A transformative adventure, inspired by love, expressed unconventionally by the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.
It’s 4:07 AM. I’ve been in the Emergency Room for 9 hours,
long enough to have adopted children and grandchildren! My oldest “new grandson” is named Jessie. By the time I entered my apartment, he went back to being Jessie-the-Lyft-driver, but as long as we were on the road, he and Spotify won my heart over and over again singing “Cruisin’ Together” by Smokey Robinson. My emotions ran their full gamut every time he and Smokey belted out a chorus together. Once we arrived, he held my arm with such care and respect as he guided “his ‘new’ grandma” out of the car and into the lobby of the building.
As for the rest of my new ER family, we’re fully bound. Nothing can forge new bonds like a little spittle to go with your pandemic and an emergency room filled with anonymous little spittlers. Every one of us attempting conversations muffled by masks designed to prohibit communication. No, really, these masks aren’t designed for speech; they’re designed to give false hope to “naked and afraid” contestants—hope that, after swimming across the muddy river filled with crocs, the mask will allow for that one last gasp of air needed to reach the pick-up point!
So, my little spittlers, we are none-the-less a family now, more than ever. We seek each other out regardless of the danger. We try, in the name of our humanity to comprehend the incomprehensible: we’re not trying to kill anyone. It’s just that birds need to fly, fish need to swim, and humans need to love.
We long to touch. We’re only 5.9 feet apart; that’s not even a truly measurable infraction of the antisocial distancing rule, but if I crook my neck just so, just enough to reduce my distance by two more inches, I might, in an intimate way, comprehend an exchange of monumental importance, bearing life-laden information, forcing us all to give up on the idea of ever coming out from behind the mask to, instead, begin the practice of “eye talking. ‘Oh yes!’” It’s now officially a “thing!” It’s amazing just how fast anything can become a “thing.”
Then again, my wonderful new family, there is the unrelenting apparition of loss. The eye fills with tears to describe it, to share it, to try and know it. So far, we’ve had to say farewell to 1,659,646 family members worldwide. I love each of them. I miss even the ones I’ll never know. I love them because we are all bound at the genetic level. I pray to become fluent in that thing, that eye-talking thing so that everyone will know grandma’s love.