The next day, I received PCR results: negative. Within the next few days, while watching TV on my couch, I had hot flashes, chills, and sweats. My gums and eyeballs were throbbing. 20,000 Lilliputians were attacking me with jackhammers. No part of my body didn’t hurt. I had bouts with bubbleguts and yuckmouth aka cottonmouth no matter how much I used my tongue scraper. My throat felt like I swallowed tablespoons of sand. My period said, “Hold up! I wanna join the Misery Party.” Because of the false negative, I told myself I was being dramatic and it was all in my head, which felt like it was being squeezed and pulled apart. It couldn’t be covid. I wasn’t coughing…yet.
I quarantined alone this whole pandemic. I spent every holiday alone in this living room. Struggling to stay positive, on Easter, my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I selected a pretty, colorful outfit—with heels and dangly earrings, and a crown on my birthday—cooked a feast grand enough for relatives you see only once a year and want to impress, grabbed my selfie-stand and ringlight, set my phone’s timer and acted as Creative Director of my own photoshoot. My food, my smile and I look damn good in the photos. Make no mistake: there were tears before and after. Each. And. Every. Time.
Once this pandemic hit, all that fiscally responsible shit went out the window. I’m sequestering alone. I’m anxious. I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m lonely. Cooking and eating comfort me.
I glance at both chairs and both working stations, but ignore both. Neither is as appealing as remaining seated on my couch dressed in Calvin Klein boy short panties, bootleg black long-sleeve souvenir t-shirt that I bought at a tailgating party for $5, and my green silk headwrap. Bright green tie-dyed socks are on my feet. It’s a bit chilly in my apartment, though not chilly enough to put on pants.
I love staying home WHEN I WANT TO. Being told to makes me want to get dressed and head out. Get in a good workout at the gym. Catch a movie. Stroll through the aisles of Target. Go for a walk in Central Park just ‘cause, which I’ve never done. Ever. With the exception of grocery shopping on Friday, I’ve been home all week, so I consider Saturday as my first official social distancing day.