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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

10 Things I Think... Social Distancing Sucks

1. I have access to every streaming service ever and it still AIN'T NOTHING TO WATCH. I need more movies like the Princess Frog, Coco or Moana. All these adults shows just remind us that we actually have failed the brave and happy children. They have hope. And we... we have 24-hour news updates on every device because we're obsessed with negativity.

2. I need human interaction. I'm a Leo. I'm an extrovert. I'm a midwesterner. I don't know how these east coast species of folk get along without saying hi to strangers. That's how we were raised- to speak. Walk into a room? SPEAK. Make eye contact... SPEAK. Use your words.

3. I'm down to my last roll of tissue. For real y'all. Things are getting scary around here. According to my calculation I can maintain the same roll of tissue if I use about 30 sheets per day. That's five trips max per day. Gotta know when to hold and when to fold 'em.

4. I should've stolen some tissue from work. Legit. They have one-ply just it's that industrial-sized roll. You know the one. You have to get a full handful for it to be worthwhile, but it's tissue. And reparations. Me as I'm getting carried out by security: "Black people built this country and probably this building, too. Yes, I did it and I hope they burn in hell!" Something about when Samuel L. Jackson said that shook the earth for me.

5. I'm about to start bartering. I'll give you some braids to the back in exchange for two rolls of tissue. I can make you some of those pasta plates that people sell y'all via Facebook in exchange for some bleach. We can exchange goods, but you can't use my phone. Phones at this point are deeply personal. They literally carry all the germs. What would that news story look like if I got the "rona" because I let Ethyl next door call her daughter in Jackson, Mississippi?

6. I'm tired of talking to me. We talk about the same things...

-What to eat for dinner?

-Are we even gonna try to pay back these student loans?

-How many Saggitarius will be added to the world as a result of this break?

-When I search in private, it is really in private?

-What if we run out of butter?

-Are avocados impacted by this?

-Has strip club business been impacted by the remote work stuff? Like how do you work remotely as a stripper? For some reason Cita's world popped into my mind.

7. Do people actually enjoy being parents? I know folks love the family photoshoots and snaggled tooth updates, but I have seen more wine and spirits purchased since the crisis than ever before. These children are about to be unattended and running wild. So much we can learn from them.

8. So if all the stores shut down, it's probably important that I teach myself how to hunt. We have a plethora of jet black squirrels and feral cats. It's time I do more than run from them and assume they have rabbies. A little cornmeal and some vegetable oil at 375 will take all that out. Truthfully, even if this food runs out, I still am unwilling to eat raisins. They're trifling. It's not an option.

9. If the stores close, we're screwed. Why didn't I buy some pork and beans and hot dogs? There's likely some trauma behind this meal, but it reminds me that the world will be ok.

10. Why am I afraid the utilities are going out, too? Been gathering my candles and looking for charcoal. It's gonna be a bomb ass bbq if these lights go out. Been waiting to make some burgers.

11. It's too expensive to be racist right now. You better get in this soup line like the rest of us if things go down. Jim, we don't care that you've never had greens. Sue, we don't care that you prefer dry shampoo. You drinking out of this water hose, too. Honestly, I don't know why this thought makes me feel like we're about to be in that movie where all the white people have to be silent or some monster thing takes them out. That would never work for Black women, maybe that's why there are none in the movie.

12. This ain't the time for telling your neighbor nothing at church. In fact, if there's not at least 4 seats between us I'm gonna have to lay hands on you. If you even firm your mouth to cough- I'm using deadly force. Sorry, Mrs. Jenkins. You survived Jim Crow, low escrow and Trump's new growth just to be taken out by your churchmate.

On a serious note, folks are in panic. Full panic. I can't lie and say I'm not feeling it, too. The stores are emptied. The hand sanitizer is going for $73 per pump. Folks are buying all the snacks and it feels a little like the world as we know it is changed in an instant. Social distancing has become the new norm as if we haven't been distant enough. I really hope this telework and pandemic work in a way that we all appreciate each other a little more. Hopefully, we are gentler. Most of all, I pray we share toilet tissue. For real. It's important.

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