COVID Times: When Every Shitty Medium Essay Could be Your Last

Gabriel Nathan
14 min readJan 2, 2022
Could THIS shitty essay be this dumbass’s last shitty essay?! (Photographer credit: Gabe’s phone & couch cushion.)

Goddamn, man. That’s pressure.

While I am double-vaxxed and boosted, I do realize that COVID could come for me, wrapping itself endearingly around my pleurally-sensitive, asthmatic lungs and refusing to let go until I expire amidst a sea of tubes and beeps that drive ICU nurses crazy night and day. My alveoli could do their last rapid-gas-exchange thing and no more will I do any of the meaningful things that I do in the course of a day. Like make tea. I make a nice cup of tea. I was recently gifted a tea strainer that, initially, I didn’t know how to use. T’would be a pity if COVID were to cup my buttocks and escort me off into the Netherworld so recently after I’ve learned how to make strained tea.

T’would it not?

Omicron is horny for buttockses to clasp onto and grip and squeeze and bring with it. I know it mostly wants elderly and/or unvaccinated buttocks, for they are the low-hanging meat, but I am guarding mine from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Speaking of which, the guy across the street from me has a Let’s Go, Brandon sign on his front lawn.

That may have seemed tangential, but it’s not. It actually speaks to what this essay is about. See, none of us know when we’re going to go, right? Well, except those of us planning our own demise. As a suicide awareness advocate, I want to emphatically state that that’s not what I’m doing here; that would be pretty off-brand for me. This is an essay where, in case something happens to me, you know, like the ‘vid cupping mah bott, I want some things down on the record, some things that have been on my mind. Last night, I read Death of the Actor by Kyle Secor, whose performance as Tim Bayliss on “Homicide: Life on the Street” (the, apparently, more forgettable precursor to the more wildly successful “The Wire”) I much admired as a young, burgeoning actor. I found the book to be almost psychotically unreadable and self-serving (Kyle would, I think, enjoy this review) but I was thinking after I finished it, if that were Kyle Secor’s last recorded thoughts on acting and life and the impossibility of the existence of the actor or the self, how would Kyle feel about that?

I think he’d feel pretty great about it, actually. In fact, at one point in the book, he suggests that…

Gabriel Nathan

Gabe is Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, a mental health publication. He drives an old VW year round and wears corduroy trousers in the summer.