I need experiences with people. Maybe you don’t, but I do. This is why stay-at-home mandates are not good for me.
Following the rules, paying attention, being the good son. I will obey. For now.
We need social contacts. Snuggling up, emotionally, with our commuting counterparts is so vital to an enduring, healthy life. For some inevitable quiet types, this isn’t possible … I understand and respect that space. Others pursue touch, contact, reach-outs, feed-me’s, Google Hangouts, text strings, and coffee mug hugs. I am the latter.
A collector of people. A fun, flexible, flocker of folks. Everything I’ve done in my life spins around the question, “If X is worth doing, the why must be in the gathering of others.” Simple, right? Sure! … Until the anvil of Covid-19 is dropped right in the center of this socially delicious cake and all the sugary people parts projectile out in all directions. Then Mr. Doug Hugs is stuck wiping icing tears from his frown face. This flocker of folks, now, a sad silhouette embracing a new normal.
Am I happy about it? No. I think this is pretty obvious.
Wasn’t really in the mood to write about anything today at all – except when a lady changed my mind, without knowing she did. A walker of walks in a weird wonky way, she was. It upset my emotional apple cart and forced my writer’s hand into action. To be sure, she is happily on her way peeling an onion or tucking a little cherub into bed – I don’t care, none the wiser to her habitual thingy-things at this moment. Her few seconds time interaction with me today was enough to unpeel my onion.
Ya see, she avoided me. Now, before you get all, “What’s the big deal there, Mr. Big Shot Blog Banger…?” on me, it was a sidewalk, passerby sleight. Simple to you – and possibly 99.999% of those considered normal in psychiatric circles – but irritatingly irrational, exceedingly egregious, and somewhat stupefying to me. Defined in my Freudian dictionary, I am currently socially distant from almost everyone who connects me to myself. Unfamiliars and Familiars alike. Today was another Day X and No Closer to Why the following happened:
I was sauntering south, she – in her black knee-length skirt and red sweater vest – heading north. Both of us sharing the sidewalk, kindly so, fifty feet apart. Catching friendly eye-glances of one another (or so I thought), her body language changed as I simply uttered, “Hello.” from a safe distance of what I assumed was at least two parked car lengths. She stuttered in gate, flip-flopped as if I spat-spittered the words, “I HAVE THE BLACK PLAGUE and AM A MUTANT!!”…
Am I over-acting the role? Yes. But, she started it!
She made quick work of her planned pedestrian route, eerr, .. shall I say excellent footwork in the alternate path – around, about, and in between any and all inanimate objects – in the overt attempt to avoid my ogre self. The man who could be infected with the dreaded Coronavirus. The man who should be avoided at the cost of saving the whole of human kind.
OK. That last sentence was a bit uber- dramatae. I get it. My psyche can’t handle a lot of this distancing. I’m not built for it. My X inside my brain doesn’t understand the why. My intelligence side does, though. I can read all the articles, study until the particulars prick their way out of my pores, and all’s well in the happy-smart world. Avoid me on an emotional sidewalk, and I become the sloppy, garbage “pale” mess only a late-night blog street sweeper can begin to clean up.
I ask the question, “why?”. I know why. She was afraid of my infected self. I get that. Not clueless here. To understand meant no blog, right? She did avoid me, which is more to the point. A simple smile and nod while quickly knee-jerking her Carl Lewis-ing, hurdle jumping self over two BMW’s at 60 miles-per-hour would have been a socially acceptable, better tea-sipping thing to do. I didn’t require much. Just acknowledging my insecurity at the time would have sufficed.
So that’s my story for today. Didn’t want to write much. Had to, I guess. Don’t know if today’s encounter had any effect on said red-sweater lady’s life, or not. She probably spent her day zig-zagging around ALL the N95 masked monsters in town.
As for me, I feel a bit better knowing there’s a connection here on my virtual huggy blog. An experience with people. Something I need.
At least on this space, you can’t avoid me. Well, you can, however, that defeats the purpose. If you don’t see the irony in that, I think I’ll need to avoid you for a while. At least until this stay-at-home mandate is lifted. When that happens, I know a sidewalk where we can meet.
Maybe a real nice lady in a black skirt will walk by. Do you want to stick your leg out as she goes by, … or, should I?