Word Count: 251
Related works: N/A
A breath of fresh air.
An uncomfortable bar stool.
An empty house.
As I enjoy the walk in the warm spring sunshine, I think of all of the things that I have taken for granted. I think about how much I wish I could indulge in these things now, and, as fatalistic as it is, I wonder when, or if, I’ll enjoy them again.
Cordial smiles from strangers, replaced with sideways glances of mistrust from six feet away.
I can’t complain, I do it too. Instead of uttering, “Bless you,” I put another four feet between me and a flustered person who tries to make assurances that I know they cannot give.
The soft bed and slippery floors of my mother’s home.
The way my brother smells. Fresh laundry, a tinge of smoke, and love.
The absence of the buzzy, distant, vague feeling of anxiety, looming disaster.
The universal absence of that feeling.
What I don’t miss, I think as I approach my home, is hope. The warm, metaphorical rays of sunshine that reassure me that as long as life goes on, it can get better. I don’t miss it because it is still here.
But then I see it. The impossibly tiny hand of a small child, resting against their window. Yearning to feel the sunshine on their face, as I am. My eyes fall from the window to the lawn, where a princess-pink tricycle lays abandoned, but clearly not forgotten.
This is not okay, but hopefully, we will be.