Brock About Town: I miss people

Illustration by Lev Cantoral

Huh, that was weird. Where were we? I think I was advocating level-headed caution. To be clear, I still do, but it’s become a little harder for me to put into practice after three months of quarantine. I just miss people so much, you guys. Sure, my social life before this consisted primarily of sitting in dark corners at dive bars making snarky observations about passersby, but it was good enough for me. The closest I get now is scrolling through Facebook, looking for things to mock from the safety and comfort of my futon, and Facebook does not disappoint. So, without further ado, here’s my official guide to the three types of socially distanced people during quarantine:

The homesteader. This person is thriving under quarantine. You know that, because they cannot seem to stop themselves from reminding you. Your Instagram feed is lousy with the photographic evidence of their home workouts. They downloaded Duolingo; they’re making a sourdough starter. They put on work pants for their 9 a.m. Zoom meeting. This is easy for them. They’ve always been an introvert, they remind you, voice dripping with sympathy for you, the simple-minded fool who requires personal connection to live a fulfilled life. You hate this person, but only because you wish you could be them.

The plague rat. This person hardly seemed to notice that anything has changed. If anything, they’re happy. The patio at Cactus has never been less crowded, and it was actually pretty dope, not having to go to work or class. If questioned about their decision to loiter outside of a convenience store, touching every square inch of the Redbox machine at least twice, they say, “Bro, I haven’t seen my grandma in forever.” You just want to seize this person by the lapels and scream, “Have some respect for your own mortality!” but that would definitely violate social distancing guidelines. You hate this person, but part of you wonders if it would be relaxing to be this oblivious.

The Edward Hopper. This person is an absolute wreck. Their brain addled by Clorox fumes, they no longer have a sense of time, which is just as well, because if they realized how long they’ve been scrolling through Twitter, they’d faint. There’s nothing good in the kitchen, and there won’t be for another week, so they eat elderly ramen noodles they found in the lazy Susan. They watch Doctor Zhivago and wish they were snowed in with Omar Sharif. Or anyone, for that matter. They get weepy thinking about the last party they went to, disappointing though it was, because it might be the last chance they ever got to drink boxed wine with a bunch of philosophy grad students. You hate this person, because this person is pathetic, and this person is you.

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