1. My quarantine morning routine is…

  1. Wake up at sunrise, run ten miles, have a chia smoothie.
  2. Wake up at 11 AM, watch TV for two hours, order fast food.
  3. Wake up with the steam whistle from the factory, eat porridge, and then go loiter outside the butcher’s shop to establish the urban blight of the narrative.

2. “Self-care” these days means…

  1. Hot yoga, followed by three hours of meditation.
  2. Aimlessly scrolling social media for two hours, followed by watching TV for three hours.
  3. Playing stickball with my fellow ragamuffins, followed by a main character hastily driving by in their carriage as we shout “OY, watch it!”

3. I’ve stayed in touch with friends by…

  1. Hosting non-alcoholic Zoom happy hours and book clubs.
  2. Getting wasted and FaceTiming an ex at 2 AM.
  3. Spitting peas at my chum’s window through a straw, then scampering off when the sour-tempered governess emerges.

4. A new habit I’ve picked up is…

  1. Gardening – looking forward to my first herb harvest!
  2. Spending 48 consecutive hours in the same sweatpants.
  3. Being stopped on the street by a supporting character, who chides me for having soot on my face, then asks for relevant expository information.

5. To maintain a sense of “normal,” I…

  1. Set up a well-lit work office in my garage.
  2. Watch TV on the right side of my mattress and do my work on the left.
  3. Spend every afternoon on the street corner explaining recent news in excited tones to my mates, to help the audience navigate how the main characters are related and in which country estates they live.

6. My post-quarantine goals are…

  1. Run a marathon every day for a week and finish my novel.
  2. Leave the house in something other than sweatpants and start reading a novel.
  3. Rush past the protagonist on a busy street on my way to the antagonists’ coach, to beg for but be denied sweets, thereby establishing the antagonists’ wealth and villainy.

Mostly A: Wow! You’re a regular Sporty Spice, putting the rest of us to shame. Keep that health and wellness train going!

Mostly B: Hey, I get it—sometimes you gotta veg out. Just remember to get some fresh air in between those Netflix binges!

Mostly C: Congrats! You’re my impression of a Victorian-era adolescent, based on cursory viewing of various BBC dramas and my scant recollection of Charles Dickens. Nobody establishes that we're in late 19th century England quite like you—or maybe they do, I usually fall asleep halfway through and I’ve never finished a Dickens.

Actually—am I thinking of Newsies??


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