Sunday was a sun day, the warmest we’ve had in a while. After buying cat litter in the morning and enjoying the taste of the warmth in my too heavy coat, my face getting even hotter with the cotton mask I had made for myself.
Once I got home I walked around my block, which only takes fifteen minutes. I changed into a lighter jacket, my Ravenclaw one from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, put on my mask and walked. I had to cross the street a few times, back and forth to maintain six-feet apart, the new normal when walking. One couple apologized to me after they saw me move only to move to the side I had moved on. It wasn’t a big deal; it’s hard to predict walking patterns now.
I could hear a house three down from mine that was blasting music filled with people who generally ignore the social distancing rules. They drink in their garage and talk loudly. When they aren’t doing that they usually keep a cat on a leash in the front yard. I usually start my walks on that side hoping to get a glimpse of the cat.
After my walk I knew I’d walk again later in the afternoon, once I finished some of the things I planned on doing. It’s a loose idea; I kept a check-list for a while and should probably start again. I get so lazy in the afternoons, I’ll lie on my bed and listen to a podcast and then doze off. I should write a schedule for myself, but my bed’s so comfy.
I did end up being somewhat productive though. I finished Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice with all the windows open in the house, letting the fresh air in and breathing in the fresh spring air. Later in the afternoon my dad, sister, and I went on a walk in an area with expensive houses. The houses are by the highway so the price may be a bit cheaper because of the noise, but the size of them are houses I dream of living in. Big windows with long dirt driveways and decorative gates, a row of trees on the pathway. It’s like something from a novel.
I wore a dress I’d bought when the malls were open, one I’d worn a handful of times in the winter layered with a turtleneck. Now I could wear it as just a spring dress and I loved how it kept me cool in the heat. While we were walking I felt like a plant, all green and growing in the warmth of the sun. I wanted to out my arms and closing my eyes to the sky and letting myself soak it all up. Later in the evening when I looked in the bathroom mirror I saw my arms and chest were red, an hour in the sun and I’d already gotten a sunburn.
I didn’t wear my mask on the second walk. I wanted to breathe in the air deeply without having to worry about my nostrils sucking up the purple cotton of my mask. I didn’t want my face to be covered and hot, my voice to be more quiet than it already is. I just wanted to enjoy the weather, enjoy something that felt normal.
Which wasn’t right. It was hypocritical of me, as someone who gets so angry at the lack of responsibility of so many people during this time. Like how I convinced myself not to wear my mask because of the nice weather, how so many people will convince themselves to go outside, to visit friends and family, to return to normal when we aren’t normal yet. It just looks normal, it looks like what we’re hoping and waiting for. The grass is always greener on the other side, that doesn’t make it safer.
We still need to be careful. Things are not normal yet, and we all need to remember that, no matter how bright the sun is and how warm it makes us.