normal is up for grabs.
in the middle of my meltdown yesterday, i’m sure i uttered, “i just want normal.”
but normal is subjective now.
there is a deep schism between the normal of the of-course-i’ll-wear-a-mask-maskers and the it’s-against-my-constitutional-rights-to-make-me-wear-a-mask-non-maskers. a deep schism between the sides of the aisle. a deep schism over this global pandemic, the economy, healthcare, equality, blatant racism. a deep schism over confederate monuments. a deep schism over basic respect. a deep schism over truth.
a chasm of difference. it makes me wonder what, if anything, can bridge it, what can create a common story, what can make us a populace that cares about each other?
scrolling through facebook is depressing. there are people ‘out there’ in our pandemic-riddled country doing normal stuff: eating at restaurants, having drinks at bars, gathering with friends, going on trips, boating, fishing, at the beach or the pool, all without masks and without social distancing and without, seemingly, a care in the world.
driving downtown is depressing. there are people ‘out there’ in our pandemic-riddled country just-down-the-road doing normal stuff: eating inside and outside at captain mike’s, gathering at eichelmann beach, hanging out at the lakefront, all without masks and without social distancing and without, seemingly, a care in the world.
trying to plan anything is depressing. we need to go to see david’s parents. i desperately need to see My Girl and My Boy. there are so many details to keep each other safe. there’s nothing normal. it’s freaking confusing. we plot the trip west, a roadtrip, thinking about 19 hours across the middle of the country, thinking about arriving at my at-risk-in-laws’ house, having not picked up any additional possibility of passing covid-19 to them. where do we stop safely? where do we get gas? where do we use restrooms? how can we be sure they will not be recipients of anything we bring along? we care.
and yet, there is the rest of the country – the ones screaming at city hall meetings, the ones seeking judgement against requiring masks-for-safety, the ones who throw pointed word-daggers arguing against the danger of this pandemic, the ones arguing for other causes of death, the ones voting out all precautions for the state of wisconsin, the ones who stand in front of the entire country and arrogantly (and without a grain of truth) state, “we’ve flattened the curve!” how is it that the leadership of this country gets away with this? no wonder half of the country wears no mask, states and does whatever they damn well please. WHAT pandemic?
it’s depressing. missing the moments that make up life – chances to easily be with family, friends. chances to have a bite out without worrying about aerosols. chances to sing with others, to sing for others. chances to go to concerts and plays. chances to gather around a kitchen table or the island at your best friends’. chances to stop and hug your decades-long neighbor. chances to hold your grown-up children and kiss them and make them roll their eyes. happy hour with friends crowded onto a deck. parties in the backyard. normal stuff.
it was on a marquee outside a store, “a little normal would be nice.”
i couldn’t agree more.
i told tom i had a really hard day yesterday. he said, “you have to grieve.”