Corona go, go Corona (Short story)
I have never liked the notion of living together with my family for more than a day. Yes I, Rimjhim Gupta, 18yo, Daughter of great lawyer Mr. Dileep Gupta, hates family gathering. Dinner table becomes warzone, vacations become divorce boot camp and Sunday becomes free drama night. I love to bicker with my father, I sometimes do it for fun and sometimes because I like it. He would get frustrated trying to argue with me, and I get happy because that’s the only way I’ve seen my parents express their “love”.
This is Day 4 of isolation for Covid-19. French people say, “a hungry clown is half-mad”. I am hungry as usual, mad as usual and I see my father smashing his keyboard, as usual. I’m braiding my long hair. I haven’t met anyone in the last four days. This is so frustrating, knowing that people out there don’t give one shit about isolation. They’re partying, having fun like they’re supposed to! It’s vacation time, and yet my father, the desolate dictator, doesn’t let me go out.
“Dad, can we go out today?” I say, standing at his home office door.
“Don’t be stupid Rimjhim!” my dad starts with a loud tone as usual, “Everything’s closed.”
“Not the roads” I murmur under my breath.
“What did you say!?”
“Nothing Papa” I put my head down in despair. Well, there goes away my freedom!
Blessed with a pretaaayyy face, I have my DMs overflowing with dudes. Some of them are good. They flirt crazy with me. They would reply to my Insta stories with clever remarks, would be beefed up and have a strong Snap game. They are good guys but don’t really talk to me after we hook up twice or thrice. All of my Exs, or two-three timers, were pretty similar. Stoic, loud and a little misogynist, like my father.
But Ajay isn’t the same, he understands me. One day he saw me crying. I thought he’ll make me feel all good and give me some of his “love”, but instead, he took me to a teeny small French café and said, “I don’t know how to make you feel good, food?”, little did he know I love French cuisine.
He often sends me messages like, “Heyyyyy wassuppp!” I don’t understand why he clings to me so much. He’s not the sort of person I usually date, but he should be. I just don’t know why I am never really attracted to him. It’s like I’m indirectly misogynist to myself. Like a hungry clown to myself. He called me at his home for an “isolation party”. I feel like a clown for not wanting to go there. People like me make people like Ajay lose hope.
All talk about clowns reminds me of another one, my mother. She wasn’t a hungry clown, but a good clown indeed. All memories of my mother are she being yelled at. I remember her working full day at home, despite taking care of me and my younger brother. She would make these tasty French dishes, usually found in the trashcan, just one plate. She loved him a lot, they were married for 22 years before they split apart.
Quarantine gives you a lot of time to think about all the pathological misogyny happening around us. All those clowns degrading women like madmen, clowns misunderstanding the female form, clowns hitting their wives. I did not intend to call my father a clown, but he is. I don’t understand why my mother tolerated him for so long. I don’t understand why I succumb to his will. I don’t understand how people of this world can tolerate these hungry clowns. I am 18 years old, I can drive, decide what I want to do and decide to not be a clown anymore!
“Give me the keys psycho! I’m going to meet Ajay”
Words came out of my mouth, I honestly did not intend that! What is happening Rimmi! Calm the fuck down!
“Did you just…” He frantically stands up from his chair. He dropped his spoon, eating french delicacy he made himself, Coq au vin.
My heart pumps a gallon per second. “What did you say!” he says with a very loud tone. Fear struck down my body.
“I said…. I was joking dad” I smirk sheepishly as his temper seems to have no bound. In my defense, I never know what he likes and what he doesn’t. I hardly ever meet him with his “busy schedule”. I have the car all by myself. But thanks to Corona, now I can’t because he has all the keys.
“What did I say about jokes!?”
“umm… That they’re funny?” I said with a smirk, with the hope that it would crack him down.
“No! ... Jokes are for clowns” He screams, breathing heavily. My eyes close, hands upon my face, pure reflex. No need to clap, I have a good practice that’s all. The practice of being acrobatic and being a clown, both. But today I decide not to be one. I rest my arms on my side. I fill my lungs with a gallon of courage and say,
“Dad, were you a clown for mom?” I expect a teeny tiny slap. Well, clowns don’t like to be called a clown, I know.
I saw his face lose all colour as his breath cools down. He looks at my shocked face, which was expecting a slap, but for the first time not as a clown.
“Why did you call me a clown, Rimmi?”
“Because … because you made my mother, a joke” I saw an opportunity and I took it. Life can’t get worse, I think.
He goes back to his seat, looks at his lunch. Maybe this French dish was also going down the bin. He looks up, and with a smirk on his face, he takes out something from the drawer. My face lights up, is this really happening?! Or is he just going to give me the silent treatment? Please say something dad.
He looks at me with calm eyes, “I’m sorry”
And with sanitizer in his hand says, “I don’t think we should go out Rimmi, it’s not safe for anyone.”
Normally I would’ve cursed him in my mind, but I had a strange warm feeling tonight. Looking at my dejected face, he points to the sanitizer bottle and says, “Would you like your mother’s favourite Coq au vin?”
For the first time in my life, I did not feel like a hungry clown.
Life's great. :)
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