Two mornings from now, I’ll get my third ever antigen test.


I know how it’ll go because I’ve done it before exactly two weeks ago. I’ll wake at six, finally get out of bed by 6:15 having donned my clothes. I’ll have two cigarettes and one cup of coffee. And then I’ll put on my boots and coat and walk down to the lab where it’ll cost me about $10 to have a technician stick a swab into what feels like my fucking brain.

Twice, actually. Apparently the routine here is to swab both of your nostrils.

And then I’ll wait. There’s a little seating area in the rear where you wait for results, and I will wait there. Probably wringing my hands like last time. 

And then? I don’t know, exactly. It depends. 

If it’s negative, I’ll walk the 10 minutes back to the hotel and get my papers in order. I might have another coffee. But then – likely without breakfast – I’ll grab my things and get a car to the airport, where I’ll board a flight to Poznan, Poland.

From there I’ll get a train – maybe a bus, I’m not picky – to Warsaw where I will spend a single night. That night may very well be sleepless or close to it as I will likely fear missing my 4 am wake up, which is when I should rise in order to catch my flight to Copenhagen just after 8am. 

It’ll be my second time at CPH, and it only takes a couple hours to get there. And if I do, I’ll likely try to find an outlet where I’ll plug in my phone and computer. And then I’ll try my best to get some work done while I wait for my connecting flight. 

And then, Omarion willing, I’ll board the longest flight I’ve taken since I left Johannesburg. A non-stop to O’Hare from Copenhagen is nearly ten hours, and hopefully I’ll be exhausted enough to sleep nearly that whole way. 

And hopefully I’ll check in early enough to get a window seat, because at this point, after the two years of trauma that I’ve accumulated, I’m dying to see the city sprawled out beneath the plane, tucked onto the edge of Lake Michigan like a gridded, brutalist jewel.

And in the meantime, I guess I have to plan for the alternative, meaning: what if, in a cruel twist of Omarion, I still test positive?

Hmm. I mean, I don’t know.

If it were purely up to me, this scenario would find me back in Kyiv. I would refund my flight into a voucher in my Wizz account, buy a visa to Turkey, and wait in the capital until the 26th when I could fly to Istanbul on a flight I buy with Pegasus miles. 

While I don’t know how I’ll feel about that, nor where I’ll stay or how I’ll pay for it, it’s the closest place I’ve had to a home since I left Chicago. And quite frankly, after impending war and Omarion, I’m just not in the mood to be anywhere but home. 

So I guess I’m glad I have more than one.

But my wishes reveal what I think may be happening to me, namely that this may be it. That if I can’t get on this flight, I’m unsure how I’ll recover.


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