so yes, this is a piece written during coronavirus, about coronavirus, because of coronavirus et cetera, like a million others like it.
and that’s okay, because it means that we have more time to reflect. the world has been rejiggered enough that we’re going to learn new things about ourselves, we’re going to miss the status quo and also question it, we’re going to wonder what we can’t live without and then live without it anyway. for those of us who have only experienced displacement, trauma or survival in small doses, we are learning what it means to live in a world where the future is a luxury.
there will be pieces about love in the time of coronavirus, about scarcity, and solidaridy, and consumerism and about our devices changing overnight from vices to lifelines. there will be guilt over mourning things deemed too trivial, for bursting into tears over a tweet when people are gasping for breath, when many more can’t afford food or medicine, when grandparents are dying alone.
that is alright too. everyone has lost their balance. maybe it will be two months, and cases will peak, and the economy will stabilize, and we will see the end, even if it is a grim one. maybe things will change so fast and we won’t be able to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our freedoms. maybe we will spend a spring indoors, while the world blooms. maybe the earth is laughing at us.
a friend asked me over text if I was lonely. he is a new friend and we are only just exploring the contours of what our friendship is. I resented the question. because there was a moment last night when I played, “if the world was ending, you’d come over right?” after a day spent alone on the couch learning the Korean alphabet and watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. at that moment I wanted someone to come over, I wanted to be someone’s first call when the earth begins to shake. at first I wanted to escape the feeling. then I sat up on the couch, breathed in, and let the feeling sink into me. it felt like loss.
I did not want to confess this to the new friend, to suggest I had failed at being unlonely. this despite the endless calls and texts and video chats and virtual happy hours with friends and family. checking in on others, responding to check ins, watching movies, telling a friend, “I’m okay, but I’m on the floor sobbing right now.”
that’s it. I don’t have anything big to say. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. but I want to live this moment. I want to accept what it has to offer.