There are four of us in our apartment. When the pandemic hit, one of us went to live with his girlfriend. That left three. One, a hypochondriac (and I mean that in the best way possible). Two, a public health professionial. And three, a classic American turd (that’s me). One and two were pretty into this lockdown thing.
Me…not so much.
We struggled from the beginning. Because I said–like an American turd does–I don’t care what you guys do. You are free, autonomous people. You can do whatever you want. And I will do whatever I want. But 1 and 2 reasonably and responsibly said, you may not do whatever you want. It is a public health crisis. You must stay at home.
For a while I stayed at home. I tried to be good. I was good. But then I said, I don’t know if I can do this anymore I think I’m going crazy. It’s not that I need to go to a party. It’s not like I need to do any particular thing at all (maybe there were some particular things). I don’t even need to be free. But I need to feel free.
1 and 2 and I met every week. We talked about our options. We talked about me moving out. We talked about what we believed and how we felt. We talked about the individual versus the communal, freedom versus responsibility, sickness and guilt. As we talked it became clear: the space between our beliefs was an ocean. The extent of our differences felt parallel to me being a Trump supporter amidst Bernie supporters. There were days when I thought, there is no way we will come to a compromise. I thought, we won’t make it. This household won’t make it. Me moving out was an option that everyone could agree on, but still it felt like a failure. And oh well. It’s no surprise I guess, in this country, in these times. Maybe some ideological spectrums simply can’t be crossed.
But we met every week. Everyone showed up. Everyone brought their grace. And we waited. I waited.
And then, in the eighth week of lockdown, we came to an agreement. Everyone gave something up. People gave things up for me. It was humbling to witness.
And so I would like to announce our candidacy: Woodbine St. 3R for president. It’s a sweet deal actually: you get all three of us.