Dear America: We Used to be Friends

Ayden Alves 

Dear America,

As 2020 comes to a close I have been reflecting rather intently on how things between us have changed for the worst. I can’t forget that New Year’s night where we just sat there on the porch in the cold winter air, hopeful for the year to come. Oh how wrong I was, so far off from that truth that it’s laughable. We used to be friends. I remember when I had just received my driver’s license, we would drive around for hours as you showed me places I never knew existed. I couldn’t leave your side. I used to meet different people, explore new places, discover more hobbies… And then it happened.

You told me that I couldn’t go to school and it was just like a snow day. You told me that I must always wear a mask and stop seeing my friends. You told me that we were “all in this together” and that I “had to be responsible.” You told me that my whole family could die, that it was just like the flu, that it would never leave, that it would all be over in a couple of weeks…

Two weeks became two more weeks. Two more weeks became two more months. After that, all we could do was hope that our lives would return to normal. Everything shut down. Everyone became isolated. Unemployment skyrocketed and the stock market crashed. My life became a virtual depression filled with Google Classroom, spontaneous Zoom meetings, and an unimaginable amount of procrastination and demotivation, all because of you. I slept nearly sixteen hours a day, every day, and you still never let me see my friends. When I managed to drag myself out of bed I would walk just to see another scene, find another person, live another life… It was never the same. The roads were completely barren, like you had created some malicious zombie apocalypse; In some sense you did. In some sense life would never be the same again. In some sense I forgave you.

From your one and only friend,

Ayden Alves