Written by Cato Jun
Edited by Rodlyn-Mae Banting
it’s been a year, huh?
i first heard about you back in ’19,
coming from quite a popular place.
with such an infectious presence,
you were one heck of a sensation.
everyone kept asking WHO you were
and you remained a mystery,
a sort of foreign celebrity.
when you came to us in january,
others who met you first all warned me,
saying you will ruin everything:
but i fantasized about that contagious energy,
and you must’ve heard i did too.
you started off with masks as a disguise,
hiding a mysterious yet deadly smile.
you introduced yourself immediately afterwards,
and we officially began our relationship
on the ides of march.
you caught me at my lowest point:
school was a broken record player,
playing the same tune on repeat.
work was an automatic machine,
hiding behind a fake customer service smile.
life was a roller coaster ride,
having ups and downs with no time to relax.
you saw all of that,
and shut all of that down.
i was so happy at first,
to get those two weeks off.
i shouldn’t have encouraged you,
because you made those weeks
into months and months
that now seem like years.
i did not know that it could get lower than my lowest point:
you made school into a hamster wheel,
at least there used to be music.
you made work into a simulation,
at least there used to be real interactions.
you made life into a stationary bumper car,
at least it used to be an amusement park.
this past year of our relationship has also
caused an identity crisis within myself.
your origin messed with many people’s perceptions,
causing them to lash out
at my friends,
at my family,
yellow fevers did not need to become kung flus,
and why blame a global pandemic on wuhan?
if i was not already conscious about the way i look,
i do now.
you were never good to me.
it amazes me that you tagged me along
for the whole year that you did.
this was quite a straining relationship,
and i can’t do this anymore.
i must admit – i have been ’ccining someone else.
we may see each other in the herd in the future,
but for now,
i want to say goodbye.