Super Bloom by Annie K. Blake
In a very sexy attempt to keep our promised date nights going hot, Christopher and I planned a Friday night date-in (oh gawd, so corny) last weekend. We grabbed the new Emma from the ether, some food, some drink and some other stuff you don't need to know about (mind your own business reader!) and headed upstairs to our bedroom where we locked the door with an anticipated gusto.
Before we got the heat on, we joined up with some friends via Zoom. It is all the rage these days. If you're reading this now, it might seem banal to mention, afterall everyone is doing it! But in the future, scientists are going to want to know what means people used to stay sane under such duress, and they'll find this lowly blog and have a piece to the puzzle. Zoom, Dear Scientists, that's your answer, we met up on Zoom.
At the appointed hour we took our usual group text to the next stage and met up on laptops two-by-two to make four couples in total. Well, almost. One couple was choosing to social distance in other rooms because one of the partner was sick and that's how romance goes these days (take note again, Scientists.)
What I didn't expect from this meet up though was how emotional it felt to see my friends' faces as they appeared on the screen. Is it me or do I have the most beautiful friends? Even at the end of the world, weary and covered with stress, showing up in pajamas, some still wrangling children, some in utter zen from meditative practice, they were all lovely. I mean, it hadn't been a week since I saw them last, but still.
Dear Scientists, time is very weird here in this quarantine. We call it, quarantime. Quarantime means the clock is meaningless and time is more like a feeling. It's only been five days since I saw my friends but it feels like five months, therefore, five quarantime days means five months. See the math? And even though I am a classic introvert and shine during times like this, I am afraid that when I see them again and our flesh is allowed to touch, I will get them all pregnant with my abundance of excitement.
But the Zoom meet up...well it went on into the evening. We talked about everything in ways we never really couldn't before because we never had hours to sit in front of our latptops with nothing to do but talk to each other. Our experiences were really incredible--laying off a work force, recovering from strep in the middle of pandemic, helping teenagers in social isolation, etc. Then we started telling stories we hadn't told each other before which definitely hit an apex with story about one person skiing with a porn star topless when he was a teenager. I mean, that's not bad date night material am I right?
We went so long that a couple of us fell asleep on camera. Some of us didn't have shirts on in the end. And a few of us were left wondering who was going to last the longest. It was like we didn't dare say goodbye because what would tomorrow bring? More aftershocks? More pandemic? More weird religious trauma? In quarantime, the Zoom meet up was one thousand years. Battles were fought and won, babies were born, children grew, women went dry, men's beards turned white and crispy.
(We didn't get to Emma, suffices to say.)
There was nothing left to do but say good bye and promise we'd meet again--same time, same place, some time in the next quarantime century.
And only the future Scientists reading today will know what all of this meant for humanity--the social distancing, the upstairs date nights, the Zoom meet ups, the grandparents smiling back at Facetime sending their love from up the street or hundreds of miles away--because we sure don't.
We're just doing our best to Zoom where we're planted.
(Sorry, I had to do it.)