stories from the time of pandemics
He had just come fresh out of a particularly scary nightmare so even though he had to pee he was still a little hesitant to make the journey through the darkness to the bathroom. Eventually he compromised with himself and decided that if he kept his eyes tightly shut that nothing could leap out of the shadows and grab him. Or at least if it did, he would at least make sure that whatever it was had wasted a lot of time and energy making itself out to be some terrifying monster when he, its intended victim, would never even get a glimpse. That would show it.
With this cold comfort in his back pocket he headed out.
And then returned a few minutes later. The trip being an absolute triumph.
The next morning, still rattled by his particularly scary nightmare, he decided to employ the same ‘eyes shut’ plan that had successfully guided him through the previous evening’s emptying of the bowels and put it into action when it came to the tasks of showering and shaving.
And before you ask… no. His nightmare wasn’t about the coronavirus.
This particular story could take place any time in the past or future and the last thing anyone wants to do is try to work in some reference to a pandemic. Anyone being me.
Soon after what he could only assume was a fruitful encounter with his razor, he felt around each nook and cranny of his face to find stray hairs but could discover none, he successfully navigated the stairs and moments later was assembling the requisite components to conduct the morning cereal ritual.
All with his eyes tightly shut. The particularly scary nightmare apparently deciding not to let its grip over him loosen even the smallest amount. It was certainly taking on a life of its own.
Then it was time for him to go to work.
He tried to open his eyes but the thought of seeing the star of the aforementioned particularly scary nightmare standing right in front of him grinning ear to ear to ear to ear ad nauseam was too much for him to handle.
So he kept his eyes shut and marched out to the driveway and got into his car.
And started the drive to work.
This endeavor proved to be much more challenging than finding a bowl, finding the cereal, acquiring the milk and applying it. “No wonder blind people don’t drive” he thought to himself as he felt the car shudder a bit as he backed over something. Insert an animal yelping noise here if you would find that funnier.
See, the thing about the coronavirus is not only would I have to come back and edit this story if I ever wanted to publish it sometime in the non-COVID-19-ridden future but the whole point of the upcoming paragraphs is to try and capture the fear and panic the general population will feel when they realize there is a car being driven by someone with their eyes tightly shut. If the roads are empty then all of this build up has been for naught.
But, given my literary specialty is telling stories that are brimming with naught, perhaps I should reconsider and have this guy barrel down the road recklessly but with no consequences whatsoever because nobody would be out on the street to see him start running over things.
Wait a minute. I could make the whole story a metaphor for the coronavirus and you’d be forced to start it all over and read into it a lot more than you did the first time when, understandably so, you thought it was just a normal rambling pointless story. The best part being that it forces you to come up with all of the things I could have possibly meant by every image and circumstance. The smarter you are the smarter I’ll seem. I will no doubt come off as brilliant!
I’ve seen this type of thing before. Songwriters do it all the time.
So does the guy make it to work? How many people died before he realized he’d had to face his fears and open his eyes? What the fuck does anything I’ve written have to do with the coronavirus?
Why don’t you open your eyes and figure it out?