I feel selfish because I want to see one of my loves and I want them to argue with me that this state-encouraged self-isolation and social distancing is not a full-on lockdown and quarantine, and surely, we could go for a walk? Six feet apart, exquisite torture but better, better than insipid text exchanges of COVID-19 memes, news stories, and porn.
I feel selfish because their interpretation of what the health authorities want us to do is perfectly reasonable and is, in fact, what I’m doing with everyone else in my life, my mother—the ER nurse in direct touch with the pestilence daily—included.
But I want to make an exception here, and I want them to make an exception here, and they don’t and I feel selfish, unloved, unreasonable.
I feel particularly selfish—and unreasonable—when I see packs of covidiots breathing on each other in crowded public spaces. What’s the point I demand of myself, of this sacrifice of mine when those fucking idiots… because my sacrifices are not for me and mine. We are low risk, strong as bulls—when we get sick, we will survive this, perhaps not even notice that we are ill. The thing that will kill my most vulnerable child is not COVID-19, of this I am fairly certain.
I am not doing this for me and mine.
I am doing it for the vulnerable in the human herd, and for the health care workers like my mom.
When the herd shows me it doesn’t deserve to live, it’s hard to deprive myself of the people I love.
And what should be a very easy, no-brainer act of staying at home—and deriving pleasure and satisfaction from a phone conversation, a Skype date—becomes a chore, a grind.
The resentment festers, the desire festers.
And I feel selfish.
We all have things, habits, people that are easy to give up right now, and others the loss of which wounds. Me, I thought I’d miss coffee shops and sheesha lounges more. And I do miss them, a little. But not so much that I’ve gone to one since things started going weird here in early March.
But I miss my love and our time together and if they were willing, I’d break all the rules to see them, and not just six feet apart.
And that, ultimately, makes me no different from the covidiot wandering the aisles of the Home Depot where my dad still works (plumbing repairs are an essential service in the time of toilet paper hoarding), touching every single fucking pack of screws, and then rubbing his cheek, touching his nose.
I hate him.
I feel selfish.
I am grateful, I suppose, my love’s will is stronger than mine—no, I am not—why do they not miss me as I miss them?
I feel selfish.
I stay home anyway.