Written After Four Days of Quarantine Due to a Nasty Bout of the Flu in Which I Have Had Zero Social Contact with Actual Human Beings and Am Starting to Freak Out

Captain's Log: Day Four

Cabin fever is beginning to set in. I haven't seen the sunlight or known a man's touch in four endless days. The cat paces wearily about the apartment, longing desperately for the stimulation and companionship my enfeebled mind can no longer provide. As the sun stretches lazily across the afternoon sky, I seize an opportunity. Clad only in soup-stained sweats and salty snow boots, I descend the stairs with the tepid anticipation of one who has nothing left, a husk of the woman I had once striven to be. Timidly, I open the door and the wind rushes my face, stealing my breath. I set an intrepid course for CVS, strangers floating past me like ghosts, as if in a dream, their faces contorting before me with such hideously transparent ponderings as, "The shadow of death is imminent upon her" and "Egads! What’s that smell?" I can no longer comprehend their horror. I have been gone away too long.

I return fifteen minutes later (but, oh diary! I lived a thousand lifetimes in those final fleeting moments amongst the blithe displays of diuretics and Whatchamacallits!) with a Gatorade and a discounted jar of Vicks VapoRub, which, upon re-entering my domicile and resigning myself to my cursed fate in this hollow, soulless prison, I smear the Vicks upon my person, wishing it were by the hands of my lover, who I know has long since forgotten me. He is reinstalling Bumble as we speak, I am sure of it. How soon we are forgotten. How soon we are left to rot.

The cat approaches hesitantly. Her presence reminds me that I am still alive in this mortal coil, still drawing these rattling, belabored breaths into the mucusy husks (have I said husks already? My memory is fading…) of my lungs. But then-- Oh faltering heart! Oh failing will!-- she lays at my side. She licks my neck. My heart swells with the blistering joy found only in another’s touch. I have not been forgotten! She will not forsake me! She licks my neck again, then buries her tiny face in my skin. Such love from some small beast, with no condition! One final lick, and then, to my eternal devastation, she staggers away. She looks at me with those once soulful eyes, but in them, I now see only darkness. She is high as a kite on VapoRub, this is clear to me. She runs to her bowl to feast.

Oh, what transient joys we cherish only to have them stripped from us by plots most foul. My final refuge, the single creature I held most dear in this lonesome, pitiful exile, has betrayed me. My throat tingles from the VapoRub, but truly, I feel nothing. The Gatorade brings me no joy. I hear her crunching mercilessly in the other room, and I curl my knees to my chin and weep. Moments later, she returns, if only to savor more of that dank. But my heart has long since shattered. It lies scattered in a thousand pieces across my bedroom floor like discarded, sodden tissues, which is a metaphor, but also I really need to clean my room. She has chosen to escape the vile horrors of our dwindling existence through the abuse of drugs. And can I blame her? She is a more honest soul than I. Bless her for that. She is what I can no longer be.

And so must conclude the splintered legacy of a woman devoured and expelled by forces most cruel. So must I perish from this wretched blight of illness and overindulgent melodrama and fading shadows of literary competence. I have written my story in the desperate hopes that those who find it beside my miserable corpse, my face eaten away by my stupid cat who probably still had food in her bowl but thought she was starving, take heed that some people should not be left alone for days on end, else they start to lose their marbles and write ridiculous blog posts so their aunts will text them compliments. Thus began my frenzied tale, and thus it will end, with the tiny beast passed out in a puddle of drool and my final, solemn oath that I have spoken my truth and uttered no lies, because had I committed such an offense, this post would have been more interesting. That is my word.

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