i said goodbye to me i looked in the mirror then i began to cry

2022-02-04  egg

Even though I feel like I'm not allowed to say this since I haven't gotten a negative rapid test result yet, I'm finally covid free!! The experience of having covid surprised me because it was truly unpleasant and painful, post-nap aches and grumpiness blending with actual body aches and fatigue. "You're a part of history now," Katie said. Despite having ambitious plans for my legally mandated five days off, I spent almost the entire time playing Sims and watching Sex and the City. One night I got bored enough of SATC that I rewatched most of Euphoria, skimming through the episodes to find the parts that I liked (Maddy at the carnival). Now, looking back at all the times I tried to cheer up friends who had covid by telling them they could finally watch and read all the movies and books they’d been putting off, I realize that I missed the key part of being sick, which is that you don’t want to do anything. While I played so much Sims I felt self-loathing every time I opened the game on my computer, I was envious of my Sims and their lack of inhibitions. It’s easy for them to work out when you tell them to or for them to pursue their wants and desires. Instead of watching TV, they practice piano or play darts with friends; there is less attachment to the digital, they’re shameless, and the pleasure of mindlessness doesn’t factor into what they do and don’t do. It made me think about how Euphoria is fun to watch because of how un-teenager-like the characters are. They have such a strong grasp on themselves and their autonomy, fully formed people with no responsibilities because they’re in high school and therefore so primed and satisfying to live through vicariously. Being sick also made me grateful to be surrounded by so much love, friends who dropped off cookies and cake and books and frozen Arizmendi's pizzas they’d brought back from their trips home, grateful to have reached the point in adulthood where your friendships start recalling some of the easy care and familiarity that was built in during college. Ashwin wrote “Hi Amy” in the snow at Spring St. Park where he was frolicking during the beginnings of the blizzard, a sweet telegraph while I stayed in bed unsure of whether I were contagious. On one of my worse covid days, the plumbers came to my apartment to fix both the long-running tub issue and the newly-discovered toilet issue. I stayed in my room and hoped everything would be finished quickly so I could pee. By hour three I was starting to regret not using the bathroom before they got here but was too nervous to disturb them in the middle of what seemed like a very frustrating pipe troubleshooting situation. I overheard a phone conversation between the main guy, Eddie, and my landlord: "How's it going, fellas?" "Not great, Peter." At hour five I listened to The Eagles in my room while Eddie sat disgruntled on the rim of my bathtub, wondering if he fell into the camp that loved the Eagles or the one that hated them. Or maybe he had no opinion on them whatsoever. His plumbing associate, who arrived at hour six, vaguely resembled Val Kilmer in Heat. January felt spiritually over for awhile before it actually ended. I keep thinking about the impending spring, feeling the excitement of knowing the sun is setting later in the day even if there is no measurable difference in mood or vibe yet. A couple weekends ago I went to Ashwin’s apartment to catch up before the crossword hang since he had just gotten back from India. A woman walking her dog was pretending to try to pick up her dog’s watery shit, bag in hand but not even leaning down as she made grasping motions at the poop running down the sidewalk. We were in the kitchen, Ashwin fixing up some tea and hot water while his roommate Santos prepared his coffee, Fela Kuti blasting from the speakers in his room. I watched as he bundled up and put in his Airpods to listen to music and drink coffee in their backyard. When he came back inside I averted my eyes, touched by the morning ritual and embarrassed for having witnessed something I felt like I wasn’t supposed to have seen. Tonight I watched The Worst Person In the World at the Angelika. I was so excited the whole day, rewatching the trailer, listening to the Harry Nilsson song that plays during the trailer almost exclusively except for Katie’s and my Townes Van Zandt detour ("townes: hot or not?"). It felt so good to watch a movie that’s fun and funny and sexy and thought-provoking and relatable all while being a great display of craft, rather than a movie where you recognize it’s a good movie but are kind of bored and force yourself to look for things to appreciate at a magnitude that offsets your boredom. “I feel like couples either watch that movie and it affirms their relationship or it makes them want to break up,” Ethan said as we were walking on Bleecker St after the movie, and I wondered if the same questions were going through both our minds. It had stopped raining. I wrapped my arms around him as we walked and pressed the side of my face against the fuzzy exterior of his jacket. I wished he were less strict about the covid thing so that we could lie in bed and listen to the Harry Nilsson song together and be caught up in the rush of infatuation, what we were supposed to be feeling. "Great love is not real," Kat says. "There is only horny."