No one spoke for a long, tense moment. The book, dog-eared and missing its Saul-Bass-inspired dust jacket, sat on the coffee table, showing the wear and tear of a book that had been passed from person to person, shoved into bags, read on breaks at work. All three –– Dania and Gwen on the couch, […]
Category / Digital
– PRIDE MONTH 2020 –
The apartment was empty.
None of Gwen’s pots rumbled on the stove, and Dania wasn’t holding any conversation in their living room. The sun shone through the window––in their haste to leave, none of the trio had thought to close the blinds, and keep the sun from discoloring the art on the walls. It was, on this hot summer evening, quiet at home.
The streets were not quiet. Protests across the country had flamed every night for nearly three weeks, met with violent responses from government forces and police squads. Images of burned-out storefronts and activists washing pepper spray from their faces had filled every social media timeline, to a degree never seen before in the modern political age. The last few years had been an impossibly stressful time, the conscience of the country bending to accommodate the strain being put onto it. But, at least to the other protesters who shared the street with Gwen, Eleanor, and Dania––at least to them, the dam had finally burst.
“May the Fourth be with you!” cried Dania, exiting her room. She wore the requisite merch: a distressed tee, bearing the original Tom Jung poster design, and an anachronistically modern pair of C-3PO mouse ears.
Eleanor and Gwen looked on from a distance. Unlike Dania, neither considered themselves to be a particularly passionate fan of the Star Wars franchise. Eleanor had watched them when they were released, but lost interest as the series continued to blend into the larger trend of blockbuster action films.
Working from home had drained Gwen more than she expected. She had always been comfortable on her own, without having a supervisor or manager peering over her shoulder as she worked. Had someone asked her, a month ago, if she’d prefer to work in the comfort of her home, she’d have leapt at the opportunity.
But “comfort” wasn’t what the home felt like to Gwen. Despite making sure she took walks outside regularly (at Eleanor’s urging), their small apartment was feeling more claustrophobic by the hour––to say nothing of Gwen’s preferred kind of social interaction: the collective anonymity provided by the dark blanket of a theatre audience. Now, to Gwen’s distress, both the audiences and the stages of Chicago were shrouded in darkness, and would be for some time.