I stepped out of my car at the parking lot of the grocery store. A quick Wednesday run, not the big haul. Of course, I reached for my mask before physically getting out of the vehicle.
I shut the car door and that somehow cued the music to the soundtrack for the Pandemic. All around me were people headed in or out of the store in masks, clothe or paper, plain or designer. I was used to this now. We all are. This is our life now, the norm, the routine. Bring your mask wherever you go. I put mine on and looked around to locate the source of the music. Who was providing the soundtrack to the Pandemic? It had instantly put me at ease. Then, I saw that a man had set up on the far side of the entrance from where I had parked. He was playing a violin hooked up to an amp. I was soothed, taken away from the normal existence in this Pandemic and placed as an extra in a movie. The violin was powerful enough to cover all the parking lot and strong enough for us all to hear it. For me, the music contained and captured all of us.
Yes, I was in the soundtrack for a movie about the Pandemic. I was grateful for the parking lot violinist and dropped a couple dollars in his case on the way in to the store. Through his music, he had taken me out of the Pandemic by putting me into a movie about it.
The violinist was gone by the time I had finished my quick shop. I wasn’t surprised because his violin case was nearly full of bills when my singles fell onto the pile. My fellow extras in the movie were appreciative as I was.
I began to wonder who will star in this particular movie I had just placed myself in as an extra? How many movies will there be about the Pandemic? Who will make them? I know that the stars will have to look good wearing a mask, that is for sure. My mind took me to the possibility that I could write the novel the movie would be based on. Why not? They would need a book first, right? I need to get home to get some of this stuff in the freezer first, then I can start on it.
Mask off and back in the car, I ruled that out. Not putting my things in freezer,I did that. I ruled out writing a novel about the Pandemic. That would have to be after my five novels in five years plan. By then, the Pandemic will be long over and there will he hundreds of novels in line in front of mine. The Pandemic will be long over. That was a comforting thought to carry home with me. It has to come to an end, right? All things do. World Wars, Plagues, Invasions, the Iron Age. An even more comforting thought was that books have preceded and followed those events. Books have survived and outlasted all events and times. The Pandemic will be no exception.
Once home, my freezer items in my freezer, I remained grateful for the music the violist provided that got me through another trip to the grocery store. One trip, one day at a time. That is all we can do for now. It may take some time but one day, we can head to the grocery store and to work and everywhere else, mask free. With any luck we can make these decisions with a little more appreciation. That in mind, we may even chose to go out to our local coffee place and read a novel about this Pandemic.
May I help who’s next?”
Perfectly captures our world these days.