Sun: So beautiful, so hot, so there. You always brightened my day, like a SAD lamp from God.
Sky: It’s big and blue; now so am I because I binge eat and get bruises.
Grass: It was always so nice; unless I rubbed it the wrong way!! HAHAHA these are the jokes we used to make.
Uphill: I miss the slopes; everything is flat in here. Now the only hills I climb up are the long metaphorical ones towards reestablishing a sense of normalcy.
Downhill: Before Uber, there was just a downward-sloping hill and gravity. Now there’s just my apartment.
Coffee shops: “Ugh, I know it’s overpriced, but it’s my guilty pleasure!” is now what I say when I buy healthcare.
Gift shops: My entire social circle went to nowhere and all I got was nothing!!
Revolving doors: Glass people pouches, the human windmill. The original social distancing; we were too busy to heed its warning, and now we pay the price.
Braille: I’ve never used it, but it’s nice to know it’s there. Popping out from the page, as if to say “Hey! If you’re ever blind, you know where to find me!”
Tiled floors/rolling suitcases: clickedy clickedy clickedy clickedy clickedy
Crosswalks: Those times when you’re the first one to jaywalk, then a couple people follow your lead, as if to say, “Hey, stranger. My life is in your hands.” Then when you guys reach the other side, you can side-eye the suckers still waiting!! “Fortune favors the bold,” you whisper, then march on towards your destiny.
The Crossing Sign Man: “Fred” is what I always called you. Never got the chance to tell you that; don’t know if I ever will.
Amtrak: It wasn't “good,” per se, but it wasn’t bad either. Once, in the café car, I farted in front of a group of Mennonites who mocked me in their native tongue. Miss ya, Amtrak; we’ll always have Chattanooga.
Carabiner people: That wave of relief, upon hearing the metallic jangle of utilitarianism. They were always there to lend a key, stage manage a live theatrical production, or climb a rock. Their carabiners were accessories, sure, but they were also a way to tell the world: “I probably also have a Nalgene bottle.”
H&R Block: What did you do in an H&R Block? Your guess is as good as mine, unless you know. But I can tell you this: drive through the commercial district of any mid- to large-sized American city and you’d find one. And when it was open, you could go inside and exchange money for goods or services rendered. And I miss that.
Hare Krishnas: Like human traffic cones, they warned the world: something weird is going on here! I used to scoff at their antics, but now that I’ve been trapped in a matchbox for 14 days, I understand.
Combat boots: They did their best to prepare us for battle; alas, the war would be fought in footie pajamas.
Thank you, outside, for everything. Until we meet again, xoxo—but not really 'cause those are dangerous now.
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