If I’m going, let it be with a bang.
I’m a sexually liberated bisexual woman. I’ve always enjoyed sex with all the precautions in place, but I’m poor and live in a house shared by other adults with lives separate from mine. And every second of the day, my news feeds were flooded with reminders of how people like me were disproportionately affected by COVID. I expect death, but somehow when your death is guaranteed, you fight it. And so my battle with a looming or potential COVID death began. When I die, it’s going to be on my terms. And thus my pandemic-induced fuckfest began.
It might have started with Mark
On a trip to our licensing department, the Bolt driver told me he’d contracted COVID and was sure he was going to die. He explained how he had no oxygen for two days and how his wife and children had come together to get him an oxygen tank. On the trip, all I could think of is who the fuck would get me an oxygen tank? Or hold me up and feed and bathe me like Mark (the driver)’s wife had done during the two weeks he’d been bed-bound? Mark said he would have been a statistic. One of our very last conversations was Mark asking me if I was seeing anyone. I love being single, I lied.
M, the 52 year old
I had seen M’s status updates several times on Facebook. We met a week after I’d sent him a private message. His business had taken a knock from the pandemic, he had an unemployed son, and I found comfort in the hollow space he’d created for me when he lay on my bed with his arms behind his head.
I had a panic attack at 3 a.m. and texted M. He told me to get help and we never spoke again.
Z, the 27 year old
So, I texted Z the next morning. He lived two hours away, and when he showed up, I served him breakfast and liked the idea of having someone in the house as I made bacon, because if I couldn’t pick up the scent or taste the crisp, I would have turned to Z or anyone and told them “my sense of smell and taste is gone.” And they’d help me. I’d tell them my history with pneumonia and they’d understand that I needed them to stay. So Z had breakfast and lifted me up like he said he’d do on our wedding day. He carried me to my bed and apologized for not bringing any protection and went in but stopped two minutes later—he apologised for that too. We sat up and he said he had to go visit his brother, who tested positive for COVID. I wished Z well and bid him farewell.
J, the 46 year old
J’s advert on Locanto mentioned he was lonely and bisexual and we drank wine on his couch and kissed. He was inside of me and told me that I’d felt so good, he could never let me go. I wanted to tell him about Mark and ask J if he’d know something was wrong if I was off WhatsApp for two days. Would he know to come to my home to ensure I’m still breathing?
Being an independent female on my own has never been this frightening. I want my head to be against someone’s chest, because I am so scared of gasping for air on my bed of white sheets and taking my last breath – without anyone searching or looking for me.