She opens the door, asks me to come in, and goes back into the kitchen.
“Put it on the counter,” she says.
This is my moment.
“No ma’am,” I say, “it won’t be sanitary. I’ll leave the pizza right here,” placing the box on a shelf just inside the door.
“You should probably wash your hands after you take it out of the box, and also reheat it before eating. Please stay safe and enjoy your meal.”
I watch other people do it: strangers in masks screaming at non-maskers in public places.
I am walking towards my car when a construction worker cat-calls me from the other side of the road.
“Thank you for your service, ma’am,” he says, before returning to his work.
I feel good in my scrubs.
I am alone at home and get turned on by the news. Both parties promise a free vaccine and universal healthcare.
It's the middle of the night and there’s nothing good on TV or my mind. I get an email from my 45-year-old, recently-single boss.
Curious, I tap on it.
“Tomorrow’s 9 AM status-update meeting is cancelled.”
Socially distanced or not, I have pleasingly recurring thoughts where I’m an expert horse rider without ever taking a riding lesson.
I bump into my new neighbor in the building’s laundry room. We share hellos. I notice a bulge in his pants.
“I've been saving it for this day,” he says.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s a national coin shortage.”
He empties his pockets full of quarters and leaves them for all the tenants.
I'm walking my dog in the dog park. It’s a pleasant evening when a man, for no apparent reason, takes his mask off. As soon as he does, it starts raining, only on him. Poetic justice.
The mail carrier rings twice, I open the door, he hands me a first-class parcel.
Hoping he might be able to give me what I need: “Wait,” I say, before he leaves.
I show him a wad of cash. He extends his hand.
“First show me what you got,” I say.
“What do you think?” He puts his bag down and takes out rolls of postage stamps.
I buy all of his stamps and do my part to save the USPS.
The one where my therapist says I’m doing great.
I see my landlord coming. He sees me; I can’t pretend I’m not home. I’m way behind on the rent. I shouldn't be hanging around the balcony in my situation.
“Sorry, I lost my job. I’ll pay as soon as possible,” I explain, seeing him at the door.
“There are many ways to pay the rent. We can, perhaps, (clears throat) make an arrangement,” he says.
“In your dreams,” I say.
“You can apply for financial aid or just let me know—I’ll stop collecting rent for as long as it takes,” he says.
“Excuse me?” I don’t believe it.
“Times are tough, we have to watch out for each other,” he says, and starts to leave.
“Can I borrow some cash?”
“In your dreams,” he replies, and walks away.
Even in my fantasy, it’s hard for me to get everything I want.
Every time I speak in a Zoom meeting, I remember to first unmute myself.
I wake up after a full night’s sleep, I don’t look at my phone and start my happy dance because I know today’s the day I’ve lost my pandemic weight gain. Without even working out. Ever.
I’m in an all-hands video conference with the clients and my offshore team when Jeff Goldblum enters the meeting room: “I’m sorry everybody, I have an important meeting with my agent but I forgot to write the meeting ID and I only remember the first 7 digits, so I’m going through all 90 possible two-digit combinations one by one. You can ask me anything as a token of appreciation for your time.” I ask him for my favorite line from Jurassic Park, “Life, uh… finds a way.”
I’m in the middle of a grocery store, and in just one attempt, I’m able to open a new produce bag without taking my mask off to lick my fingers.