How have we changed?

Several months since I announced wanting new friends. Now I miss the old ones. I’ve seen a few on my phone and computer, speaking from their homes. I made that early quarantine visit to a few others, and spoke from a distance.

I want to see whether we all look different. Has fear entered our eyes, the way we hold our mouths? Will we rush to hug only to pause three feet from each other and step back, blushing like teenagers?

It’s one thing to see people shopping. None of us really like kibitzing in the soups or cheese aisles, let alone at the liquor store.

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Will we all look the same at the gym when it opens, a bit pastier, a lot more like pudding? Will we dare meet to swim at a public beach?

I haven’t felt quite like this since the times I’d return to school in the fall. Since going to a reunion, attending a funeral. Or, for that matter, a wedding or non-virtual graduation.

We’re emerging anew.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.