My world has become angular. My life is a series of flat rectangles. A bed. A wall. A doorway. A desk. A laptop. A kindle. A window. I’m boxed in by right angles and hard edges. These angles are stifling, suffocating, but they’re also safe. Leaving the safety of my apartment is a project. I turn the lock, press the elevator button, open the door to my car. I’m hyper aware of every surface I touch. Sitting in my car I sanitize my hands, the door handle, my keys before starting my drive. Am I being practical or paranoid?
Fifteen minutes later, I’m jogging along the trail. I duck under a branch of tiny white, almost-unfurled flowers. I see a woman with two small children ahead. She reaches out an arm protectively, keeping them as far away as the trail allows until I’ve passed, but she smiles, it’s nothing personal, just the precautions we’re all taking right now. My sunscreen starts to mingle with sweat and drip down my face. I breathe in the air, full of the scent of dirt and dead leaves. Some heaviness I didn’t realize I was carrying lifts, as I look around and see no flat angles or walls. For the first time in days, I feel clean.