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Day 39: Social Distancing Begins at Home

Someone died across the street. I watched them remove the corpse. There was no hurry, no face.

Nina and I are quarreling about whether she should go outside. If she wanted to see a doctor or meet up with her friend from Knoxville, fine, but I think she just wants to roam around. It’s cloudy, chilly, windy. The last time she went out, she came back in a homicidal mood and promptly turned sick.

I wish she would get help. I wish she’d talk to me.

I recognize that bird flu is less risky to most people this month than it was last month (or may be next month), but pregnant women need to avoid any flu, let alone this one. I wouldn’t want our child to be damaged before he or she even has a chance.

Of course I couldn’t say that. Didn’t dare try.

So I’m sorry to report that I can’t follow any of the advice that so many of you offered. I’ve failed to “charm her into sharing.” I don’t really want to “kill the [*].” I feel paralyzed.

I offered to cook us a special dinner. Nina insisted we order in. She didn’t want spicy food—another symptom of pregnancy. (Instant expert here.)

We compromised on a Thai place neither likes and ate in silence after I disinfected from my quick trip outside to pay the Mexican guy. Nina rolled her eyes as I re-spiced my share of dinner. I was the only one watching her performance. Sneeky sat facing the closed bedroom door.

The loneliest people in the world must live with others who don’t talk to them.

Social distancing begins at home. We communicate so little that I almost addressed her as Nina. She is more real to me as a character on my screen than she is as my lost soul mate. Is that some sign of denial? Our song must be Tainted Love.

Nina’s voice is for her iPhone, mine is for my cat. When she talks with friends, she speaks in hushed tones. When she’s talking to someone at work, she sounds like she’s just conquered Deutsche Bank. I wish she’d try to fool me by acting warm.

I’d hate to have parents like us.

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