Lost in Isolation

Week 1: I am alone. I have a yoga mat. It is orange, unrolled, dividing my studio apartment in two: kitchen and living room. Once, each day, I walk over to it, lay face-down and groan. It doesn’t smell great.

Week 2: There is a girl who works in the convenience store downstairs. She started when the pandemic began, so I’ve never seen her mouth. But I really want to kiss her.

Week 3: I am a recovering alcoholic. I stand in front of the whiskey bottles for ten minutes. Masked, gloved, bathed in sanitizer. The girl asks, Are you okay? I clasp my hands, say, Sorry, sorry, and leave.

Week 4: My neighbor had to be quarantined. He leaves his disinfected credit card outside of the door and asks for three bottles of whiskey. Downstairs, I pile them onto the counter. I want to tell the girl, “I’m not an alcoholic.” But I don’t. If I explain, she might think I am contaminated, and then she will never want to kiss me.

Benjamin Davis is the author of The King of FU (Nada Blank, 2018). He is a recovering fintech journalist and folklore addict living in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His stories can be found in Defenestration, Three Drops Press, Cease, Cows, and others. https://benjamindaviswriter.com

See more of Benjamin's work in 8.2