Calypso music permeates the theatre and glides through the night air landing at the feet of our beach chairs. Laughter springs from my friends’ lips while they sit sipping wine as we chatter about our days; both present and past. Dishes clink and clatter together in the kitchen of our favorite restaurant as we sit enjoying our meal while we cover our day, what we did—where we went. Our daughters’ chatter—light, lively banter back and forth as we say good-bye for the day, then hug them, instantly taking in the scent of their hair, the largesse of their embraces.
I line up these thoughts like cut scenes from a movie. To disengage from the incessant loop, I move on, but only to a different loop. Scenes of a brighter tomorrow run through my mind’s projector. For almost a year, my husband and I have waited, so this cut is worn, the film delicate, but still viewable.
My husband and I are currently, and very impatiently, waiting for the vaccine. We are in our state’s Group 1B—Tier 2. Our group’s inoculations were to begin this week, but due to lack of supplies, we have been told to wait. Patiently wait. As we wait, we watch the number of vaccinated increase. With unrelenting sadness, we also watch the daily deaths climb. It’s as if we’re reaching the climactic moment in a film, musical score ratcheting up our emotions, action in high gear, characters pressed into emotional cyclones. But this isn’t a movie, it’s real life playing out in real time changing lives forever and lending more definition to catastrophe than anything our modern world has ever faced.
So, this is what we do. I write queries and begin new tales, reread my Covid short stories, all ten of them. Edit some—laugh out loud at others. My husband calls his daughters, living vicariously through them occasionally, giving them advice on everything from creative budgeting to how to cook a pot roast.
I realize that each day we get closer. And as we wait, each day is growing longer, both figuratively and in reality. Spring will be here soon.
Our friends will sit with us and we will laugh again. We will hug our daughters. The cut scenes will need editing using additions of fragmented new scenes. Our action will resume, our stories will survive. We will all rush back to our lives, fragmented but together, envisioning embraces that right now we can only anticipate with great hope.