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  • Beth Zagurski

52 Card Pick Up


"I notified the landlord. We are closing down the studio in 2 weeks."

These were the words that kicked off my quarantine. The closing of the studio wasn't unexpected. The closing of the studio 30 days early was. Coronavirus...COVID-19...

sars-COV-2 truncated my "cush"...my month left to get my shit together. I already had masterminded a brilliant plan. Transfer my coaching business to the Mandeville, build an excursion/retreat adventure business and finish my grad degree. I had spent time consulting business professionals, talking to my professors, networking with industry peers in Mandeville and lining up a rep deal with a paddle board company. I had finally drawn a promising hand off the pile of cards.

Then fucking nature deep-throated my hand, slobbered its infection all over it and hacked it up in every direction.

Every assurance I had in my mind went with the card shrapnel. One moment I was confident, motivated, and excited and the next moment I was disoriented. Not only had my carefully picked hand of cards been scattered, the whole deck went with it.

My dad used to call the game "52 Card Pick Up". I remember the first time he showed it to me. "Hey" he said to me "Want to play 52 Card Pick Up?". "Yes! What is that?" I answered eagerly. He took the cards in one hand, holding each end tightly, thumb on one end of the deck and fingers on other end. He arched the cards, released his fingers and thumb, and let them fly. All over the floor. I mean EVERYWHERE on the floor. Then he laughed his ass off while telling me to pick up the explosion of cards from under the table, the chairs, the cabinets.

It wasn't funny then. It's not funny now.

I actually thought I was handling the loss of my job(s), the starving of my back account, and the blocked access to sanitation (i.e. toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol) pretty damned well. I was even feeling a bit cavalier. My kids were no longer in school. I no longer had to run to 87 places in one day to earn a paycheck. The government said I would be living the high life on a lottery of unemployment checks, food assistance cards, and stimulus money. I didn't even notice my deck of cards strewn everywhere anymore.

Until I did.

Oh, fuck.

That's when cavalier became a roulette wheel of emotions. Inspired. Hopeful. Fearful. Confident. Anxious. Pensive. Worried. Where is the ball going to land today? This hour? This moment?

The ball landed all over the place and finally settled on black. I ended on black. As in depressed. I fell back into the old coping mechanisms of binge eating. I felt unmotivated. Creative thought escaped me. Unfocused, thought wouldn't proceed in one direction. It took nosedives, loopdy-loops, and zig-zags. I didn't have the energy to return texts or messages. I really didn't want to talk to anyone.

I don't get beat down. I have "badass" tattooed on my fucking wrist for God's sake. But, there I was. Beat down. Way down.

I don't know what pulled me out of it. Maybe it is anti-my inherent nature to be down. Maybe some magical force intervened. I frankly don't care. I am feeling myself again. I am taking charge of my self care, constructing a schedule and feeling a sense of agency again.

The odds are against me and I can hear laughter in the background. The deck of cards is still in chaos on the floor. Bring on your best universe....I am back in the dealer's chair. Just try and stop me.


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