new zealand heads to level 2
….greetings from havelock north, aotearoa. i’m in bed, on my phone. ash just fell asleep at 9pm, finally, and i’m going to post this and then take a fucking bath….
this is a photo of ash and his self-administered mullet watch as Jacinda Ardern delivers the nail-biting news about new zealand heading into level 2. it’s so rare for me to turn on a TV that it’s worth a picture and a post.
when the news broke, i started to cry. i hadn‘t realized i had been holding in so much stress and physical panic about all of this until it release. my kid will be able to go outside and play with other kids. it felt like someone had taken a clamp off my heart.
so, “level 2“ is on, it’s happening in three days. it means shops and schools & restaurants will open. no gatherings of more than 10. for the first time in almost two months, ash will be able to have playmates his age. he was really getting sick of me and xanthea.
he has gone back to his old habit of one month ago where he talks about needing us to be Dead. he wants to make a guillotine SO HE CAN KILL US. oh ash.
please no death. we will be able to slide down a slide again. we will be able to go to a coffeeshop. i can do shows (for 9 people! and yes. i will. this weekend, hopefully, in a venue that can hold 10 people, who will need to socially distance.)
there have been about 1,100 – total – COVID cases in this country. total. and in total, 21 deaths. twenty one. compare this to the numbers in new york. here, there are about 2-3 new cases per day. sometimes none. they did it right. they locked it up fast and hard. the whole community got on board.
as an american, being here is so weird. i talk with my friends back in brooklyn and i feel like we are in WWII and they’re facing the blitz while i’m in the south of france. i always had – still have – the opportunity to go back, and every time, even when i was on the brink, i hesitated.
the news from the states just kept getting more horrific by the hour.
friends back home would encourage me to return, especially in light of the shitshow of the last few weekszzz but even in moments of almost-ready, i would balk.
this has been an impossible choice. day by day, week by week: and i still …. i don’t know. there have been moments where it makes more sense to go home. head home, home, home to everything that is more or less familiar …. or?
stay here where i know my kid, whose life has already been upended by so many other non-covid-related things, will at least be able to go to an ice-cream store, run around a playground with some other 4-year-olds, swim in the ocean, get in a tickle fight during a playdate? have a shot at normal even though it’s not around the people he knows and is familiar with?
what does familiar even mean now? more or less familiar doesn’t even exist any more back at home.
my own dumb needs haven’t even really factored in that much. sure i want to go to a coffee shop and get a flat white and get back to doing shows. but i’m 44 & my brain is 99% developed. it won’t matter much if i have a coffee or don’t. ash is 4.
i don’t want my son to think that being scared of people is normal.
i think that’s the biggest reason i keep choosing to stay here. i want him to feel the thrum of humanity without doubt.
i was so lucky i was even given the choice.
what if my tour had been one week later? i simply wouldn’t have come. everything would have been canceled. something deposited me here, and i thank it.
aoteroa, i am humbled and grateful. and i hope to somehow repay the debt.
thank you to everyone who commented on the last post. i started reading. (i also appreciate all the darker and more personal direct messages. forgive me if i can’t respond to every one of them. but i am reading.)
we have been through some shit
have we not
i love you all.
ps here’s a beautiful shot of me reading charlie and lola to ash today
…and here is a beautiful piece of artwork by @cocorrina.co on IG. this reminds me of ash. i saw this on my pal @therealmadisonyoung’s feed, and the combination of the art and the power i know to be the women behind it promoted me to share it here. my podcast interview with madison – who’s a porn actor and activist on behalf porn actors who are parents – will hopefully finally emerge in the next month or so. it’s been a long gestation, but the podcast is waxing and about to reach full readiness. i love you all. today i feel calm. every day is different. we wax and wane and grow and shrink. i’m pretty thrilled to be on the moonship with no destination at the moment.