I lie in bed fully dressed. A white slip lace under black dress. It is March 12, 2020. The day that Coronavirus explodes. Everything changes. I don’t know what will happen next.
This morning, I switch the news on. The news I did not know my TV could access.
“Coronavirus, corornavirus, coronavirus.” Repeats over and over from the screen. Louder than I knew, yet echoing across nations. People. Panicked and in pain.
Now it is night. I listen. Do not hear anything but AHS: Murder House. Usual evening TV fare for the wife and I. Screams. Myths. The supernatural. An long evolving story like the tail unwinding of a snake.
If the horror is on a screen? Presented as fiction? I used to believe exposure therapy would free me. Instead it bound me tighter. The horror is within and without. Indistinguishable from the president’s morning’s speech.
All I can do is singsong rhymes to old songs melody. REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” as mournful lullaby. For what once was. At the cusp of never being again. Unknowable change. Unknown future.
“C’est le fin de la monde comme on le sait, et je suis triste. Désolé.” High school French lodged in a deeper part of the my brain. Triggered by listening to Les Misérables on repeat.
Wikipedia readings about MK-Ultra CIA experiments flicker to memory. I discard them, being on a different antipsychotic now. The one that makes me want to paint and write plays over thirty hour days. Reddit conspiracy theorists are probably already on whatever the hell that story is/was/could be. I’m afraid to look.
Science fiction. I call it fiction. I’m back on my old antipsychotic now. Saphris helps me sleep. Like falling in a river of the water of life. A dream about old friends. A long walk through the wilderness. Together in harmony. From idyllic Girl Scout hikes? There is a feast. There is always water. Different iterations repeat. I do not know. I will never know.
“Qu’est que faire?
Qu’est que sait?
Plein de la peur.
J’attende a mourir.
Pas de mot.
Pas plus dire.
Tous que je peux et lave ma derriere.”
This is no time for such frivolity. Nursery rhymes in the age of toilet paper rationing. I am not on the front lines. I can only wash my hands. Pray. Cry. Release my archives before death quick or slow.
I am in willing self quarantine. As is usual. Agoraphobic plus Schizoaffective PTSD. I haven’t been outside for a while. I am no longer psychologically capable of leaving the House of the Rising Sun for the duration of this crisis.
I don’t know what will happen. I wait.