Sharon stopped on her way to the kitchen to mark yesterday off the 2020 calendar on the wall; another day closer to the workshop deadline’s highlighted date. Writer’s block wouldn’t be such an issue if she were where she’d normally be on a spring quarter Sunday: on southbound train tracks, speeding towards San Diego, maybe stopping off at the usual Oceanside coffee shop for their crunchy honey toast. She missed when public transportation was not a hazard; when daily bus rides were only temporary communal limbos with repeated strangers. She missed wondering and writing about where they were coming from and to whom they were returning.
The morning sunlight was almost painfully bright, but the whipped coffee (the latest quarantine trend) foamed at the lip of her favorite mug, and there was something deeply satisfying about the way syrup trickled and the steamed over a slightly crisp French toast.
Even as he sang about lonely nights and dancing with teary eyes, Frank Ocean’s voice had her smiling. It welcomed her back to her room, underscored by the musical line of a softly strumming guitar. She sat at her desk, tapped her unnamed betta fish’s bowl, and grinned as he drifted through the sunbeams in the water and into the glass. “You like my toast?” she asked.
She loved her family but she longed for her friends. There was a certain level of loneliness you had to reach to start talking to a fish. Even casual small-talk with bus strangers sounded appealing, and some parts of her mind were still stuck reminiscing about Oceanside toast. She reread the assignment prompt. What did she want to say? What was there to say? She grabbed a pen and began scribbling on a notebook that was stacked on top of her computer.
“You... only...look up… on the days…”