Parking Lot Diaries

A set of six pastel Sharpie highlighters

As I write this, I have been sitting in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy for two hours and don't plan on moving anytime soon. In fact, two hours ago, I went inside the drugstore and shopped for some essentials to prepare: a bottle of water, a package of Double Stuf Oreos, some pretty pastel Sharpies, a glitter-covered spiral notebook, and a new pen.

I wish I could say that I was planning a heist or creating a new TikTok challenge, but the boring truth is that I drove thirty miles to take a COVID-19 test and only then thought to call my car dealer (who is also in town) to see if the service center had any availability to fix my broken headlight. Shockingly, they had an appointment—five hours after my nasal swab. Faced with the choice to 1) drive another sixty miles home and back or 2) arrange the most cringeworthy campsite possible, I opted for the latter.

So here I sit, handwriting a blog post in a sparkly pink notebook, putting myself in a sugar coma, and trying not to think about the fever and sore throat that initially brought me here. I have a very classy instrumental jazz playlist lilting in the background, which is honestly a chaotic choice for someone whose dinner is twelve Oreos in a parking lot.

But when I eventually get home, things will only get weirder. For some reason, I have mostly lost my appetite except for two food groups: chocolate and a very specific mushroom and truffle oil frozen pizza. I've also lost all interest in TV shows or movies—except for the Harry Potter series. (I hadn't even watched most of the series until December and infamously dislike the books, so I could not explain this new obsession to you if my life depended on it.)

Once I finish my weird pizza and weird movie binge, I will immediately go to bed and sleep for ten to twenty hours. Except my sleep will be hindered by a pregnancy pillow (I am absolutely not pregnant) because I have an undiagnosed heart condition and have to sleep on my back—with support from the pillow—to avoid crushing the heart monitor that is taped to my chest for the next two weeks.

Anyway, I know that every part of pandemic life feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone, and whatever episode I'm living through right now won't seem so unhinged in hindsight. But right now, hot dang, I'd really like just one single scrap of normalcy.

I guess that's why I bought the Oreos. 🙃