked me about 5 questions at once as my eyes are still fluttering away my sleepiness. My Dad speaks in fragments, I suppose we all do but, he says, "Ari!" he also yells. He says he doesn't, yet he's so loud. "you sleeping?" It makes me giggle, recalling that.

"I've been up and working already" I get the feeling that he moved on to a different subject in his head before he finished that sentence because he immediately asked about my brother. "Did Memo make it?" I panicked a bit—remnants from the accident. I responded with, "I'm sure he did. Hold on... hold on, let me check." I checked quickly and saw I got two texts, he had made it to Miranda's mom's house. I told my Dad this, and then he was like, "Oh, okay, good because I saw in the news that at midnight they were gonna arrest people" I mean, no, but my Dad doesn't take having to deal with the police lightly. Then my Dad changes it to "charge you." My Dad continued to tell me about the new rules in place due to the pandemic. I didn't interrupt, although I knew all of this. He rambled on and repeated himself, in case I missed anything. It has become cuter as I got older. He ended with, "okay, Mija, I have to go back to work. Stay safe" He said that last part slowly and the clearest like he didn't want me to miss it. Dad doesn't say I love you very often; in fact, he barely said it all when I lived at home. Instead, he showed it. "Stay safe," and in the manner that he said it was his "I love you" and "Okay, Dad. I will" was mine. I'm weird; he's a madcap sort of fellow. Where do you think I get it from?

I didn't know how I was going to do this check-in journal. In a series of poems? Listing to my array of feelings? Strictly speaking about my sense as this was a therapist? Letters to Thomas? All I knew that I was excited about it. After the phone call with Dad, I got up and placed in my mind that I will start writing as soon as I grab my coffee and banana. Last night I feared that I will have nothing to write about, and it is a feeling I have been having lately. Alas, I had run out of excuses because I'm not working. There is no rush to be anywhere, and everywhere is quiet. Well, as tranquil as a city can be.

Usually, by the time my alarm goes off, there is so much going on around me. Cars are driving by, kids going to school, birds talking all sort of nonsense, Memo making espresso in our ridiculously loud espresso machine, alarms going off, etc. When I woke up this morning, though, everything was still. Everything was quiet, even the birds. That was probably the creepiest part.

The idea of a check-in journal came from my boyfriend, Thomas. He's always coming up with ideas like this for us. He works hard at our relationship, I hope I do too. I haven't had a boyfriend that I care about this much. I think about him right alongside my family. And to open up completely, I don't think I did that with my first boyfriend, my first real relationship, my first "I love you." If I did, I forced it, it was an afterthought. I can't say with 100% certainty, though, because I have blocked or forgotten a lot of that relationship. Anyway, we haven't been going out very long, but it feels like we have. I like him a lot.

I'll end with this, I'm looking forward to seeing where this journal takes me. No expectations just one rule, write something at least once every day.

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