When the virus made her debut, we cared. We spoke of purpose and dreamed of patching frayed connections.
….In those first days, we mourned bodies and vowed victory over the virus.
….The virus slithered into bedrooms and bathrooms. It crawled into bars and belfries, train stations and schools. Statistics skyrocketed. We still cared but inserted clauses. We need to look after our families, repel invaders, and stockpile necessities. Meanwhile, countries clashed with countries, cities skirmished with cities, and through it all, we used Skype to glimpse our sisters and mothers strained faces, and stared through FaceTime at our friends and worried fathers.
….While we hunkered down, we cared less and binged on Netflix. When sterile spaces overwhelmed us, we drank Merlots. Meanwhile, toilet paper became a hot commodity, and we tried to remember hugs.
….With each passing week, the news assaulted us with more corpses and statistical analyses.
….Instead of offering elegies, we spoke of conspiracies. With each new day, we retreated into bars and family gatherings. Unmasked, we were naked.
….We no longer cared.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
Picture credit Simon James