Together Alone

Emily Fox
21 min readMar 18, 2020

A Coronavirus Quarantine Fiction Experiment

Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

A kid sat alone on the sidewalk; his straight blonde hair, mussed and dirty, sticking straight up in places. He was wearing a diaper and eating a pudding cup with his fingers. He looked too old to be wearing a diaper. I crossed the street, not bothering to look for traffic. No one drove down this road anymore, and maybe I didn’t care if I got hit by a car. What difference would it make? I imagined myself feeling the impact of a car; something big and heavy, like an old Cadillac. A car sped past just as I was thinking about it, and I jumped, feeling my heart sink into my stomach. Maybe I did care, a little.

A woman holding her toddler’s hands glared at me as we passed each other on the sidewalk, staring down at my collarbone where my pin should be. I didn’t wear my pin because I didn’t have to, and I wanted people to stay away from me anyway. I ignored her as she yanked her son’s arm and pulled him closer to her. I moved to step away from her and as I did, bumped into a man waiting in line at the movie theatre.

“Hey, watch it!” he shouted at me, looking down for my pin. “What the fuck, you don’t got one?” He moved forward in line and went up to the box office to get his tickets.

I hadn’t seen anyone lining up for the movies in a while, so I was curious what was playing that got people to actually come out.

Dumb and Dumber? Mean Girls? Yuck. They never played anything any more but old stinkers. Banging on the glass brought me out of my thoughts. “Hey, lady!” the guy inside the box office yelled, his voice muffled by the glass. “You gonna buy a ticket or what?”

I wasn’t, actually, but I decided to skip my therapy appointment and go to a movie on a whim.

“What’s playing?” I asked. He glared at me and pointed at my chest.

“You fucking got a pin or what?” He frowned. “You can’t come in without a pin.”

I took my wallet out of my backpack and pulled my pin out of the zippered coin section. It was small, about the size of a dime; a matte, bright green with a big white plus sign on it. He let out an exaggerated sigh as I took it out of the little pocket, as if I was holding up a huge line of people. I showed him the pin then quickly stuck it back into my wallet…

Emily Fox

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