Photo by Stacy Johnson

The worst part of sheltering in place is the inability to escape old memories. They are time warps waiting in expected places, ready to suck in their next victim. Once inside, plan on staying for a while. You see, inside the warp, there are no ordinary memories. Only the badass ones that dig up the muck that took 20 years to wash off. And even then, their stench lingered in the air occasionally.

Time and place become skewed inside the memory warp, making it difficult to separated what was said to piss you off five years ago from what was said five minutes ago. The challenge does not stop here. It also causes memory loss. The trip to the grocery store was actually two weeks ago, not one. A reality made evident by the empty pantry and single apple in the fruit bowl. What day is it? That’s the biggest weapon in the arsenal. All days are one day. They blend into a long stream of consciousness like a run-on sentence, no subject, no predicate or punctuation, and very little meaning. So don’t be angry when the phone rings at 4:30 AM; the person on the other end is probably stuck in the memory-warp. But beware, they could be calling to say I love or remind you of how awful you were from eight years ago. It could be you stuck in the warp next week — so extend a little compassion.

Even though the memory warp's sole purpose is to confuse and bewilder its victims, there is hope. Remember, time is relative. That means the people who get on your nerves will probably stay home this holiday season.