As your older, less witty relatives might say, I'm as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I get an injection of lubricating gel in my knee in a bit. Of course I'm nervous about it being painful, but I'm more worried about its effectiveness. Will it work? Will I walk again? My knee hurts so badly, I have my doubts, but. . . I'm trying to hold onto a glimmer of hope. As your younger, less clever relatives might say,
. . . or. . .
"It is what it is, yo."
The Covid Years have generated some alarming after effects, I'm finding. Like many, I isolated, but in retrospect, I don't remember being very lonely. It was a strange, dead span of prophylactic waiting, an extended moment outside the normal temporal flow. In the distance, people waved from the side of the road, sometimes pausing for conversation. There were genuine concerns.
"How are you doing? How is your mom? Do you need anything?"
Groceries delivered. Meals at home.
Now that things have returned to something nearing normal, now that I am out with and among the throng, the hours of seclusion feel lonelier. I can't explain it. But the world I've reentered seems like a science fiction replica. People look and talk like people, but are slightly more animated, their movements a bit exagerated, their reactions somewhat scripted.
It is conceivable that I might have simply romanticized the missing world during the Covid Years.
"Man. . . remember 2019? Wasn't that something? Yea, you kids missed it. You should have been there. Things were so beautiful."
It's possible. Those were the pre-Quasimodo years.
On the other hand, it could be something else.
I read deeper into "The Years" last night. A quarter way through the book, I can prematurely recommend it. The book is a miracle of images, so far, of life before opulence. There are many lines to be copied and repeated. I know it is a translation, and I wish I could read it in French, but it is still quite moving. It is the kind of writing I adore.
I must take some time to calm myself now and face whatever realities I will be dealt. I'm sure it will be fine. Everything always is.