Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

She was wearing a gas mask and had on a full snowsuit complete with toque, mittens and snow boots even though it was a lovely Fall day and I was in shirt sleeves.  This happened just after the announcement that Covid 19 had struck our city.  As we pushed our carts in the early opening hours of Costco, people steered their white knuckled bascart handles far away from each other–I felt like I was in another time period.

And, like so many others, I got my walking papers at work, subsequently applying for more than 400 jobs with no success.  Not only was there a job loss to deal with, but my partner and I broke up, my biological family disowned me, I was saddled with previous tenant utility bills that took half my Covid money for three months in a row, and I had to live like a hermit with no visitors whatsoever.  Well, ever the optimist, I decided to go back to my happy youth and used psilocybin mushrooms like I had at 15 years of age.   

This drug use was a mistake, but I needed to laugh so very badly that I think I would do it again, under the same circumstances. Since I couldn’t visit with anyone, I took up the soothing practice of writing.  I’ve given up the mushroom use now, and have put my life in order.

The first Covid Christmas I called up my former partner:

“Hey, Scott, are you doing anything for Christmas?”

“What can I do? I can’t have visitors and I can’t go to my kid’s houses,” he said.

“Well, we could bend the rules a little and say we’re significant others and enjoy a meal and a little cheer together.  How about it?” I said.

Then there was the box of seeds that cost  $800.   This massive purchase was made out of fear of skyrocketing food prices and a need for all my children to grow their own food.  One child didn’t see the value in the gift and chose not to take any until in the following Spring.  The instance that hurt the most, however, was the loving child who was so afraid of Covid 19 that she knocked on the door and then ran back to the gate with her husband and children in order to wish me Merry Christmas and give me a gift, but not expose her family to the lethal virus.  I remember putting the box of seeds out on the doorstep and shutting the door so they could take the container to a comfortable distance away and go through it.  I stood with a frozen smile on my face.

There were some good things, though. I had a great time matching up tops and pants and artistically arranging them for pictures of the trendy outfits to resell and also found I could refurbish old furniture very well. There were many enjoyable hours spent in these endeavors to earn extra income. Did you know that if you slap paint on a varnished piece of furniture without first sanding it and then attempt to wipe it off, it makes the piece look antiqued? I still have the first piece of furniture I did this way.  Music also became a solace for me and in an effort to bring joy into my quiet house I started to dance alone.  

The traffic on my residential street increased fifty-fold after I started dancing with the lights on and the curtains open. Sometimes, I admit, I danced for the public, other times I just danced to bring joy to myself.  It was a strange time, alright.  I’m happy the restrictions are pretty much over, and we can all get back to sharing our lives with others.  May we always cherish each other’s company.

(Photo credited to Daniel Lincoln of Unsplash)

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