‘Stay’ 

Scottish Terrier (Wikipedia)

On FaceTime, a friend ended his call, “Mort, stay safe.”

“How often have I heard those words in the last fortnight?”

“Stay healthy, bye.” I replied.

Turning on the telly, a public service announcer declared, as the words appeared on the screen:

“Stay at home to protect your community against COVID-19.

Stay at your sink a little bit longer while washing your hands to protect yourself.

Stay fit—exercise.

Stay focused.

Stay cool.

Stay positive in this time of fear.

Stay alert.

Stay well—eat well.

Masks help when they stay on.

Stay put and stay sane.

Stay happy.

Stay alive.

This too shall pass.”

“How often I have heard those words of wisdom in the last fortnight?”

Continuing to watch the tube, I wore my old, faded navy blue Union Jack tee-shirt.

The one emblazoned with the gold royal crown and the message, “Keep calm and carry on.”

Years ago, in this tee-shirt, I trained my black Scottie—MacTavish

“Stay, Sit, Paw.”

Now I am the one commanded to stay.

MacTavish heeded my commands and lived a long life.

Mac stayed calm, in this small room.

The same small room in which I sat and missed him dearly.

The same small room, where I stayed in misery, confined to my tight black claustrophobic quarters.

I shut my eyes, “How much longer I can stay away from the people I love?”

While repeating the mantra,

“This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.”

About the Author
South Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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