Alone Together: Storytelling in the time of COVID-19
Thomas Pickarski | New York, NY
Thomas (he/him) contemplates his long-standing love affair with solitude as the backdrop of his alone time quickly shifts from the fast paced-world he has no desire to keep up with to one at a standstill with news reports that the city might temporarily bury the dead in parks because funerals aren’t allowed.
I’m riveted by the stories and news reports. Constantly pausing the video streams to savor the still photographs and study the statistical charts. My body feels ill when I listen to our empty soul of a president.
The World Takes a Breath April 6, 2020, Lower Manhattan
It’s a big city view from the window of my tiny apartment. Rooftop decks on the five story brownstones across the courtyard are abandoned. Yards are deserted and there’s a mulberry tree coming into full bloom. It’s an odd silence. Like the way sound seems cushioned after a snowstorm and doesn’t travel very far.
Did I miss my Saint Patrick’s Day birthday? That morning I fumbled with pliers and scissors in my mouth over a hand mirror on the kitchen table as I took my dental stitches out, and the mailman never came.
I’m riveted by the stories and news reports, constantly pausing the video streams to savor the still photographs and study the statistical charts. Today they’re saying we might be at the apex, and there’s talk of temporarily burying the dead in city parks, as funerals are not allowed.
My body feels ill when I listen to our empty soul of a president, I’ve ordained my governor as a great leader.
I was madly in love with an overabundance of solitude long before the world around me was forced to conform to the same realm.
I’ll savor deeply, as this may never come again.