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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Kennedy Care: WWKD?

The Virginia forecast, for where I live and for Richmond, call for snow this Sunday. Not a lot by my assessment but locals predict the Richmond airport will close. Which is how I find myself on a 6 AM Saturday flight.

My alarm jostles me awake at 4 something AM. Too early. I hit snooze.

I spent the night at a hotel five minutes from the airport. It’s an investment I happily make to avoid leaving home at what I would consider the middle of the night.

I hit snooze a second time before stumbling into the bathroom. I’ve forgotten that I wore eyeliner yesterday and that I failed to remove it before stumbling into bed. So my raccoon like face startles me. My hair frizzes on the side. I think of my taxidermy raccoon. Practically twinning - the only difference being he’s dead and I just look that way.

Andrea is no fool and texts to make sure I am up - by that time, I am making my way to the airport.

I’ve awaken to “lady trouble” today. Which sounds like an antiquated description but less gross than another description. I’m going to have to ask my friend Anne if I can use her washing machine - or I’ll have to hit a laundromat.

“I can’t believe I have to deal with this shit. And in the middle of a goddamn pandemic.” I mutter to myself. I mean - really. Can’t we all just agree that any routine and/or minor inconvenience is basically escalated to an ass ache because of this shit?

The only good thing about “lady trouble” is that I realize, “Oh hey. Now I know why I felt like gently guiding my car off a bridge when I saw that dead deer by the roadside.” Hormones. So crazy. Or, as my dad would say, “How do you make a hormone?”

Don’t pay her.

Airport security is busy. And inconsistent. Ever notice that? I assume this is how planes were able to crash into buildings. Have we learned nothing? Where are these people going? I’m traveling for work and this trip is time sensitive due to the fact I am getting the 2nd COVID vaccine on Monday. I have heard of enough reactions to the 2nd vaccine that I’m planning a low key day Tuesday. To be honest, when there was initial talk of a vaccine, I was a little skeptical. Nervous. Now I’m so over this pandemic that I’m like, “Oh who cares. Inject me.”

Sure. We don’t know the long term potential side effects but there is medication advertised on TV with startling side effects rattled off in a confident, assuring tone that people choose to take daily.

“Hm. I don’t know the long term side effects of this little blue pill but hey - short term, I can get some. Bottoms up!” (Perhaps literally)

Maybe the short term side effect is leaving my house? Attending a weekend writing retreat in the mountains is North Carolina this fall? Resuming a life outside of the four walls of my home. Maybe later - a third foot will sprout from my ass. But I’ll adapt and learn to take that to restaurants with me. Writing fodder - it’s all grist for the mill.

After the first vaccine, I felt dizzy at the foot of the hotel bed upon waking. I didn’t make the correlation between the vaccine and my light headedness - presumably because I’d had no coffee and wasn’t yet coherent. By 2 PM that day, the dizziness returns with a vengeance, accompanied by a blinding headache behind my right eye. I quietly slip out of the building I’m in and head back to my hotel, squinting against the blinding winter sun.

I confess my escape to a colleague. Presumably out of some misplaced sense of guilt.

“Kennedy would be kicking back on the couch with a popsicle, watching a movie.”

We dub this “Kennedy Care”. I ponder, “WWKD? What would Kennedy do?” and change into my pajamas. I realize I can learn a lot from Kennedy.

A few highlights....

  1. When feeling ill, don’t try to be a hero. Sit your ass down, grab a treat and watch a movie.

  2. If you don’t know the answer to something, reply, “Beats me.” Hit mute on your call and lean back in your chair. Embrace the not knowing.

  3. Own your look with confidence. If want to apply your make up in such a way that you resemble Sia’s album covers, so be it.

3 Exhibit A

3 Exhibit B

I tell Kennedy’s mom that Kennedy care should really be a book. Or at least a chapter. We need merch - I picture Kennedy banging out a few “WWKD” beaded bracelets before remembering that Kennedy also has some pretty solid boundaries so she’d probably tell me to make my own goddamn bracelets. Fine.

Today, it’s quiet at the gate for my flight. I can only assume people are not fully awake, with the exception of a kid facing a wall who shouts, “Dang it!” At random intervals. I assume he’s playing a game. I’m shuffling on board the plane when my brain latches onto “Detroit” with alarm and I remember that yes, I have a layover there. This is the only flight I could find. I sit in someone else’s seat as if I’ve never flown before. I’m soon able to scoot across from him. There - have your seat and mine. I’ll be over here. Wishing I was social distancing. Which is good because I cough once, then twice on my own spit. I wait for heads to swivel towards me but no one seems to look. Which is great because I wasn’t relishing the thought of saying, “I’m totally healthy! I just choke on my own spit at times!” The guy in front of me sneezes and I hold my breath. Jee-zus. The plane descends and lakes pockmark the landscape. There is snow on the flat, Midwestern ground.

If you haven’t traveled by plane lately, they now hand you a gallon ziploc of snacks. You know what this means? There is no coffee. I think this post isn’t half bad for someone who’s had 3 sips of coffee.

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