Achoo! I grabbed my head to keep it from falling off. Barking at my sneeze, Mr Wiggles jumped off my bed and trotted down off to the kitchen.
“Et tu cane,” I shouted after my Yorkie’s fluffy butt.
Ugg, every inch of me ached in novel ways.
I turned my congested head on my sore throat to face my phone. It looked like a text from Carla in Accounting. She always texted my cell instead of using the corporate chat.
Thanks again for all your help last week. We already miss you, the text read.
Wincing I lay back in bed. I hadn’t stepped foot in the office in three weeks and I gave up the pretense of working from home two weeks ago. For months I had been exhausted and drained. Cold or flu or ally I needed rest. I sent Carla a confused smiley emoji. Then I noticed my mail app. No new messages. Weird. Had I been checking my mail in my NyQuil addled sleep? I propped myself up on pillows to investigate.
I scrolled. There had been new messages and new answers, answers from me. There were back and forth about interviews and job offers. These were email messages from people I didn’t know who clearly knew me. I recognized my words my phrases. This was me but not. These emails these interviews were the products of a better more confident me. Apparently I gave my two weeks’ notice. Apparently last Monday I’d started a new job as a copywriter for an ad agency!
Suddenly the room tilted. My phone slipped from my hands. On jelly legs I ran to the toilet to vomit. I sagged onto the porcelain cool comfort. Somehow while I was sick in bed another me was job hunting and good at it.
Focus sharpened I shook the mad thoughts away.
Research, I needed more research. I crawled back to my phone. How long has this been going on? I checked my social media. Happy selfies of me not me choked my feed. Day after day I went to museums and nightclubs. I joined a bowling league and took my mom to a drag queen brunch. Seeing myself arms around Mom smiling I was sick again.
Weak I tried to call my mother. I must be hallucinating or feverish. My eyes swam blurring my contacts.
How could I be in two places at once? Astral projection? Time travel? Maybe long Covid’s symptom is witchcraft? And if I could be two places at once why would I choose my messy apartment. Water I needed water then maybe urgent care, I thought.
I was downing a bottled water in my kitchen when a voicemail chimed on my Alexa.
“You’ve had your chance, now it’s my turn.” I gasped at hearing my own voice. “And I’m taking Mr. Wiggles.”