by Kat Gilman Rose
I am not one to overreact. Really, I’m not. You might disagree after I tell you what happened, but you weren’t there, so don’t judge me.
I’ll start at the beginning – I went through the cupboards and the fridge, and there was definitely 14 days of food, because that’s how long this was supposed to last. After two weeks, all would go back to business as usual, and they told us that we did not need to stock up beyond that. They lied.
At the 14-day mark, three things became abundantly clear: 1. I had more food than I thought; 2. I was not going to be leaving the house any time soon; 3. I really regretted not buying the deep freezer Costco advertised during the Presidents’ Day weekend sale. Deeply regretted that.
This isn’t a tale of cannibalism, so calm down. But this is a story of how a bit of discord can get out of hand quickly. Especially in tight quarters. I am getting ahead of myself, however. On day 14, things were still copacetic.
In those early days, we clung to the promise that this would all soon be over. Every morning brought the same monotony – checking the news feeds, taking inventory of supplies, preparing and consuming food, and then back to the news. Rinse repeat. Like everyone else, we went heavy on the DIY: hand sanitizer, bread, arts and crafts. And like everyone else, we squabbled. Two people, ranch-style house, only so many rooms and screens – it’s inevitable that you see someone so much more than you ever wanted to, like they haunt you from room to room, looking for something to do and in the meantime, destroying any semblance of peace.
We made schedules, about who does what, where, when. Like an endless game of Clue: Mr. Husband, in the kitchen, chopping vegetables with the knife; Mrs. Wife, in the living room, mesmerized by the big screen TV. And yet, there was never enough time away, never sufficient quiet, as one person was constantly moving through the house – slamming doors, clinking dishes, asking questions from the other room. Always needing something.
So how did it go from that to needing a deep freezer? First off, when every neighbor is sequestered in their own home, they keep looking out their windows, so there goes any chance of digging a hole in your backyard unseen. And secondly, it’s the little things – the way the other person breathes and chews, the way the gears turn in their mind. Deafening when it’s just the two of you, in the house, for 73 days and counting.
Now, don’t look at me like that. It was fast, it was relatively painless, it was unavoidable. And it would have all been fine, but it turned out being stuck in the house with nothing but a lifeless body for company – it was even worse than before. The smell, the gases bloating the body, the flies. It was a disaster. But lockdown rules are still in place, so here we are. Mr. Husband, in the basement, slowly decomposing; Mrs. Wife, in the kitchen, chopping vegetables.
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