Thursday, March 19, 2020
When will I see you again?
I’m feeling melancholy, like you do when a long winning streak comes to an abrupt end. I’m about to experience what is for me the longest stretch of sobriety since, I think, gee, I was in the 4th grade.
See I don’t drink alone and I don’t drink at home — at least not enough to qualify as real drinkin’.
No, I’m a bar guy. I enjoy being out amidst the bustle of people and the happy babble of carefree voices. I’ve been this way since I got my first convincing fake ID back when I think I was in, gee, the 5th grade.
First fake ID name?
I think a big part of that is I’ve since 1992 “worked” all alone. Just me and the thousand lunatic voices inside my head.
I enjoy all my friends and any opportunity to make new ones. This has happened a good bit over the last two years. People stop by out-of-the-blue to say hello. It happened frequently enough that I had some stock answers as ready replies.
I’d hear the creaky steps outside my door alerting me of a visitor’s approach. There’d be a tentative knock and a nervous stranger would poke his or her head around the door and say, “I hate to disturb you, but …
“Disturb me?” I’d bluster. “You’re too late. Hell, I’ve been disturbed since 1992!”
It was always a reader who’d hoped to say hello, have me sign their book and maybe have a little conversation.
They’d get that and more. I’d drop what I was doing and spend the next hour or so being chummy. They’d get a half-assed tour, some boozy insights and a signed book or two.
What’d I get out of it?
A new friend!
The recollections suggest I’m not cut out for this social distancing.
I still instinctively reach out my hand when I see a familiar face. I feel awkward maintaining the recommended six feet between myself and a fellow conversant. And wiping down my entire surface world is yet to become a habit.
It’s no fun.
I wonder if it’s fun being a COVID-19 germ.
I wish they had a spokesgerm. I have a lot of questions.
Is your goal world domination?
Would you consider discriminating like, say, only infecting New England Patriot fans?
President Trump has declared war on you. Are you open to a negotiated peace? Like will you cease infecting us if we grant you free weekends at Mar-a-Lago?
Now they’re saying we’re looking at an 18-month worst-case scenario where life goes on just like this. No bars. No restaurants. No sporting events. No church. No high school musicals.
Eighteen months? I’m wondering how I’ll make it through the weekend.
On the bright side, I’m glad this befell us in the spring, a time when both flowers and hope bloom.
Imagine if the self-quarantine had happened in November. Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Spring is when Mother Nature puts on her make-up. Fall’s when she climbs into her coffin.
Another potential positive: positives are bound to spike.
Humans are resilient. Smart, too!
Some researcher right now is working on what will become the cure for coronavirus. It might take them 18 months or they might brainstorm it — eureka! — today during lunch.
It could happen.
Or — who knows? — the virus could mutate into something that maybe consumes trash plastic and belches ozone. And wouldn’t that be great?
Our cities would be unveiling germ monuments in parks around the world.
So let’s not rule out some game-changer good happening with surprising swiftness.
And on that day, my social-distancing friends, you and I will shed our full body condoms right along with our fears and we’ll once again kiss, dance and celebrate how happy we are to be human.
I just hope it happens soon ‘cause I miss you.
Heck, I’m already starting to miss myself.