I don’t know how long it’s been. It could be 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days. Even 3 years. 

My professor said he was going to put us into breakout rooms and the next thing I knew, I was in this void. It’s just me and the little boxes going in a circle, saying it may take a few moments. But it’s been more than a few moments. Much, much more.

What did I do to deserve to be put here? Was I participating in the class discussion too much? Did my professor not appreciate my insightful comments? Did my background of the office from “The Office” distract other students from the lecture?

The little boxes have started to gain meaning. I notice a pattern. They’re trying to communicate with me.

I could just leave the meeting, give up, force quit Zoom. But the boxes tell me I’ll just be put back in this purgatory. I’m meant to be here. I’m supposed to be here, to regain something. Prove that I deserve to be in the breakout room.

I’m being given a task, like that movie where Kirstie Alley dies and has to be the Tooth Fairy. Maybe this is my second chance to live better. Be nicer to my mom, care about recycling, stop eating red meat, tutor children, stop fucking my best friend’s boyfriend, pick up litter. This is my chance to start over. Be a better me. 

“I’m ready,” I exclaim. “I’m ready to be a good person! I’ll make it to the breakout room next time! I’ll do whatever it takes!”

“Who are you talking to?”

What? Who said that?

I click on the Zoom icon and the breakroom pops up. They tell me I was frozen. I’ve been there the whole time.

I wasn’t in purgatory. My WiFi sucks.

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