Hello, it’s me. Dearest reader, by the time you read this digital fragment documenting the last days of my existence, I will be long gone. But for now, I am tentatively alive: my pantry is stocked with 12 packets of instant Shin Ramyun and enough oatmeal to feed an army of toothless men, my bathroom cabinet chock-full of one-ply toilet paper that I have borrowed (never to return) from my current place of employment, and my poor pampered ass scrubbed red and raw, indignant at suffering such low-quality material. But my ass and I, we must persevere.
Today, too, I partake in social distancing, a noble act of a friendless and responsible citizen. It is an easy feat; I do not have to set my phone on “Do Not Disturb” — it remains defiantly undisturbed.
I order keema egg curry and plain naan on Uber Eats and I track Ken’s movements via bicycle on the app, for want of anything better to do, until the little blue dot of his presence draws ever nearer after a mere 15 minutes, then hovers near my apartment building and ding-dong! he rings the bell, and I gaze upon his adorably bespectacled and bearded visage before buzzing him in, eagerly anticipating my first and most likely, last human interaction of the day, fretting momentarily at my obvious lack of eyebrows, but five long minutes pass by, to my befuddlement — has he been accosted? suffered a sudden stroke? an unlucky bout of diarrhea? did he die? And then I have the bright idea of checking the app again, and sure enough, my darling Ken had texted me — “hi i left your order outside” and I open my door to find my poor curry and naan on my doorstep, quite alone. Deprived of my sole chance at human contact, I take my meal inside, wash my hands for twenty seconds, and eat in solitude. The keema egg curry does not have an egg inside. In a fit of vindictive rage, I mark both Ken and the restaurant with a decisive thumbs-down.
Mi madre y padre, members of a vulnerable population over 60 years old, invite me for dinner and I reluctantly accept, reminding them of their mortality and advanced age, and the very real possibility that I may be an asymptomatic carrier and subsequently infect and murder them. They wave away my concerns, parroting the government’s lies (they must be lies!) that Everything is Fine and Under Control and turn a deaf ear to my stream of statistics and conspiracy theories that this is all a massive cover up because Tokyo 2021 doesn’t quite have a nice ring to it, does it now, and it must cost billions and billions to replace the logo and all the merch, and they’re probably underreporting the deaths, hiding away the piles of bodies somehow, we’re all gonna die — dinner is tempura, bamboo shoot rice, and salted salmon, with one too many glasses of white wine. I eat and I possibly infect, and my parents press an 18-pack of two-ply rose-scented pink toilet paper for me to take back home to my lonely abode, and I accept their generous gift, ducking to wipe away a single glimmering tear out of the corner of my left eye. I clutch my toilet paper to me on public transport, teeming with germs and dirty civilians, and scuttle home in the dark before someone can attack and stab me for the precious rare goods I carry. Imagine, dying in violence for 18 rolls of toilet paper — a situation that is no longer implausible today, I am sad to say. But I make the journey back home undisturbed, and jealously stow away my bounty under a secret floorboard, whose location I shall not disclose to you. My ass deserves better.
Reader, I hope that you exist, and that a future beyond mine own exists. If I manage to survive in these trying times, perhaps we will meet again.