After the pandemic hit, our lives moved online with surprising speed. All of a sudden, all those work meetings, gatherings with friends, and other social activities that we used to drive to were taking place in the virtual world, and we had to learn a new word. Or at least, a new meaning for an old word: Zoom.
At first I hated it.
It was glitchy. Our connection sucked. My computer regularly accused me of being “unstable,” and talking to a bunch of friends inside the Brady Bunch grid was just plain weird.
But slowly over the course of the last twelve months, the technology has improved. It feels natural now, and I hardly notice the technology at all.
There are still regular freezes, but I have gotten used to staring at my friends through a computer screen, as if they lived on Mars.
Or maybe I’m the Martian.
I even had fun with it, taking to counting the pineapples on Steve Schmidt’s kitchen counter on MSNBC as he inveighed against 45’s administration.
And who among us hasn’t tried to read the book titles on the shelf in someone’s background to get a better sense of who they are?
Now, the vaccines are here. My husband Mark got his first shot yesterday, and mine is coming as soon as the end of this week. In short order, we may be able to go out among people again and start living our lives.
But the last twelve months has left a mark.
Yes, I am ready to be in the world again.These four walls have gotten closer and cloer over the last few months. But am I really ready? Or will I carry my fear with me when I re-emerge, butterfly-like, to see the world?
And yes, I am aware that I’d be one big-ass butterfly.
So for now, I wait, and dream of pride celebrations and dinners with friends and frappucinos. Of plays in crowded theaters and grocery store shopping and travel to far-off lands.
Of readings at the Lavender Library.
I dream of a normal that was, and wonder if it will ever be like that again.
And I wonder. Am I ready to let go of Zoom and reach for the world?
Only time will tell.