I watched Lady Bird for the first time on 26th March.
I remember the day because I had woken up to my phone buzzing with messages from concerned friends and family – US had overtaken China on the Covid dashboard the previous night to hit 85k cases, and the world was slowly waking up to that in different places. I’d been attending online classes from home for a week, it was a sunny day and most importantly, I had to get a drug test taken at Emory that morning for my summer internship.
The lady at the empty lab was aghast at the sight of me until I told her I was there just for a pee test. Through the two hours that I was out, I was super stressed out and worried shitless, wanting to be anywhere but outside.
I returned to my apartment to find Whole Foods bags delivered outside the door. Bless Amazon. I took all the stuff inside, washed my face and hands, wiped the surface of my phone with hand sanitizer (is that what you’re supposed to do?), threw everything I wore including socks into the dirty laundry cardboard box because who knows what the virus might’ve hooked on to?
I then took a shower, got to my bed, emailed HR that the drug test was done, wondering if the virus was already inside me, all the while thinking about the bus driver on my way back who wanted to know if we’d be back in college by Easter like the President said.
Probably not, I told him (Do you want us to die?). We need to keep things open, you know. It’s just depressing to see the world shut down. Speak for yourself, I wish I weren’t out right now. He was actually sweet and friendly, but I also knew I was going to constantly monitor myself for symptoms for 2 weeks thence. No it wasn’t all that bad then, I was just super paranoid.
US reached 100K cases that evening while I was watching Lady Bird on Prime. The President was talking about opening up localities where cases had slowed down. Blame capitalism and us for letting it feed off us; Amazon, Apple and their sweatshops across the world. Did I still not interview in these places? Yes, sure, but only to prove a point, I guess the competition was too high for me to get to my point. Anyway.
I drank an entire Tropicana bottle that day to buff up my immune system.
Then I hyperventilated once every 3 days until the 2 weeks had passed, suffered some 13 episodes of self-diagnosis followed by panic, and finally began getting out of my apartment two weeks ago once my deadlines were done and summer vacation began.
I haven’t used the bath tub here ever, only the shower. Not even during fall break. Well I’m glad summer is here.
I was trying to learn a choreography today (been all week), and I’m tired and sweaty and my frothy fragrant bath awaits me. One of the positive impacts of a regular physical activity in my life is tire from exhaustion rather than the lack of sleep that I’m used to. My worked up body eventually leads to better hygienic practices, some kind (and frequency) of food intake and even sleep, all of which I’ve been missing these days.
I take inside the bathroom our short stool to have my tiny Bluetooth speaker closeby. I also make sure everything I may need – shampoo, gel, scrub, etc – is handy on the counters to not ruin my upcoming experience.
The water is warm and the bubbles are friendly, and I can see my feet up on either sides of the running faucet. Much like in Lady Bird, different context though. My flatmates aren’t home (haven’t been since spring break), Ae Hairathe Aashiqui reverberate within the bathroom walls, the door is locked from the inside so even if somebody breaks in they could never enter or I could buy time to dial 911. All is good. I could fall asleep right here, eyes closed, the warm blanket reaching upto my neck.
So the other day a girl in my LinkedIn feed thanked Jeff Bezos for inspiring her, only the previous day news had come out about a VP quitting over firings. More than 50% of LinkedIn posts are infuriating anyway.
I open my eyes. The fact that every single item surrounding me was from either Amazon or Walmart hit me. The speaker was Amazon, my shampoo was Amazon, the razor and everything else was either Walmart or Target. I sink further into my blanket.
This is old. You would think an active mind is where thoughts creep up, thoughts and no action of any consequence. How about leave my worn out system alone to doze off on the tub?
I should worry more about the orange juice without pulp that I bought yesterday. Like someone said, I could make a difference to that. I should also try the Lady Bird thing some time. Too exhausted for it now.
So lying in the tub, I decided to not check the numbers today, and I don’t want to know what Trump is saying, I cannot bear to look at migrant laborers’ pictures and stories in my feed, not for another two days, and not knowing seems better than curling up every third day.
I resume my bath, close my eyes again. Radha ragasiya is amazing in the bath tub or even for the shower. I need to do this more often.
I forgot I also have kanji payar waiting for me for when I’m done, ravenous as I know I will be. This will be a good night after all.
Some days, I cannot decide if this vacation is all that bad. I keep my bars low and that helps.