Quarantine Diaries – Day 65

Whelp, the zombie sourdough didn’t kill me. Maybe I will do better in a zombie apocalypse than I originally thought.

Yesterday was a shit show way to start a day, much less a week. It started off normal, which should have been a sign. I got up on time, I did my gratitude journal, stretched out my old lady knees, got the weekly calendar set up, and even managed a video chat session with my friend in Japan.

Then, at eight a.m., everything went to hell.

To set the stage a bit, I like to remote into my work desktop a little bit early. I find that giving myself the extra time to review my To Do list and skim my emails helps set me up for a productive day. Y’know? It allows me to prepare myself for any stupidity that might be headed my way.

Yesterday was no different. I logged into the VPN, remoted into my desktop, opened up  my email and calendar, and then turned my attention back to my video call with my friend. A few minutes passed and then the internet decided to fling itself off a cliff so Brazilian Helicopter Pilot restarted the router. I was kicked off my remote desktop, but I wasn’t too worried. Once the internet came back and the VPN reconnected, it would reconnect me to my remote desktop.

The VPN reconnected. I clicked on the button to log into my remote desktop. It thought for a moment then threw up two middle fingers – unable to connect to remote desktop. I huffed, clicked out of the dialogue box, waited a minute and then tried again. It does that sometimes. The program thought about it and then shook its head – nope bitch, not gonna connect for you. Now I was starting to panic.

I tried again.

And again.

And again.

I called out for BHP. He came over. I explained the situation. His face said, it’s not good news. He told me that they had been experiencing this issue in his department, too. What had happened was my remote desktop session improperly disconnected. Essentially, my genius of a computer thought it was still remotely connected to my home computer. So, when I tried to connect to the computer it believed it was already in a remote session and was like, nah, brah, I put a sock on the door for a reason. I’m busy.

I stared at BHP, willing him to say those magical words, “Don’t worry, I can fix it.”

Instead he kind of trailed off.

“It’s fixable, right?” I asked.

“Yes…” he hesitated. “But it can’t be fixed from here. The computer has to be manually restarted.”

“You mean…”

“Yes, someone has to go into your office and turn your computer off and then on again.”

“But I didn’t even do anything wrong!” I wailed.

I know that might sound like a weird reaction, but I had been having waking nightmares about accidentally hitting “shut down” instead of “restart” on my remote desktop for 64 days. Now the nightmare was happening and I DIDN’T EVEN PUSH THE WRONG BUTTON.

It’s fine. Everything was fine. I could still access my email and I save everything to a folder that automatically syncs to the web. I opened up the digital drive in my web browser and accessed my folder. It hadn’t synced with my computer since February.

Nothing was okay. Nothing was fine.

Someone get me a bloody mary.

I emailed my supervisor – good morning, lovely day isn’t it? Um, btw could you please advise on who I need to get permission from to enter the office in the MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC!?!? She emailed the head of our IT Department. He emailed some other dude who was thankfully chilling on site and he went into my office and restarted my computer.

Thank you, essential workers.

Thank you. I day drink to your health.

And while we are at rock bottom, I might as well drill a bit deeper. The reason why the zombie sourdough starter didn’t kill me in my sleep was because I beat it to the punch. Yes. I somehow managed to kill a sourdough starter that had so much will to live it clawed itself out of the grave for one last gasp of nonlife. Honestly, I am not surprised. I kill houseplants at a rate that would make me a top tier serial killer if plants were people (DO NOT @ me vegans). I am convinced the only reason my cat is alive is because she’d kill me and eat my corpse if I ever forgot about one of her meals. Also, Seraphina is High School Michelle reincarnated in cat form. She is dramatic as fuck and mean on top of that.

So, BHP and I sang a sad song, disposed of the corpse, and reconsidered whether I should ever have children. We then looked at pictures of my adorable nephew and decided that plant/sourdough starter instincts were different from maternal instincts and I would be just fine. But to be on the safe side, better wait a few years just to be sure.

Is the hole deep enough?

Nah. I think I can go deeper.

Okay, for reasons that will go unexplained, I have begun drinking prune juice every day. We’ll all pretend it’s because it tastes really good. BHP is not fond of my new love of prune juice because it does not smell as good coming out of my body in gas form as it does entering my body in liquid form. I will not lie to you. Prune juice powered farts are proof that evil exists and can come from pure intentions and well-meaning people. If you ever need to get back at someone who passed gas while you were trapped in the shower naked and vulnerable and unable to run away or if you want to prove that you can clear a room in five seconds flat, prune juice is your secret weapon.

Why, you may ask, are you telling us about prune juice and the horrific gas it creates, Michelle?

Because it almost destroyed a four year relationship last week. Do not underestimate the prune juice.

I was sitting next to BHP on the couch and felt the need to break wind. Being a polite individual, I said “excuse me,” so he would know, and then I even went the extra step of warning him that it was “going to be a bad one” because I had imbibed a measure of prune juice earlier. BHP nodded distractedly and kept watching TV. I waited for the stench to hit, but, oddly enough, nothing happened. It didn’t smell. False alarm, right?


Five minutes later, I turned to look my boyfriend in the eye and say something very profound when he suddenly cursed and pulled his shirt up over his mouth and nose. Apparently, the prune juice gas had exited my body and immediately stowed itself in a pocket dimension so it could wait for the most opportune moment to strike. This was the moment.

“What the fuck, Michelle?!?” BHP was scrambling away from me.

“I said ‘excuse me’!” I shouted. “I warned you!”

“You and that prune juice!” BHP hissed, finally making it to his feet and backing away from me. His face was screwed up in disgust and horror. “Jesus wept rivers!” He booked it for the kitchen.

[Now an important side note is that BHP is not religious. The fact that he went right for Jesus tells you how bad it was. He later told me the rancid smell that had escaped me was Old Testament-level wrathful God stuff. Right up there with plagues and death of the firstborn.]

Seraphina started towards me, ready to comfort me in this time of abandonment and betrayal, but she only made it a few steps before she turned tail and ran for BHP.

“Not even the cat can handle it!” BHP howled from the kitchen.

By this point I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. I fell over and scream-laughed into the couch. I heard BHP approach. I had a moment of shining hope. Maybe he would still love and accept me and my prune juice habit.

He snatched up the water bottle next to me

“I better take this before you taint it.”

After threatening to “put a cork in [me]” and telling me “even Andrew Cuomo can smell you and he’s in Syracuse!” I was summarily banished to my office area. I was informed that if I needed anything he would push it to me across the floor with a stick. When I called my mother to get emotional support, BHP cried out in the background:

“HELP! Send help! I need a young priest and an old priest!”

Needless to say, social distancing was strictly adhered to in our household that night.

The only thing that saved our relationship was the lasagna I made the next day.

So, on that note, farewell! Be safe! Be wise! Only drink prune juice if you can handle the consequences.

P.S. – I wrote this last night while sitting at my desk with my noise-canceling headphones glued to my head. It was dark in my corner of the apartment, only one lamp was on, lighting up just where I was. I had my favorite music mix on and was enjoying myself. I looked up from my writing to consider a sentence I was about to write and saw BHP in the kitchen staring at me from the dimly lit kitchen. I was not prepared. I shrieked and had a minor cardiac incident. BHP’s excuse for his creeper-scare? “I said ‘Hey, you,'” he paused before adding. “Also, if I stare at you long enough you eventually look at me.”

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