The moment he heard that lockdown was to be lifted starting that coming Saturday morning, Spencer called his employer, requesting one of his two annual weeks of vacation for that subsequent week. Many would want to go back to work out of the house right away, but Spencer was clearing his calendar for socializing. He’d had quite enough of solitary extroverted living, thank you very much.
With the vacation approved, he spent the rest of that day all over social media, email, texting, phone calls, filling the nine days from that Saturday through the following Sunday with plans. With friends and family and dates and restaurants and picnics and walks in the park and coffeehouses and basketball games and touch football, touch, for crying out loud, and moviegoing and recreational social shopping even though he hated shopping.
The months of anticipation of the end without knowing when it would come gave way to the days of anticipation of the end knowing when it would come, which in turn gave way to the hours of anticipation between waking far too long before the alarm that morning and the official 8:00 a.m. end to lockdown.
Imagine his surprise, at 7:42 a.m., to find himself thinking for the first time in years about how Alanis Morissette’s song was really just about bummers and not ironies, as Spencer, who had stayed healthy through the emotional suffering of assiduous long-term social distancing, and who had never needed anyone to give him the Heimlich maneuver in all the years he’d lived and eaten alone in his apartment, choked to death on a too eagerly eaten bagel 18 minutes before lockdown ended.