How many of you are taking comfort with fish/bird/animal/reptile companions? Signing up for workshops and webinars that you don't take even when you get the reminder email? Pretending that online shopping is like belonging to a social club?
I am busy. I'm pretty good at keeping myself busy. There's writing, there's reading, there are bags of wool to knit, there are ever more complicated meals to cook. One day I might even learn how to use the vacuum cleaner.
What I'm missing is the lovely, irritating, noisy, hateful, endearing throng of humanity in all its variety. Some days I miss it so badly that I'm in danger of doing something illicit like accost a stranger to rub noses.
I see people when I get out to walk. But always at a distance. I'm lucky that I don't live alone. I have darling R. Even after almost 40 years together, we have things to talk about. He gives the best back rubs.
But there are still times when I long for a different face--human and in RealTime--even one with a mask on.
Then I book in for a shift at my grocery co-op. Because people need to eat, right? And our grocery will only stay open if we work. I can cut cheese… one-year-old Cheddar, two-year-old Cheddar, lactose-free Emmental, Swiss Gruyère. I can bag arugula, spinach, green beans, bok choy. Today I fetched more heads of cauliflower from the cold storage than seems possible in a three-hour shift. There must have been a recipe for cauliflower in the newspaper.
Although I work in the kitchen area, I can hear people shopping. There are only three adults at a time allowed in the store, but even only three adults who are social distancing can make for bustle and chatter.
I was bagging raisins from a large box, listening to people drop crinkly packages of pasta in their cart, open and close a fridge door, bump their wheels against a shelf. I wasn't even aware that I was reading the box until the words jumped at me. Xray scanned? Laser sorted? Metal detected?
For... raisins? What was Customs expecting in that box?
Je ne comprends pas.