The Shakespearean Soliloquies Involved In Doing Basic Stuff In The Age Of Covid-19

1. Grocery Store

To curbside or not to curbside, that is the question. Or delivery. Either way, I better reserveth my time slot anon ‘ere the spaces all fill up. But not too soon, hither I have more food than I can handle, a sea of troubles but mostly rotten fruit. Then again, if I dost go to the store myself I will better mark my purchases, avoiding the extra bananas that cursed my last delivery:  banana bread, banana cake, I hate bananas. Yes, I shall go thither, into the store, pack my mask, and hope some three-inch fool doesn’t cough all over me with her face covering down under her nose while her brood runs loose, breathing on my food-filled cart, all while she looks at me as if I’m the oppressor in the wrong as I carefully back away from her and her loathsome clan. I grow weak and weary just thinking about all of this. Better just settle on a time and hope the best is ‘nigh with curbside. On the other hand, bananas. And I probably should still sanitize everything hence, whichever move I make. What do they say ‘tis the best protocol for surface spread these days? Oh forget it, I’ll just order takeout or, even better, meet my dear friend at that restaurant with the outdoor dining, the one in violation of the state’s stay-at-home order. . . I can’t believe I e’er thought that; I’m clearly a monstrous apparition, barely deserving of this mortal coil!?! Ok, I’ve lost the pang of action. Plan F ‘tis: eat everything in my freezer and just decide about this grocery thing when I feel a bit better about my ability to successfully navigate a world on fire filled with ass-hat people who I can’t trust to keep me or my loved ones safe because they’re always out at restaurants like I wish I was and still might be.

2. A Present

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, I promised to get a present for my kid’s friend. But we’re not even going to his party. The other mom hath sworn the party will be really safe, everyone socially distant with masks, except when they’re eating, which they will be doing the whole time. As my sullen compatriot made clear, muttering “I for one care about my kids’ sanity and social development,” I’m clearly ruining my son’s life by keeping him from his friend, the same knave who ate a dead worm during recess last year. And I certainly can’t explain to my kid that any promise of party safety measures is a tale told by an idiot (the other mom). Yes, methinks I better make up for my obvious social faux pas and public display of embarrassing over-protective parenting by at least getting this kid some Pokémon cards. Though I’m feeling better about the in-store/pick-up issue, there doth still remain the question of present drop-off. If I go hence, to the door, they’ll probably invite me in or hand me a party-favor bag surely licked by the whole family, a quick means to a dusty death. Then I’ll have to conjure some excuse rather than being honest, reminding them that this is a pandemic and I need to protect my family as well as humanity at large, recognizing the social contract that helps support the workings of a functioning society. No, I could ne’er say that. It would be sound and fury, signifying nothing except one more mom who thinks I’m a super weirdo. And yet, I dost lie so poorly, with that eye-tic giveaway. I know, I’ll set my alarm so I can wake up in the middle of the night, sneak over wearing all black in an effort to get around the security camera, leave the present at the door, and text her in the morning, explaining that I rang, I can’t remember when, but no one came to the door. ‘Tis the only sane choice.  

3. Walking the Dog

I am that merry wanderer of my neighborhood. Well, merry is kind of a stretch. The dog is clearly sick of the house. I’m with you, dog. And we all need our daily exercise even though it unfairly forces me and only me to put on pants, my puppy still free and unencumbered, mocking me with his easy, everyday fur suit. If my Libra-sense of justice can get past this outrageous misfortune, we really should head out. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your pants. But won’t I run into Susan? She’s always walking her gigantic beast of a German Shepherd who she insists harbors deep affection for my little dog. She will most certainly want to approach hither and let the dogs “say hello,” whatever that means. Can dogs spread Covid-19? I can’t remember. I know there was that story about the cats. But I can’t recall the guidance on yon canines. Then again, Susan doth so oft talk in such close proximity. She’s going to end up in my grill and I’m going to have to back away, like I always do, her regarding me as if I am a cream-faced loon rather than who I really am, the wisest aunt, a rational, thinking person who recognizes science and Dolly Parton as her twin-gods. I don’t think ear-buds can save me every time, like they did a fortnight ago, when I pointed to the cord, mouthing “I’m on a call” and setting off that eye-tic yet again. Whence appeared this eye-tic anyways? Did I suffer so pre-plague? Perhaps it’s a manifestation of the many lies I now must make whenever I attempt to do anything without offending some scurvy companion. No, I better just walk later, during a merrier hour. I could even take my dog when I’m out dropping off that present.

4. Going to the Dentist

People’s hands in my mouth. It is truly the winter of my discontent.

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