First Avenue, New York City

How many times do I need to remind myself not to look at my telephone in the morning? Woke up to a message about freezes, pay cuts, and furloughs at the school where I teach. Then I read that our president suggested injecting household disinfectants to kill the virus and clean our lungs. It’s become a hallmark of the times: thinking something is a joke until enough headlines and articles convince you it is true.

Spent the rest of the day scrolling past local, regional, and national alerts instructing Americans not to drink bleach. Our president, this man with a name like a slur, he also said something surreal about injecting light into our veins, but there’s no poetry in stupidity. Sometimes there’s poetry in anger, and I saw it scrawled across the street this afternoon.

As of today, 50,000 people have died from this virus in America. There’s the very real and woozy sensation of living in a country that’s circling the drain. Waiting in line to enter the supermarket, a woman dressed in blue scrubs stood six feet behind me and hollered into her phone. “You want to tell me this is sensationalized? Come talk a walk with me through the fucking ICU.”

Loscil – Drained Lake

Monument Builders | Kranky, 2016 | Bandcamp

Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Reading
February 27, 2020


A consultant from Brussels asked everyone to draw the shape of their lives on a Post-It note. I made a scribble and people began approaching me as if I’d scrawled a cry for help.
July 10, 2020


There's something oddly soothing about the sound of traffic peeling down wet streets on a rainy night.
March 17, 2020


These are long days of suspension. For a moment I convince myself that everything is just fine. That I must have imagined the whole thing.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x