Pandemic Journal, Entry 2: Reopening America: The Prologue

My temper had risen beyond simmering to not quite a full boil, like water that’s being heated for pasta but isn’t quite ready for that moment when it’s acceptable to introduce store-bought spaghetti to its-soon-to-be-a-dente fate. I had to do something.

I called the #reopen hotline. Operators were standing by.

“We need to reopen America,” I said. “My local vinyl shop has a first pressing of Paul’s Boutique and they’re not shipping.”

“Will they do curbside pickup?”




“Then you’ve called the right people, brother. But first a few questions: Are you prepared to suffocate for the cause? Does renal failure scare you? Do you live in the swing states of Michigan, Minnesota or Wisconsin?”

“No, yes, and no.”

“Sorry friend, our funding only covers those three midwestern states. Kinda think of it as a ‘preserve our rights and get out the vote’ movement.”

“Any tips in case I want to freelance this?” I asked.

“Nope. Knock yourself dead. Though not literally, I pray.”

I hung up dejected but not defeated, like Michael Jordan coming to dual realizations: 1) it takes more than raw athletic talent to hit a curveball, and 2) there’s always the NBA.

I strapped up. 

I donned my Punisher t-shirt and a pair of Old Navy camo cargo shorts. 

Then, a pair of Vans slip-ons with stars and stripes fabric.

I threw my grandad’s single barrel .410 over my shoulder. 

Last, I slipped a homemade mask from Etsy over my face. The photorealistic kitten face on it softened my harsh demeanor. 

It was time to reopen America.