I wait in line at the post office while my grandma lays in a bed 2,000 miles away waiting to die. Even if I was there I wouldn’t be let in. Not with COVID crawling all over the place.

At the post office we stand six feet apart. Masked, avoiding each other’s gaze as if that might somehow prevent infection. I wonder how many here have lost something this year; a friend to political differences, a job, a loved one to the pandemic. There’s something wrong with the old man’s address in front of me.

In the car I rip off my mask and gulp down some air. I want to sit here in the quiet and wait for the call. The one that will tell me what’s left of her is gone. I want to sit here and wait for the pandemic to end for everyone’s stupid masks to come off. But the dog will need to go out soon and the kids have to log on to school and there’s already someone waiting for my spot.

My Grandma sits with one of her great-grandchildren.

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