About three years ago I bought a real cool pair of cowboy boots. More on this later…
So I have been living the COVID-19 dream for about 43 days now (but who counts any more?) I have developed, and some might say adapted to the “New Normal” with a new evolving routine. My contacts are narrowed to 11 people (and actually it’s been more than 14 days now for one of them) and my traveling is no more than an 8 mile radius. When I run out the door it is now; keys, phone…and mask.
I stand six feet from people in lines and instead of walking in my beloved Lincoln Woods (which is currently closed) I walk the empty streets of Providence or the Audubon Reserve still open off Route 44 in Smithfield.
I have completed several “projects” I had been putting off and also managed to watch a ton of movies and binge a series or three.
My only trips are for gas, cash, kid pick up and supermarket, which brings us back to my cowboy boots.
Yesterday while standing on the permanently installed 6 foot distance red tiles with what look like dance instruction foot places, I started up a conversation with two gentlemen who appeared to be coworkers. They were both dressed in trucker or construction worker gear and they were different only in that one was African American and the other a hearty 6 foot something ginger with fiery eyes (because that’s what you notice these days as the masks cover our faces).
I joked and said: “These red squares remind me of dancing instruction charts. Maybe they will install those in clubs when we’re allowed to go to clubs again.”
The black guy chuckled, and looking down saw my boots. “Woah, cool boots man.”
This started a friendly conversation about what we are all collectively going through. And these guys were bright and well aware of the droning voiceover instructions blaring over the store speakers with the faceless voice that reminded them (and me) of all those 1984 like TV dramas and movies about evil government takeovers of freedom.
And we all agreed we understood why it was necessary and that we were willingly cooperating, but still, we agreed there was this uneasy feeling about it all.
We discussed how when someone has fears, like of elevators, you gradually wean them into stages. First just standing watching the doors open and close without going in. Then standing inside and walking out and (eventually) riding it up or down some floors.
We got it. May 8th opening? Yeah that was two weeks ago, we all know that ain’t happening.
But you know, as we shot the shit, I could see the wheels turning inside each one of us. And the realization that this was just the beginning was sobering.
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