Walking with puppy Shadow this morning, next to a busy two-way street where a fairly old man sat, in the shoulder lane, on the seat of his walker, looking down at his iphone, mask down on his neck.
Of course I was without a mask on our walk. In fact, the ONLY time I wear one is when it’s “required” (according to city and state mandates), inside a store. And what happened there, yesterday, is instructive . . . but first, back to the oldish man.
I looked down at him, yelled, “Hi there!” He looked up at me, surprised. “Oh hello! Then, as if assessing the situation, he added, “Are you staying SAFE?”
“You bet!” I trilled, and sauntered on down the sidewalk.
Hmmm. Old man sitting on shoulder of busy street, not paying attention to the traffic, asking ME if I’m staying safe?
Okay, yesterday, I needed to go to our local co-op, Bloomingfoods, to replace a few spices for my daily four or five mugs of fabulous (anti-viral!) Ann’s Chai Elixir.
No longer fearful of any response, somehow the poison ivy on face, and my awareness that I had sabotaged myself by giving it to myself on my face, had cleared all residual hesitancy.
But as usual, of course, I didn’t put the mask on until just inside the store’s doors.
Did that. Okay. Here goes!
Started walking around with a basket. Here’s what I noticed (and remember, I live in an intensely fear-ridden academic town): whenever anybody there actually looked at my mask (and it’s hard not to see), they instantly either gave me a wide berth or turned and went in the other direction. Hey hey!
Until, that is, I got to the check out line. The young woman who was checking me out seemed to be both enjoying my mask and pretending not to notice. But: the checker one aisle over, always known for his friendly attitude anyway, called out, loudly, “Hey, Trump and JFK Jr. are running together?” (completely bypassing the usual attitude that JFK Jr. is, of course, dead), “Well, we’ll see!” I replied, merrily. “COOL! Are you going to vote for them?”
So that was it. My first venture out in my new mask.