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Unbecoming

Today is Monday.

Time feels impossibly long, and ridiculously short. I’ve always spent a lot of time here at the house, nose buried in my computer, so I measured the passage of time through the comings and goings of my family. Since March, we really haven’t gone anywhere, and my work isn’t tied to a traditional Monday-Friday schedule. We exist outside regular time. I’m considering one of those whiteboards that hang on the wall of patient rooms in the hospital.

Today is Monday. Your goal for today is three meals and two laps around the block.

I know I’m speaking from a place of privilege, because none of us are essential workers. And to be honest, this isn’t all that hard for us, because we’ve always been homebodies. We’ve always taken every opportunity to be here, together, doing nothing important. But we entered our fall-out shelter existence in March, and it’s almost the end of July. Winter to summer. The sense of ease, of getting away with doing nothing, has faded. We squint at the sun like moles when we check the mail. We squint at the illuminated date and time on our phones each morning. We tie knots in a string, and make another hatch mark on the wall.

Today is Monday. How about that?

I’ve heard that others are navigating this time as if they are in a cocoon. The idea is simultaneously horrifying and wonderful; spending this forced time of isolation, stewing in our own juices, unbecoming ourselves before emerging at some point in the future as something totally new. I think I’m still in the caterpillar phase, undulating around the world. I don’t know if I have the right raw materials to grow wings.