Give me a break!
I say NO. Big fat NO to self-isolation! Not today, Covid-19! I get to go somewhere. It feels so good to be out for the first time in a long time. Right now, I feel like I have wings behind my back. I have official permission – my “Pass Out” – that lets me go anywhere and everywhere. I could drive around for the entire day! I’m the boss. I’m the queen, and I shall drive.
The first stop isn’t that far from my area of Self-Isolation, my home. It’s just a local mall that looks like one ‘ghost mall’ in NC, with all the stores closed and doors bolted. Similarly, here are the same dark corridors and shut stores, but instead of breaking in through the bolted doors, I am allowed just to go in and wander around in the empty lines. This is where I see this picture. The girl in the picture is smiling. The sign offers me to buy a so-called celebrity mask and get another one for free.
What is wrong with you?
I stop as if I saw a ghost. I look at the picture and feel confused and perplexed, even a bit angry. Why oh why this model has no mask on her face? If they what me to buy it, wouldn’t it be fair to show it to me? I’m pretty sure it’s going to cost much more than a regular mask. Also, what if some kid sees this maskless face? It’s such a bad example, almost a crime, a rebellion against authorities. This smiling girl puts us, humans, at risk! Is she even self-isolated?
It takes some time to realize that this picture comes from Another Era. ‘Before Covid-19 and Self-Isolation’ Era, to be precise.
This girl offers me to be pretty not safe; she wants me to try out some new facial cream. Be pretty, huh! God, I miss those times when we could have seen and shown our faces!
I am sinner, and McDonald’s is my temptation. Hardly ever, am I able to pass it by without getting some forbidden fruit with mustard souse. One thought makes me go easy on myself. I always wash my hands before and after food, which almost makes it up for the burger. I am a good citizen.
So here I am going to the restroom to wash my hands while a nice guy prepares my meal. I’m tired. I haven’t walked so much in months. It’s hard for me to breathe in so much fresh air in one day, to mush sunshine and emotions for one self-isolated girl. The last time I was so tired was when we went to explore some supernatural areas in the North Carolina forests. Was this another life?
I’m thinking about something big and vital, like getting ice-cream for later. Being so deep in my thoughts, I barely notice anything around. My movements are mechanical. I use hot water, a lot of soap, and take my time to make sure that everything is as clean as a whistle.
It isn’t before I start air-drying my hands that I notice that all I did I did without taking my latex gloves off.
I feel no discomfort, no doubts, no regrets. It even feels right as is it was some extra layer of cleanliness. I dare to think that this would be the way I wash my hand in the future. Maybe we all will.
I drive. I do it with the passion I didn’t know existed in me. The sky is blue and endless; the air blows free through open car windows. The music is loud and rhythmical, and I sing along like a mad lady. I’m free. I’m not Self-Isolated, I’m connected to the world around me for just some more time. It ain’t going to last forever, and I realize that, but I’m ‘me’ now. I am the one.
At some point, I find this aquarium at another mall that I need to visit. There is a small model town inside the aquarium, and it is so green and cheerful like there was never any infection. It is a toy, just something fun the visitors could entertain themselves with while buying stuff.
Of course, there are no visitors but me this time. Everyone is self-isolated, I guess. The sign on the aquarium makes me reach for my purse to get some 100 rubles bills. The sign says:
“To bring the town back to life put a 100 rubles bill into the cash input unit 🤣😂”
To be honest, hundred rubles is such a small amount, and the oil prices went back up worldwide, so why wouldn’t I bring the town back to life for just a 100. I miss it so much!
Wouldn’t you pay for this?