I reused a file folder that had previously been labeled “Bitter Machines Flash Fiction.” Since the new label didn’t entirely cover the old one, it now says “Health Insurance Flash Fiction,” which is the worst, most boring, and also most soul-chilling and existentially dreadful type of flash fiction there is.

Sometimes during these early spring days, in this little not-quite-idyllic, rural New England town where I live, I go out walking and a brilliant, sunny daffodil snaps into my line of sight from across the street, and I think, “Pandemic. Pandemic? Pandemic. What the fuck, what the fuck?”

I started texting my partner to ask if he could “pick up some stuff,” but autocomplete assumed that the word stuff was supposed to be “snakes.”

What I find disturbing about this is that Google utilizes user data to make predictive text more accurate, and that there is apparently enough recorded user behavior to make “snakes” seem like a viable completion for that sentence.

The pandemic has meant that I finally started making homemade yogurt again. A local farm store is doing phone orders and pickups, so we have better access to quality milk than we do yogurt.

I worried that this batch wouldn’t come out because the milk felt hotter than normal, but in ten years of making yogurt, I’ve never had a batch fail “to yog,” as my partner puts it.

Now that everyone and their Uncle Bob has taken a sudden, pandemic-motivated interest in hiking, my hiking pole is also my social distancing pole.

Always remember that a social distancing pole is no substitute for choosing an unpopular trail with difficult parking and little to no markings either on the map or on the ground.

And no, I haven’t poked anyone with it–I would have to sanitize it.

My partner and I discussing the true meaning of Vaffeldagen, aka Waffle Day, aka March 25th:

Me: Vaffeldagen isn’t about the waffles. It’s about the friends we can’t see because of the pandemic.

Partner: The real friends are the waffles you made along the way.