My memory used to travel down seasonal paths.
What’s that? What restaurant? Oh, yeah! When were we last there? I remember it was cold, but no snow. Was it November? I remember wearing the “winter white” coat, the one with the fabulous collar. And Diana wore flats with no socks? How does she stay warm? Oooh, and do you remember the restaurant on the lake? Peg was there. She wore a one-piece pantsuit she came to regret around the end of her second drink.
People. I remember hanging out with people, sometimes in large groups. We sat next to each other, broadly grinning into each other’s faces. Sometimes we hugged or sang karaoke.
Now? The sun rises, falls. Little changes but maybe my shirt. When did I last wear a pair of pants with a zipper? Was it yesterday? Was it last week? Does it matter?
Is there anyone keeping score?
Pearl, to borrow a phrase, has become unstuck in time.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I hear people. Sometimes I even see people. Almost five months into a work-from-home situation that I would’ve thought far more pleasurable than it actually is, there are people on Zoom.
There are people just over that fence. People on TV. People upstairs.
But are they present? Nay, my friend. Pearl – who now refers to herself in the third person, occasionally with what she imagines to be a 19th century English accent – can go days without a mask-to-mask conversation. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the mask I’ve adhered to the wall, the one I call “Wilson”.
Wilson and I are tight.
It’s like he can read my mind.
Perhaps things will be better in the fall. I’ll find that coat, maybe get a mask to match. Wilson and I will go out, split an order of fries. Maybe share a straw.
It will be magical.