this weekend we found an old friend.
we found a bar that has been closed by covid for over a year re-opened.
it was, in defiance of local rules about masks and distancing and curfew, OPEN.
the drinks were good, the music was loud, and the people and bartenders mingled, faces uncovered. they sat at the bar and spoke with one another.
in any other year, this would be a pedestrian thing; a normal thing.
after this year of endless, oppressive restriction and stripped down, faceless interaction it was a revelation.
you have no idea how much you have missed normalcy until you get a taste. not new normal, not half normal, not “i can take my mask off at the table but the waiter still wears his” normal.
humans seeing humans and reading the expressions of one another’s faces with no weird blockers to all our non-verbal communication. no flinchy distancing to humor this epidemiological LARP turned abusive regulatory octopus. just people being people. together.
the comfort of it, the joy in it was jarring. it was like a loud, awful noise you had heard for so long suddenly stopping, like a recovery from a long illness. the colors came back, the smells, the life. it was more profound than i would ever have expected. we have lost far more than most seem to realize.
go and take it back. disobey.
you may be surprised at how glad you are that you did.
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