The Pandemic Pales
The temporary exhilaration of things upended, rules suspended, the longest snow day ever. Not that we don’t have responsibilities, exactly, but they’re different, heroic. Even the little things— cleaning the bathroom, bringing in the mail, picking up groceries in a parking lot— require a kind of courage. But all too soon the pandemic pales, grows tedious and routine, the return to normal now the rebellion. No more shutdowns, we shout, we must have our haircuts and essential services, the bars and restaurants, the gyms we never go to anyway. What kind of wuss are you, afraid of something you can’t even see? I swear it will be the boredom that kills us.
Charles Grosel is an editor, writer, and poet living in Arizona. He has published stories in Western Humanities Review, Fiction Southeast, Water-Stone, and The MacGuffin and poems in Slate, The Threepenny Review, Poet Lore, Cream City Review, and Harpur Palate, among others. The Sound of Rain Without Water, a chapbook of poems, came out in December 2020.