Strange, how little I miss my commute and how yet how much I miss being on the way.
I miss the line of demarcation, several miles long, between my bedroom and my work life. I miss being on the way, in between. The transitional moments where you don’t have to be anywhere. I miss getting lattes on the way to activities, and dinner on the way to a show. I miss the feeling of the city sliding away under my feet as I head home.
I miss airports and train stations. I miss airplane mode.
The pandemic has been all the worst parts of the in between places and none of the movement, like being stuck on the tarmac for hours after your plane has landed. When we can finally disembark, will I be the same small stuck person I feel like today?
I think not. I think it will be slow, will start with one excursion with family and friends and turn into two, become the slow multiplication of a person’s first exponents. I admire the people ready to fling themselves on the world at a moment’s notice, but I’ll probably step quietly out my front door. I will find myself at one in person dinner and then another. Someday soon I expect to feel more eager for a drink at an outdoor bar than I am overwhelmed by the logistics of finding one.
If I were an exposed nerve before the pandemic, prickly and easy to hurt, I have become accustomed to the lack of stimulation. I might have been soothed, or I might be unmoored. A callous might be useful here. I miss the world but I do not miss being confused by it. And I do not miss the distraction, and all the many places to hide from myself. There’s been nowhere to hide for quite some time now.
I want to go out, to knock up against other people again, to find the bounds of myself. I don’t know if I’m ready, but soon. Slowly. Slowly.