#1 • 16 JUly 2021, 5:23 PM

Dear Bob,

I just finished cleaning my toilet bowl. I forgot that I doused the sides with the liquid cleaner thing more than an hour ago (it’s only supposed to sit there for around 20 mins, or else it’ll dry up) so I can scrub while the solution’s still on the surface. But work got to me, among other things, and so I had to scrub with just water and dried up cleaner solution on the surface. I can only hope I still got to do the job.

Sorry, I am babbling. I know I’m not supposed to apologize, but I don’t understand why I am telling you this. Shouldn’t my letter be made for major life updates, centered on accomplishments? 

That’s the thing--it’s the middle of 2021, and nothing’s really happened. The little things mean a lot now, because that’s mostly what we have, I guess. I mean, we’re supposed to be more mindful of the present, and acknowledge the ‘details’. I guess in and of itself is a great mindset before the whole pandemic happened. But now, we’re kind of forced to have it, and it doesn’t feel the same way. My days swell with gratitude (for being alive) and confusion (about the future, if it even exists). I don’t know what to feel anymore.

How is it there in the camp? A, uhh, little bird told me that you just got vaccinated a few weeks ago. Do you get exempted if you feel anything unusual after the jab? Or are you still forced to face the day, like true soldiers, whatever the side effects? I hope they still treat you like real people. I worry, yes, but I know you’ll pull through.

I want to know if you’d rather live truly in isolation, away from all of this, or do you still make room for things from outside? Would you rather know little and take that information as a slice of the outside world, while you proceed with your day to day in isolation? Or do you want to be constantly reminded that who you are now is not the identity you want to embrace? Would you prefer being reminded of life outside? I am interested! But I also don’t want to force you to take up so much time responding to all of these questions. 

Yesterday, one of your friends from in there posted a photo of a rainbow that a lot of people saw in your city around 6 PM, I think. I thought of you when I saw it. I hope you saw it, and that it made you smile, too.

I also hope you’re eating well, Bob. Last meal you spoke about was “a bowl of cold raw fish soup” you were about to drink. Honestly, I have no idea if you enjoyed that but I presume you’re fine with what they serve you in the camp, because you still decided to talk about it a little. It’s almost a month since you made yourself felt, but I trust that you’re doing fine, even if I worry sometimes (I actually worry a lot, but trust that this is just normal, too).

It’s almost 6 PM here, and work still calls. I guess I’d rather have this than nothing at all.

I’ll write to you again--I’ll tell you about dinner next time. Wish we can share a meal together soon.