A letter from him is like a fingernail picking at a scab.
Vivid things will exist in my mind; if nowhere else, they will at least have come alive in my thoughts.
Politicians take the "quarantine for thee but not for me" approach to the holiday season. "Everybody stay home," they say, while traveling to see their own families and organizing dinners with cronies. "We're all in this together," they add.
We use our imagination to wish life into hollow spaces – the gap between the desk and the wall, an empty store with a "for rent" sign on it, an elevator that's out of order. We like to pretend the hollowness isn't real. The inhabitants (however fantastical) are there, and we may glimpse them from a certain angle or at a certain hour.
We talk on the phone while simultaneously playing a text-based, browser-based fantasy game. Our conversation switches between serious topics (work, pandemic) to thoughts about the vampire in the forest and the dwarf who has a garage and a farmhouse.
Recurrent conversation 1: "Remember when we used to [insert pleasant memory about things we used to do during the holiday season]." Recurrent conversation 2: "When do you think we'll be able to enjoy [normal activity that we used to take for granted]?"
"Remember how kids used to think of ways to cut class or skip school?" she says. Now, what you have to do is pretend your microphone isn't working. And look, your camera also isn't working, how awful.