They all said I’d have it, that moment of hesitation, not wearing my mask inside. And sitting down at the table at the INSIDE table, and giving my order to the server. The bus person pouring water that they might have just breathed on. Chatting amiably about the menu. No more lip sweat, muffled praise, muffled questions, muffled answers. I used N95’s when I lived in San Rafael during the California wildfires. There was a week every year starting in 2015 or so that I needed the N95 to fetch the mail at the end of the driveway. These cotton doobies wouldn’t help. They did the trick though, never caught COVID. I cajoled myself that this restaurant with the doors open was practically outdoor dining already. We had achieved herd immunity despite those infected with herd mentality. Whether the rabble are carrying pitchforks or flag poles, the effect is the same. Chasing humpbacks to Notre Dame or Congress to the basement, somebody riles them up. In the misty town of Waimea on Hawaii’s Big Island, the anti-vaxxers wave signs and smile. Some are old enough to know better. Some are young enough to know better. Far wrong wingnuts. Nothing right about them.
I shall try not to bear grudges, that’s just extra weight, but still, destructo signs waved by would be Skeletors set me off. Back to a simple meal at an indoor table. Ahhh. Sometimes, with the person with whom I’ve shared the confines of our home and our little town for 14 months, I feel all talked out. We remark upon how the prices have gone up as restauranteurs struggle mightily, even all these months later, to pay their bills. There are still climate deniers, infectious deniers, election deniers in power, one hopes the houses of government will be cleaned of these awful people like they sanitized workplaces. After a year of waiting for rents, housing providers and commercial owners sent a wave of evictions like a filthy tsunami. They would rather their buildings be empty than to negotiate with existing tenants and the homeless encampments occupy chunks of cities with mild weather.
One step at a time, overcoming that moment of hesitation, and saving up the anger for the Opinion Pages. We will be traveling soon, no winter colds to be caught that way, we are all masked up for that, as we should have been all along.