“This is such a bottle episode.”
“What’s a bottle episode?”
“It’s like a t.v. trope that–”
“What’s a t.v. trope?”
Felix and I sit at a fish restaurant in a Marrakech suburb. He wipes a few dirty fingers on his collared shirt characteristically unbuttoned halfway. We are eating with our hands. The chef prepared the food with his hands. The waiter handed us our food and took a fry buried deep in one of our bowls with his hand, touching all the other fries. I lick my fingers clean. This was a few days ago.
Felix and I had just had a fight the night before. A big one. He left the hotel and the stock market dropped 10%. He called me up the next day.
“We should probably stick together. Germany just closed its borders and Morocco cancelled all flights to and from France. Someone told me the U.S. is closing its borders to everyone in the next 48 hours.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised. Flights back there are upwards $5k right now.”
“Where are you?”
“The fish place.”
And that’s how the corona virus saved my marriage.
At least it would have saved it, if we had been able to leave Morocco and gotten married in Denmark like we planned.
This past Sunday Morocco suspended all international flights.
Currently we have 28 cases and 2 dead.
I’m stuck in Morocco for at least the next month and some may say that’s a blessing since Europe and the U.S. are being hit pretty hard right now. But the truth is it’s going to hit everywhere.
Today all the shops, restaurants, and unnecessary businesses closed down. All of a sudden people are wearing gloves and useless face masks. We are stuck in a hotel room without a kitchen.
We’ve been in Morocco for a month. I came first, giving up our apartment in Paris to be in a warmer climate. I have topical steroid withdrawal, a disease caused by the anti-inflammatories the doctors give out like candy to anyone with a rash. My “eczema” is much worse for it now and I wake up in the middle of the night, every night, to bloody sheets from scratching. Most days are bad days and I thought the sun would help. It didn’t.
We’ve been here for a month doing not much and just trying not to pay attention to my painful, itchy skin while a pandemic was breaking out behind us.
The realisation that this whole thing was a big deal crept up on us slowly, and then all at once. There was news about China in January. I was still in Paris then and what I read was mostly laden in racism. I had other things to worry about, like trying to get out of bed in the morning, so I didn’t pay attention. I made my move to Morocco and for the first two weeks no one talked about the virus. Honestly, it didn’t exist for us, us being me and the countless groups of Germans in my hostel enjoying the surf, sun, and seclusion of Essaouira (recall that in just a few weeks after this, today, Germany will have closed its borders).
With my limited WiFi I called Felix everyday.
“Baby, I think this virus is actually going to be a big deal,” he said one day over the phone.
This was February 24th. He was calling me from Key Largo. A cigarette hung from my asthmatic lips as I stood on top of an upside down trash can leaning up against the front door of the hostel to get better reception. I coughed an unnecessary cough.
“Yeah, I don’t think so, Felix.”
“This guy I’ve been talking to, Donnie, he’s really smart. He says it’s going to be a world-wide crisis and we should get prepared. He’s planning to go up north to this end-of-the-world shelter or something.”
“Does he also believe in chemtrails?”
“How’d you know?”
“Just a guess.”
“Well it seems like it’s starting to spread. There’s already a few cases in Europe and stuff.”
“Yeah, well, I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably just a flu and people are going crazy over it.”
That’s pretty much all I feel like writing right now. Probably post another thing later. But yeah. I’m in Africa and I’m probably going to be here for a while. Stay tuned for some guy from Kansas “curing” my TSW with energy healing, a high-speed chase after a weed deal gone right, another weed deal gone wrong, and much more.