It’s been a really difficult year and I’m so happy to finally be catching up. I’m hearing that you read a ton, and got closer with your parents, and, huh? What am I humming? Oh, that’s actually a really cool story. Over the pandemic I learned how to play the guitar and now I can show you– wait– yes– how did you know– Wonderwall.

You’re worried about the vaccine rollout, all of the moral and logistical challenges policy-makers are facing and whether or not we’ll be able to reach herd immunity– oh, wait a second, speaking of “herd,” hahaha, have you… HEARD… (ba-dum tss)… that I, myself, actually picked up the guitar during the pandemic and learned how to play, L-O-L, you guessed it, Wonderwall? I could show you now, if you had a second.

You also finished your screenplay in quarantine? That’s really impressive. I am totally blown away by how much effort and discipline that must have taken you, and in a time of such pervasive uncertainty. This has always been your pet project, but–

Oh! So funny. Sorry. It's just that when you said “pet” I heard “fret.” Like the frets on a guitar. My bad. But that’s amazing that you finished that thing. It’s actually almost as if you did that thing you did, for the sake of analogy, with the diligence that one would hypothetically require to learn how to play a new instrument… say… the guitar. Crazy coincidence. I, myself, actually learned how to play the guitar over the pandemic, and if you’d just sit tight for a hot minute I can actually play for you now this random little number I’ve been working on called– Ha! You beat me to it. Wonderwall!

You hit a real mental health low over the summer, but you sought the help you needed, started on a life-changing journey of self-discovery, and–

What? So funny. Sorry. It's just that when you said “I’ve never been able to love myself,” I heard “vihuela,” the name of the fifteenth-century fretted instrument that historians consider the ancestor of the guitar. But dude. Huge congratulations, honestly, on waking up and saying “today’s gonna be the day” in the middle of such a challenging and pervasive crisis. I can only imagine how difficult that thing you were talking about might have been for you.

The thing that I’m using to imagine how difficult that must have been for you, by the way, is how difficult it was for me to figure out how to play the guitar over the pandemic and learn how to do the chords for, amongst many other extremely advanced guitar songs, what? Is it Wonderwall? No it’s not… SIKE. It’s Wonderwall. Wonderwall is one of the songs I learned how to play. And let me tell you, that was extremely difficult, probably more difficult than whatever it was that you did. The hardest part, I think, was remembering where my fingers were supposed to go.

And you finally think things are looking up! You got the J&J vaccine two weeks ago! Way to get protected! But recently you’ve been noticing some swelling in your left leg? Like you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath and some weird aches and pains, a little bit of nausea, a little bit of random fainting?

On that topic– sorry– did I cut you off? I was just in the middle of saying that hey, do you know what really gives me some swelling? Like makes my heart swell? How proud of myself I am for actually managing to pick up the guitar during the pandemic! I can’t believe I did that! I can even play a song that you probably know, if you want to try to guess it. Or you can lie on the floor! That’s fine too. I’ll just tell you. I can see that right now you’re almost as excited as I was, literally twitching and drooling with excitement, when I nailed these chords for the first time, and I can’t wait to play them for you. The song is Wonderwall! By the way. Just give me a minute to go grab my guitar. I could also show you the “Come as You Are” riff.


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