Encyclopedia of Stray Knowledge Gained During Quarantine

Locked up in my home for the last several weeks, I am missing the banal ecstasies of waking up next to the person I care about. Touch is impossible at the moment, as is casual conversation and the simple pleasure of being in a room together, quietly enjoying their company. Romance is replaced by the dull ache of missing someone: their bed, body, and self. Touch and companionship are gentle necessities, often forgotten or neglected until everyone in the world is feeling forgotten and neglected, and then we’re reminded how much we need each other.

The Last Forest

Except for the light breeze everything is different from all she had ever known. The temperature, the humidity, that she cannot see the horizon, the colors and the way the light dances over the ground. She has never smelled anything like this before, but it is not unpleasant. It comes closest to a combination of heavy wet mud and the youngest grasses. Behind her she could still have seen the familiar blue sky, green water and yellow sand through the trees, in case she had looked back.

Home Alone

Would you like a sample? asked a woman in a uniform just past the store’s threshold, gesturing out a sample in a small white cup, similarly to how pills were handed out in prisons on TV shows. The rows of food reached nearly to the ceiling of the store, so high they required a forklift to be lowered down to the patrons. A child begged her mother for a sample of an unfrozen fried Wonton appetizer, which her mother steadfastly denied. Sure, Stacey said, accepting the small cup, finding it pleasantly crunchy with afternotes of carrot.