Mourning someone who has not died

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If I could turn back time…

Reader, I am a liberal. If you do not want to be offended by my decrying the beliefs of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, stop reading here.

I first met my friend “Kelly” working at an insurance company. I negatively judged her at first for her appearance, and soon learned I was an asshole for doing so. …

“How are you doing?”

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Art by

It began like any other OKCupid interaction: I thought he was cute, he had enough nerd cred in his profile that I knew we could converse on shared interests, so I messaged him. Some time later, he replied. We had some fandoms in common, he did art, I did writing, this and that. On and off conversation over a few weeks, and I thought I might be ready to meet in person. …

Discovering the Romance of Sheltering At Home

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Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

Everyone’s experiences during 2020 were both laser-tight specific and depressingly universal. Isolated and alone, struggling to afford living, surrounded by people, but anxious and numbing and exhausting for all. The less said the better, and anyway we all know. The year 2020 will become its own proper noun, like 9/11 did.

I had established (in 2019) a habit of posting something to Medium weekly, trying different styles, topics, anything to keep the fingers moving.

And then. You know.

Retreating to the past, I wrote cards, letters, postcards, emails. Bursts of feelings; diary entries…

This reporter has been embedded with the 12th Saturnine in the forward trenches these past three years.

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Modified from the San Diego Opera’s marketing materials for All Is Bright

Today: rain, such as we have not seen for many a week. The walls of our trench drip mud onto everyone, and we all resemble nothing so much as the victims of last week’s exploded cocoa factory. May the Swiss Miss Guard rest in peace. As the Red Cup forces gain ground, the Gingerbread Men have taken serious blows to both their bodies and morale. Across the tinsel-snarled neutral zone, one can just make out through the deluge the pointy green helmets of…

They haven’t earned my respect.

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Photo by DEVN on Unsplash

I’m not alone in this feeling. I’m a liberal, and I have watched the dark and crusty scab that has covered our country for decades be ripped off over the last four years to show the deep, festering wound that was always there.

I have witnessed seemingly rational people being directly, openly, shamelessly hateful. Whether it comes in the form of throwing a white power sign or coughing on a stranger, the embrace of hatred is everywhere.

I have witnessed people’s fears pushing their hand toward the lever that chooses the illusion of self preservation…

Navigating safely in a world full of Covid and loneliness

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Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Online dating during a pandemic fucking sucks. We can’t even say, “I’ve met someone.” If someone intriguing finally graduates from a still photo in an app to dynamic conversations via text, we’re still just “talking.” Not like the millennials mean “talking,” i.e. casually hooking up, but literally exchanging words. Maybe even a photo, but never anything truly revealing. A sunset. A cat. A meal.

Since the pandemic began, I have been faintly mocked by my friends (who are all scientifically literate, liberal, taking it seriously) as being overly cautious about…

Oh yeah, it’s great. JUST GREAT.

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I met my now-ex-husband on OKCupid in 2011. I still find its in-depth profiles (10 photos, lots of opportunities to answer questions and craft a pamphlet to attract interest) more engaging to shop through than say, Hinge, which has like 6 photos and two or three quick answers. It’s all garbage, though, and OKC has gone way downhill in the intervening years thanks to swipe culture. But I still maintain my profiles and reach out to interesting people who the algorithm pulls past my swiper.

Holy balls but it is dire out there. Despite…

What happened when I moved my albums within reach of my player

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Just a portion; photo by the author

Now that I am working from home, the lobby-friendly music I had loaded on my work computer is insufficient to truly get me motivated during a world-warping year like 2020. As a member of Generation X, I still have tons of music stored on physical media, which until last week I stored in my guest room.

I get a lot of flak for this; but when your streaming music service decides it’s going out of business or we have the big EMP sun flare, where will you be…

The infinite potential when you haven’t met yet

An image of a young man in his cell phone window which covers his real face
An image of a young man in his cell phone window which covers his real face
Photo by Dmitriy Tyukov on Unsplash

Meeting new people

I have an internet date soon. We “met” on Hinge when I messaged him to tell him how great a particular profile photo was. I wasn’t thinking he would be interested in me, him being 11 years younger, but the photo made me grin and this is how I use the dating apps now, to initiate conversation with strangers in my Covid isolation.

A low-key exchange about the photo ensued, which took a turn when he asked me “So what are your weekend plans? And do you like younger guys?” Turns out…

Dear Wastelander of the year 2040…

Furiosa from Mad Max Fury Road kneeling and screaming in the desert
Furiosa from Mad Max Fury Road kneeling and screaming in the desert
Max Max: Fury Road, or, your front yard

I am writing this at the end of August, 2020. By now you know who has won five more elections (if they still happen) and may even know without checking that this was the year Covid-19 changed America.

Yes, Covid-19 happened all over the world, and negatively impacted everywhere it went, but it’s changing America. We hope, back here in 2020, that it’s for the better.

Karina "Cinerina"

I used to write movie reviews. I used to do a lot of things. I’m starting over on learning to be a person.

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