by Kate Ryan
As told by my iCal calendar “what really happened”
we go to three different bars because my father the lawyer acts like rona won’t get him but he might die if he listens to me. santa monica’s shelves and streets are empty but in surf city people are drinking out of coconuts and eating chicken tenders like it's beach week per usual. i tell my father i’m taking a mediation class and he says no offense, but i think that’s a little out of your league. your talent is writing, he says. writing isn’t valued, i say. why don’t you write for the new yorker? he says. i’ll call them first thing in the morning, i say.
i start the morning with three different probiotics and a cup of coffee because i want to get a lot done. then i promptly have crazy diarrhea.
i write another full chapter of my lesbian erotica pulp fiction ebook, roommate love in the time of corona. my girlfriend says the outfit descriptions are cringeworthy but otherwise it's really great.
in my mediation zoom, the instructor can't figure out where sabina goes when she pauses her camera. then a guest speaker joins us and says, we're not onions, we're garlics. you're not angry, a part of you is angry. we take turns playing the mediator, arlene, and rocky. arlene is an alcoholic and rocky is upset about a broken gnome. the mediator says we're not supposed to say things like "rocky is a no-good, lying cheat" so that's exactly what i do. no one can tell i'm drinking beer in a koozie anyway.
in the car on our way to our failed costco trip, my girlfriend calls me francine raccoon and that makes me smile. apparently the unemployment rate is going to hit 20% and i'm over here writing lesbian erotica like there's no tomorrow. because if nothing makes sense then why should i. the memes instruct us to call our children, pets, and spouses our colleagues or coworkers, so around 7pm my colleague and i take a break from our respective anxieties to watch lego masters. the gay couple goes home even though the bros made a clusterfucky model because that's just the way it is sometimes. my colleague does a zoom with our mutual colleague jay dreyer who's going to have a colleague come out of his colleague’s vagina. when i overhear them talking potential names i shout from the toilet, has anyone suggested hair?
my characters aren’t having sex and neither am i. i read an essay about disappearing monarchs to calm me down and help me sleep and an earthquake wakes me up that the internet won’t corroborate.
i go for a walk. my leg hair is so long it catches the breeze and i feel like i’m swimming. golfers are out golfing at the golf course where social distancing was invented and on my side of the chainlink fence receipts roll around like tumbleweeds. i step over a chalk ghost and the words chunk was here. when i get home my girlfriend is a lizard lounging in the sun and i am a hermit crawling out of my shell to join her in the hope i’ll get scorched clean.
Kate Ryan is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. You can find her deranged short stories on Instagram at @theonlyshortshorts.