DAY NUMBER UNKNOWN, second day in isolation. According to the health authority, who was kind enough to call me personally yesterday, upon receipt of my positive test, I probably became infected on or about the 15th of October, as my symptoms presented on the 17th. This could have been at the viewing of No Time to Die, but I really don’t know. People think they can game this thing with unlimited booster shots, rubber gloves, masks, sprays, supplements. Distancing, perhaps, is the only measure that can keep it away, as it travels from person to person. But, as Ian Malcolm says in Jurassic Park, “life will find a way.” This is another reason why I don’t necessarily want to discuss the situation with friends and acquaintances. It invites second guessing. “But did you wear two pairs of socks, instead of one pair?” At the beginning of this pandemic, I did think that the populist right, combined with the eco-left, were the most out to lunch, but at some moment in the summer, I started to realize how reprogrammed much of the mainstream center had become, as many people became walking infomercials for vaccination efforts. These are educated, experienced people. It was not that they were wrong per se, it was how they were interacting with information. We have lived through the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, not to mention the War on Terror. One might think that we would have retained some independent reasoning, some natural skepticism, survival tools for navigating confusing times, but, alas, not really. At some point, it became increasingly easy not to think, and to buy into popular narratives. As such, I will probably be told that my symptoms are mild, even though they are not mild at all. Because the symptoms should be mild. It’s rather frightening terrain. Zombies of the Living Dead. “But the man on TV said …” Oh well, into my second hot cup of instant coffee. I was lying in bed thinking about a concept I had conjured, throwing love. The other day in the café, I had encountered a really beautiful female soul, sitting there all in pink, and rather than do the usual “man on the hunt” thing (“Hey, can I add you on social media?”) I just decided to let the love feeling grow in me and walk by her slowly, without even looking at her. My belief is that people are sensitive, and they will sense this kind of energy, so that when I walked by, “I threw my love.” And that was all. No words needed to be shared, or awkward interruptions made. I kind of liked this woman. She struck a nice balance between being understated, delicate, but also interesting, and a touch võimas, or powerful. I like powerful women. If you are going to bask in the rays of the sun, then give me the brightest, hottest, most terrible sun. That is the kind of man I am. At night, during a storm, I dreamt I was in a movie theater with my first-year college girlfriend, and we were both nude beneath a blanket. Her roommate was there too. Then we kissed and she asked me to go get a coffee. I wandered the halls of that building, but the coffee machine was broken, and while a fully catered buffet was being set up in an adjacent ballroom, the coffee hadn’t been boiled yet. Which is why this hot cup of instant coffee tastes so well on this sunny second day in isolation. At last, I have it. Behold the cup!