Sunday, January 31, 2021

Friday afternoon traffic


I drive to the city, walk on the beach with my mom at mid-day. The sand has been packed down by the recent rains. Get stuck in a bit of traffic coming back, eat carrot sticks from a jar clamped between my thighs, sing along to "High by the Beach." Marvel at the billboards for cocktails, spirits, B2B tech nonsense, a movie that was supposed to come out in March of last year and still hasn't been released. Marvel at the city streets, parks, and apartment buildings that suddenly look different now that I could feasibly live there if I wanted. It's always been a strange thing, being from a city I couldn't afford to live in myself, and now finally, at my 31-year-old income bracket, partnered, and with rents crashing, that's maybe not the case.

When I land back in the East Bay, I hunt down a very well-hyped, expensive apple that I have sold but not yet laid eyes on, buy two of them back from the little grocery I sold them to. As I promised my girlfriend, I go in two masks deep, face shield and all. It's over ten months that I've been working primarily or entirely remote now. Tasting our fruits is one of the things I miss.

Proper outings are such a rarity now that it's all refreshing in a way (save for those walkers who are unmasked). Even traffic has become semi-interesting, now that I spend my afternoons - and evenings and nights and mornings... - stuck at home rather than stuck in a car on my way home. Safe in a car with a good long playlist, what's to complain about?