#FreeWriteFriday 11/20/20

3 min readDec 7, 2020


inspired by Garrett Richie’s 2013–2014 freewrites… this is a 10 minute stream-of-consciousness ramble, written from 11:50pm to Saturday. It has been very lightly edited for typos & awkward phrasing, but not content.

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It’s been a long week. I traveled back from Dallas, wearing a mask and a face shield. There were only a few people on the plane or in the airport taking similar precautions, but I’m not going to be the one to give people in my life COVID.

I quarantined for a few days, then got tested at CityMD. It’s easy to complain that I was in line for 2.5 hours in the cold to get a test, but beggars can’t be choosers! I still don’t have health insurance, and the test was free.

I started a second job this week. It was nice! I felt really energized working on the project, and it sounds like there’s more opportunity to come, hopefully health insurance, too!

When I was in line for the COVID test for what felt like a bullshit policy that hasn’t been enforced, although it’s naive to get frustrated at NY State’s COVID regulations when they’re the only people in the country accurately diagnosing the problem, there was a dude without a mask behind me. You know I was pissed.

It’s one thing to not wear a mask in Texas. It’s different in New York. And not just New York, but New York City, Harlem, and IN LINE FOR A COVID TEST!

He was with who I assumed were his wife and daughter, both of whom were wearing masks. It sure seems like a grand slam easy thing to do — wearing a mask during an airborne pandemic — and yet… it’s always the same type of person not masking. Either a group of dudes, or a dude not wearing a mask while his female significant other does. Poor women.

Poor men, too! Their concept of manhood is embarrassing and outdated, and group dynamics and peer pressure seem to make it much worse.

He and his daughter were taking turns hanging out in a nearby car, presumably to escape the 35 degree weather that literally hundreds of us — many probably sick — were in for multiple hours… to get a coronavirus test during a second wave that we all knew was coming! But, again, beggars can’t be choosers, I know.

Anyway — he was unmasked for about an hour behind me, and I said nothing. I’m tired of yelling at people, they’re tired of being yelled at, and by now people have made up their minds. But you would think if you’re in line for a FUCKING COVID TEST, you would wear a mask.

Anyway, at one point I turned around and noticed he was about two feet away from me. I snapped. His wife and daughter weren’t around, so I wasn’t, like, embarrassing him in front of his family. Not that he wasn’t already doing that to himself. And you would think if he was so cold that he was hiding in a car to stay warm that he wasn’t concerned about looking manly or whatever, and he would want a cloth covering on his face!

Well, I simply said, “Hey if you’re not going to wear a mask, could you at least keep 6 feet away?” You know, way too polite for dealing with the only person in a line of 200 people who didn’t seem to get the memo.

And he said, “Come on, man, we’re outside.” Fair, but I responded, “We’re in line for COVID tests. And being outside without masks was safer when it was warmer. It travels further in the cold.”

Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s true, but I read it somewhere… and so far my sources have kept me safe. Plus, better safe than sorry?

Anyway, he responded, “Just worry about yourself dude”

And I said, “I am! That’s why I want you to wear a mask!”

He responded, “Shut the fuck up dude”

And I said “you’re the only person not wearing a mask”

“Shut the fuck up dude”

And I did! Silence speaks volume sometimes.