Heights First-person

Normal and not normal

I feel like I’m slipping around on a slick surface that’s covering over reality. On this surface are many familiar things. I wash the dishes, I do laundry, I read, I cook, I pet the dog. These activities are comfortingly mundane. Emptying the dishwasher and setting the table provide an illusion of normalcy. Everything’s okay right now, right in this moment. 

But then, at any given time, I become conscious merely of my hands: When did I wash them last? What if my hands are infecting the plastic bag holding the apples? Do I wash my hands before I open the bag and touch the apple, or do I wash them after I open the bag and touch the apple, but before I actually eat the apple?

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 11:46 AM, 04.30.2020

What we miss

Collected here is a sampling of the countless moments, large and small, that I, my friends and our children are missing at this time of social distancing:

"You know what I miss? Thursday night baseball at Forest Hills, with four games in the meadow and four more games in the square, and people I know with kids playing all over the park and my own boys on back-to-back fields so I can watch them both at once. Then afterwards, heading to TavCo where we get an outdoor table right away because it's already after 9 and when we walk out onto the patio, my kids in their dusty uniforms and untied cleats, we see three different tables of friends who get up to hug us and pat the boys on the head (or shake their hands because they look sort of like men) and ask how their games went and then drag their chairs over to our table for another drink while we wait for our dinner. That's what I miss."

—Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, Cleveland Heights

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.30.2020