7:00 AM: I roll over and grab my phone to turn the alarm off. Immediately I begin scrolling through my Twitter feed to see what happened overnight. There are a few drunk jokes from my friends and meditations on breakfast from my East Coast follows. I gasp for a second when I see that Betty White is trending, but only because her birthday is coming up.
7:10 AM: I am so bored I decide to shower early. I almost forget to turn my shower radio on and when I do, NPR is talking about its pledge drive the entire time.
7:30 AM: My phone is still on my nightstand but as I approach it I see it light up with an email from my girlfriend with the subject line “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?” I open it up to a video of a pelican trying to eat a capybara. No notifications arrive while I watch it on repeat six times.
7:45 AM: I turn the TV on while I make breakfast. The hosts are showing how to make crab cakes for fifteen minutes straight. They don’t cut away to anyone with a “This just in”–type announcement.
8:10 AM: I board the train and queue up my usual podcasts. Pod Save America is on vacation. The Daily is a rerun. My heart rate finally picks up for the first time today during this true-crime podcast about a murder that happened twelve years ago.
8:50 AM: Every person in my train car looks at each other uneasily when all our phones chime at the same time. We sigh in relief when we realize it’s a coincidence.
8:58 AM: I make eye contact with a coworker on the way into the office. I reflexively start saying, “How are you dealing with…” then catch myself and pivot, “…this eighty-percent humidity?”
9:03 AM: My browser tabs are all still open from when I last had my laptop open. I close many of them: a Google search for “how does the 25th Amendment work,” the Wikipedia page for “Sedition,” and the Canadian consulate’s “How to Immigrate” FAQ.
9:45 AM: My heart skips a beat thanks to a text message from my mom that says “ARE YOU OKAY.” Turns out she was shocked at the photo of my dinner I posted on Facebook last night. Yeah, I guess I like brussels sprouts now, ma!
10:20 AM: I stop by the break room for coffee and the TV has a daytime soap opera on. Three of my coworkers join me and we watch the screen for a few minutes purely out of habit.
10:51 AM: I check Twitter and see “HYSTERIA” is trending. I brace myself before realizing millennials were just now discovering the seven-single, “Love Bites”–containing, 1987 Def Leppard album of the same name.
11:14 AM: I don’t have anything to call my congressmen about so I call my grandparents instead. We talk about what the squirrels have been doing for twenty-eight minutes.
11:54 AM: I walk down to pick up some lunch and realize I forgot my phone upstairs. I feel a sense of peace.
12:20 PM: Back at my desk, my eyes widen when a coworker yells out “OH MY GOD!” Someone microwaved fish again. Plans to evacuate based on our safety drills are considered, then moved past.
1:01 PM: I turn the break room TV to C-SPAN just in case. The House is voting to rename a national park or something. I turn it off and do actual work for four hours straight for the first time in forever.
5:06 PM: My coworkers and I take the elevator together. Someone attempts a “hey, did you hear about…” and then trails off, confused. We compliment each other’s shoes.
5:11 PM: Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a crowd of people marching down the street, holding a sign up high. As I get closer I realize it’s tourists on a walking tour.
7:01 PM: I get home and turn the game on. None of the players have been caught cheating or claimed the Earth was flat.
7:28 PM: I pour myself some wine not because I need to calm my nerves, but because it goes well with the crab cakes I just made.
9:07 PM: My stomach drops when I see the term “OBAMAS CANCELED” trending. It refers to an interview in which Barack and Michele acknowledge that their New Yorker magazines used to just sit around unread for months and that’s why they had to cancel their subscription this year.
10:12 PM: I lay in bed prepared to scroll through my Reddit for the usual hour, but fall into a rabbit hole of capybara videos instead. I fall asleep with my phone in my hand and don’t wake up until the next morning.