Proposed Alternatives to the “we were kings & queens” Narratives

Corona Chronicles, No. 2

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9:53 am – Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Breakfast Table

Eric and I were discussing our predictions for a post-Coronavirus world last night.

Eric has known me since sophomore year of college – back when I first started assaulting his inboxes with far-fetched predictions about U.S. socioeconomic institutions – so there was no reason for me to be measured with my thoughts. No need to be “realistic” now. I cracked my knuckles, straightened my back, and sent text after text about society’s dizzying acceleration toward the matrix.

A third political party emerges!

VR gyms! VR nightclubs! 5-star vacations through augmented reality!

The first generation of children to evolve past the need for physical contact!  

And depending on how long this goes, I said as my final mic drop, sex robots becoming a lot more socially acceptable!

I was expecting to see a string of *mind blown* emojis the next time my phone dinged.  A Wee Bey gif or something to show that his third eye had officially been opened. But I knew as soon as I picked up the phone that he wasn’t buying it.

MFs can barely figure out how to mute the microphone in Google Meet, he said. We’re far from a cyber dystopia.

What could I say expect a hearty touché?

But Eric wasn’t Mr. Logic and Reason with his post-COVID predictions either. Instead of a cyber dystopia like I was predicting, he was thinking more along the lines of The Walking Dead.

Two of my co-workers have family in Detroit with COVID who are showing signs of mental and emotional issues, he wrote, ominously. Maybe it’s the start of the crazies.

I was like wuuuuuuut and suggested that it might have something to do with isolation and perhaps those folks just needed time to readjust, but I didn’t push it. Or judge. Like our G-Chats from the problematic years of 2008-2012, our texts are a safe space. But I wasn’t about to take that highly suspect, anecdotal, third-party information seriously either.

That was, until this morning, when I saw my dad.

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Corona Chronicles, No. 1

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Sunday, March 8, 2020 – 12:33 p.m. – Cherie Flores Gardens

I’m proud of myself.

Even though Arnez had to work,

Even though Roc couldn’t join,

Even though HR fucked up my first full-time paycheck,

Even though whispers of pandemic were slowly starting to turn into shouts and screams,

I went.

After months of being in the house – waging a multi-front war against Jada F. Perfect with her measuring tape and Mean Girls caliber insults; Scary Spice Smith who pees her pants every time the phone dings; and Da Brat Tat Tat Tat who will turn over every jungle gym in this playground if recess ends even a second before she thinks it should end – I needed it.

I needed to see people. I needed to feel people. I needed to pass a mirror and behold something other than my ashy legs sticking out of a XXXL Jack Yates hoodie.

The last time I felt ready to be out in the world – a couple months after moving back to Houston – I went to a very Howard-esque brunch with a very Howard-esque nigga and revived a very Howard-esque part of myself. I drank a pitcher of mimosa, hopped off the bar stool, then did the bend and snap over a pair of make-believe winter boots.

“One thing about leaving the east coast,” I shouted over the brunch DJ, “you can dig deep in that closet when it gets cold out!”

I was looking forward to cold weather stuntin’. To stepping out at holiday parties like the worldly, intersectional, model-esque bitch I was. To ki-ki-ing about UBI in a leather pencil skirt. To bringing my best self to the world again. But December, January, and February came and went without me busting out one sweater dress. I hadn’t had nan interesting conversation. The world hadn’t seen me in months. Continue reading