Monday, November 23, 2020

The day America broke



My name is Feldenstein Calypso. I work at the front desk of a library during a global pandemic. In my country this pandemic has bubbled hideously, as like in a great, seething black cauldron. Green and menacing the viscous pandemic gurgles and simmers, rolling down the sides of the pot, smoking noxiously so that it is hard to even see in the room.

What smoke?

What fumes?

I don't see any smoke and fumes.

We are offering limited services at my library, but the pandemic, running down the sides of the cauldron, is causing the fire underneath to burn wildly out of control. This causes the pot to bubble more and more so that it looks to explode in the wild heat. 

So naturally the library patrons come in and ask:

Do you think you'll be opening up more soon?

The boiling pandemic brew performs a mild eruption, flinging a hot green mass against the side of the face of this inquiring patron. They casually wipe it off and look to me for my answer.

"We were headed in that direction." I reply. "But now that everyone is going to die we'll be holding off for a bit."

"A shame." They say. "But I guess you do what you have to." 

Then they add "Thanks for being here."

The politeness is nice.

One of my co-workers had multiple dangerous pre-existing conditions in her home so right at the start of the Pandemic she opted out of work. For eight months she has stayed home and didn't work in order to be safe to herself and to those around her. 

Then this weekend she called in. "I'm thinking of coming back." She said.

"As the Pandemic is finally coming to its most dangerous, wild, deadly, and contagious stage, but just a couple short months before the vast hope of the vaccines can kick in,  that is when you're thinking of coming back?" She is asked mildly.

"Yes." She replies.

Who is she?

Well, besides being my co-worker, and it being a real story, she is America herself.

In a mile long race, hobbling along awkwardly in last place, but at least four fifths of the way through, we stop and declare ourselves the winners.

Well, maybe not "winners", but I guess you do what you have to.

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