Noggy: We’re really calling it that?
Lola: Yes, shut up.
Noggy: Okay, but let the record show, you laid your spores in me. Unclean woman.
Lola: It’s my version of trapping you with a baby.
Noggy: Alien parasites. And not the good kind that everyone likes.
Lola: We have a review to write, quit stalling.
N: Fine! (cut to mumbling). It all started when I was minding my own business, living a life of selfless virtue, building orphanages and rescuing baby birds fallen from their nests—
L: And I went to Costco, maskless, like a dumbass.
N: A few days later we went for a four-hour run wherein you aerosolized me with Kirkland brand covid, and the next morning you tested positive, destroying my innocent little life.
L: You didn’t have to invite me to quarantine with you.
N: Did you miss the part where I’m selfless? And didn’t want your family turned into transhuman jelly?
L: Let’s just do the review, okay?
Day 1: You are a SUPERNOVA!
L: I slacked work with my rapid test selfie and soon enough several people were typing: condolences, concern, well-meaning banishments. And I’m all, “I got this, boo. I feel fine.”
N: Then you came over to WFH, which you did for about an hour before faceplanting on your laptop. I like to call this part ‘the sickening.’
L: Turns out, not so fine.
N: I tested negative but had a nap anyway. One can never have enough naps. Pretty sure that’s in the Purgatory manual.
L: Then we watched that show about WeWork…for some reason.
N: Remind me why we’re supposed to care about rich white people problems? Rich whites who got richer after their shenanigans? Where’s the comeuppance?
Day 2: Of Which Lola Has Little Memory
N: You poured a 5oz slug of brandy in your Neo Citron, remember?
L: I think we’ve already established that I don’t.
N: I was still testing negative but starting to show minimal signs of plague, though to be honest, I think they were sympathetic at this point.
L: You made me go for a walk in the middle of nowhere. I was literally dying and you made me exercise.
N: It’s easier to explain a body in the wild and not stuffed under one’s couch.
L: Especially that couch.
N: Hey, it may be the worst couch ever but at least we discovered the filthy delight that is Human Resources on Netflix while expiring on said couch. Literal bags of assholes.
L: The show, not the couch. I think.
Day 3: Noggy Tests Positive
N: Late evening and bam, murdered.
L: We also did an episode of Between Two Flames for Rebekah Raymond’s virtual book launch. I’m told we did this. I’m told it was brilliant.
N: So that’s why I woke up wearing sunglasses and a vest…
Day 4: Cracow Monsters!
N: It was the worst of times, it was was the worstest of times.
L: Yeah, but soup. Don’t forget the soup.
N: True. Magic soup from the soup fairies. Bless their souls. I watched from the window as they placed the bowls in the symbolic configuration, mystically protected from the dark water feral bunny god, before making the proper ritualistic gestures and vanishing from whence they came.
L: I’m pretty sure that was the arcane cabal from the Netflix show.
N: Vietnamese, not Polish.
L: What the hell are we talking about again?
L: Right. The Big Sleep.
Day 5: It’s always darkest before dawn
L: I think I feel…better? Or maybe I’ve turned…
N: Aren’t you glad I made you exercise?
L: I went a little easier on you, because you had man-covid.
Day 6: In Which Lola is Paroled from Covid Jail
N: And I was still holed up in my midden of diseased blankets and used Kleenex
L: Like a rat. While I N95’d and went to Dairy Queen for Blizzards. It was glorious…until I realized I couldn’t taste a damn thing. It wound up taking three days to eat.
N: That was also the day we aired out the place. Neither of us could smell either but I’m sure it was something akin to a festering hockey bag.
Days 7-10: Noggy turns the corner
N: And Lola decides she’s in the right headspace to get a large tattoo
L: Not as impulsive as it sounds
N: But the leaking black goo! Or was it black blood? You had turned.
L: Turned a corner.
N: Soon enough we had the energy to get drunk and yell at the television
L: Then I went home. I was actually…sad.
N: I thought we’d kill each other in quarantine, but I didn’t hate it, aside from the fatally diseased part.
So, what have we learned from Ten Days in Purgatory?
That you always come out of Costco with more than you planned. Always.
P.S. 8 weeks later. We’re not saying long covid, but we’re not-not saying it…Jesus Christ.