Thursday, June 11, 2020


I went downtown yesterday! The first time since mid-March. I haven't been away from downtown for this long since I was in my teens. I was thrilled.

Plus, it was the first time I've been in a car* on the expressway, traveling at a good clip since the pandemic started. I was much like this dog, except I believe I kept my tongue in my mouth.

As the car pulled up, I saw a familiar face -- a homeless gentleman who dotes on his tortoise shell cat. I'd been so worried about them! Between the corona virus, the riots and the excessive rains, life could not have been easy for these two brave souls. I didn't actually see the cat, but am pleased to report he still has her carrier. I don't imagine he'd haul that around with him if she didn't need it to sleep.

I was there for a specific reason. We were each supposed to collect all personal items from our workspace so the entire area can be power cleaned between now and our proposed return day in July. I loaded up my rolling suitcase with shoes, baby clothes (purchased for my niece in California, who had a baby a couple weeks ago), other gifts I purchased in advance, my gym clothes and NAPKINS! I had been hoarding napkins every day after lunch because I'm a spiller and wanted to have them handy to mop up my desk. With paper towels not always plentiful on store shelves, I figured I need them more at home.

After I was done, I stopped by the CVS in the building lobby. I bought a couple of Hallmark cards, a packet of taco seasoning (on sale and perfect for the food pantry bag), and a can of Fancy Feast. I wanted to give it to my homeless friend for his cat. Alas, when I got outside they were gone.

I met my art director for lunch at a restaurant on South Michigan Avenue. It was the first time I socialized -- in person! -- with anyone since Thursday, March 12. The first time I had a professionally mixed drink -- instead of booze I slopped in a glass -- since Thursday, March 12.. The first time I had food served with real silverware and cloth napkins since Thursday, March 12.

I had no idea NORMAL could feel so freaking delightful.

I'm nervous, of course. We live in a crazy world where ridiculous people insist that wearing a mask is "oppression," and all we need is a handful of these silly and self-centered among us for the corona virus to spread. So I'm glad that when our office finally does reopen, it will be at 25% capacity and masks will be required. Only four people will be allowed on each elevator. All this makes me feel a bit more confident.

*I took an Uber because I didn't want to deal with my big rolling suitcase on the el.