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Day 29: Go Inoculate Myself

All hell has broken loose. I’m completely confused. Enraged, too. I don’t trust the combination, so I’m afraid to write. Tonight’s sermon was going to be about the messy quest for a vaccine and the startling movement that’s sprung up to oppose the effort. The only shots I saw were aimed at me, my work, my soul.

Nina was out for most of the day. She came back without explanation—just accusations.

She barged in without decontaminating, knocked down a stack of boxes full of gloves, then locked me out of the bedroom. Silence lasted till I knocked two hours later.



“What’s wrong?”


“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Open the door.”


Her ears were probably enfolded in music, so I went back to googling the vaccination wars: Do you know how many governments are saying they might not buy vaccine? Last time it was merely Poland, which turned out not to be much of a problem. (I have no links because I can’t find articles about the aftermath, which indicates there was none.)

When the empress emerged, I said nothing as her eyes bored through my spinal cord. I tried to type. It’s hard to fake wisdom when you can’t think of anything but the person over your shoulder. Then it occurred to me that Nina might be joking—this could be her biggest domestic theater piece yet.

I typed that I loved her. I meant it.

“Better write fast because I’m taking that thing with me,” she said of this iMac.

I asked why, on screen.

“You know.”

I still don’t. I turned around and asked her why she was so angry. She said there was no need to explain anything to me. “You know what you’ve been doing.”

Um, no.

“You’re the only one that ever gets to leave this place.”

I’ve been trying to get her to go out more frequently.

She responded with diatribes about ‘Ric,’ my partner, my old friend, and my old girlfriend, none of whom she’s ever much liked. Her buddies don’t seem to favor me, either: She made one friend at work—a woman from Tennessee who seemed pleasant the two times I met Nina after they’d been hanging out—but her forever-best pal is downright rude. She constantly invites Nina to join her for weekends at her boyfriend’s house overlooking Woodstock, but I’m pointedly not welcome. I guess the pandemic put some of our vexing issues on hold—though one resurfaced when I began stepping out to see my friends.

“Who else do you see?” she asked. I shrugged. The UPS guy?

She ordered me away from her computer, started making dinner for one, consisting of things she knows I hate—split pea soup, dried Parmesan, stale crackers, and Scotch.

I’m posting this from my old PC, which I retrieved from the bedroom closet while she was simmering.

Not sure how long my immune system can sustain this level of inflammation. Where was Nina all day? Was she drunk? Where does she get off hating me like that? Is she serious about leaving?

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