I miss everything.
I miss what people’s whole faces looked like.
I miss accidentally bumping into someone in a mundane location like the grocery store and then saying “sorry” while smiling at them, not fearing that either of us would die because we said a word out loud without protection.
I miss bad breath. The kind coworkers had that we could joke about behind their backs about because we liked them and it didn’t feel malicious. We just hoped they’d brush better or look into gum or mouthwash. Because bad breath wasn’t deadly. It was just objectively bad in the old sense of the word. The “it’s just not for me” kind of way.
I miss coworkers and their idiosyncratic behaviors that felt like home during the day while we sat awkwardly near each other and tried to hide the fact we were shopping online for nice towels and overpriced loungewear.
I miss going into the office I strongly disliked and found hard to park near.
I miss when loungewear was a category, kind of in general. At this point, if you own clothing? It’s loungewear. Shirt? Loungewear. Any form of pant? Loungewear. Jeans? NO, that’s not loungewear, if you’re wearing those at this point we all just assume you’re a sociopathic murderer who wants your legs to suffer.
I miss being afraid of people on Muni and Bart because I worried they might kill me. But with a knife or some other “that’s scary” handheld device. And not because we breathe near each other.
I miss concerts. Good ones, bad ones. I miss seeing people dance and run into each other uncontrollably while they didn’t think about it because music made their body move and made their friends and strangers bodies move uncontrollably around them in turn.
I miss people thinking less, in general. Over, under, you name it. Just…less of whatever qualifier went with it.
I miss being whelmed, too. Just whelmed. Remember being whelmed? That was the best, when whelm didn’t chaotically live in only hyperbolic iterations of itself.
I miss smiles. Crooked ones, bad ones, good ones. I miss variations of things that made people feel unique on first glance.
I miss commercials not letting me know that “we’re all in this together” during “these trying times”.
I miss not having a collection of face masks.
I miss Netflix having legitimately anything I haven’t watched in full.
I miss sneezing uncontrollably and not fearing for the lives of anyone within a five mile radius of me. Look, I covered my mouth before, i’m not a germ anarchist. But sneezing is the most PG form of an orgasm you can have and we used to be able to do it in public. That was nice. I miss not having to say “that was nice” about…sneezing.
I miss meeting strangers that became friends and hugging them.
I miss friends that became strangers and hugging them, too.
I miss parties I didn’t want to go to but ended up grateful that I did after they became one of those “best memories of your life” memories.
I miss touching things and not wondering if they were laced with “you’re gonna die of death.”
I miss going anywhere and not wondering if i’d be able to pee if I had to. Remember public restrooms? Those things were the best. You could just pee if you so happened to have to pee.
I miss the ability to urinate if I have to not being a luxury.
I miss my neuroses being centered around looking up a sore throat on WebMD and laughing when I thought for sure it was specific “it’s definitely little known drew hoolhorst cancer” and not “it’s a fucking mild cold, you big baby, please stop.” That was fun. WebMD letting you know it might be an actual debilitating deadly disease is not fun. (Neuroses used to be fun, is all.)
I miss existential dread being something you could get a hug for. Maybe even a kiss if you are a lucky duck and have someone in your life who will tolerate said existential dread because you’re a good egg and they know it’s just you being you again and they just need to tell you everything’s gonna be ok. Those people’s hugs could do that before, on demand.
I miss hugs not being a black market commodity.
I miss affection, in general, not being a black market commodity. Let’s get crazy and throw in hand holding. That was the best. Also, hands are weird. You ever really look at those things? I mean, there’s a lot going on there.
I miss the fear of missing out on things, when there were actual things we could or could not attend and in turn, feasibly fear missing out on.
I miss cancelling plans at the last second and staying in, indulging in some “me time” that could recharge my batteries.
I miss “me time” not being all the time, literally every second of the day, always.
I miss not personally specializing in the minutiae of a product named “zoom”. There’s gotta be a better name than zoom. Are we really gonna just be okay that it’s called zoom? It needs a better name than zoom.
Minutiae is a really great word, by the way. Go ahead, say it out loud right now. Now look at its spelling. It’s adorable, right? Just LOOK at that word, peacocking around the english language just letting you know how attractive it is. Good for you, minutiae, you ruffle those little feathers of yours.
I miss everything these days.
I miss you. And you. And definitely you, I mean I miss you every second of the day. (But you knew that, “you”.)
I miss hope.
But I sorta feel like it’s making a comeback.
I wonder if I’ll miss missing everything. But I’m excited for the chance to. I just miss possibilities.
And hope is giving possibilities the chance to make a real grand entrance any day now.
I’d like to throw hope and possibility a fully vaccinated surprise party when we can.
And everyone’s invited.
Even you, Karl. Just please fix your breath.
I’m really looking forward to smelling it again, is all.