I thought I was handling self-isolation well but then I had a weird dream. I was shopping in some sort of amalgam of a Target and a Party City when I came upon a stash of odd off-brand toilet paper on a bottom shelf. I was thrilled!
It was single-ply. What is wrong with me? This should be a nightmare! I can’t be happy about this.
Am I going mad? To answer this question, I started considering some of the ways my reality has been altered.
I now think of walks around the neighborhood as an IRL Frogger game. I’m the frog and all other humans are the cars. I will die if I get too close to one of those cars. Splat!
My meals are becoming more and more creative. The other day I made myself French toast with a pile of raw green beans on the plate next to it. It was delicious, nutritious and disconcerting to my family.
I’m trying to persuade my wife to host a dinner party — on Zoom. We could eat while staring at each other on small screens. This seems like a great social event. I’m wondering how the laptop will hold up when I spill wine after toasts.
Should I be worrying about all the wine I’m drinking? What will happen when I run out?
I’ve been uploading horse pictures to Twitter for no particular reason. I want them to stand out in the sea of dogs and cats. Why don’t I care that my followers will be mystified?
Is it a sign of insanity that I worry that everyone is slowly going insane?
I’m going to take a breath now and focus on something wonderful from the past.
Remember what a great year 2019 was? Wouldn’t you love to go back to the way things were back then?
Think of the good old days when all you had to worry about was tax cuts for the rich, a beer-loving Supreme Court justice, children in cages separated from parents, Russians, and the definition of covfefe. Ah, memories.
If you want to cheer up, just consider all the terrible things that could be happening to us but aren’t — at least not yet.
It could be worse if multitentacled aliens with a strangely specific taste for foie gras made with human livers invaded the planet after humans carelessly failed to build a wall around the atmosphere.
(I should note here that there is a good version of the aliens scenario if the visitors instead had a voracious appetite for carbon and stripped the planet of all fossil fuels. That might actually save the planet — we should be searching for those aliens.)
It could be worse if Netflix, Hulu, HBO and all other streaming services crashed. Children would be forced to perform plays for our entertainment and be doomed to lives as frustrated actors.
It could be worse if we all got so bored that we took up trolling en masse. Then we would all live in our own alternative realities (filled with alternative facts) and take whatever drugs we imagine might possibly cure us if we’re lucky.
It could be worse if vans with loudspeakers patrolled our streets and broadcast spoilers for our favorite programs and films. An evil totalitarian oppressor could do this to crush our spirits. I believe this is already happening in North Korea.
It could be worse if we had another four years with somebody from the political party we hate in the White House. I don’t want to think about that.