I'm out this morning meeting Laurie, a friend I've known since kindergarten. We usually meet up at the Starbucks in Brunswick before work. It's been a long time since we've met thanks to COVID.
I'm struck by the difference between the last time we met here and this morning. Last time was a few years ago, and it was hard to find a seat. People were meeting, having conversations, etc over their morning coffee. Now, I'm the only one sitting at a table. All the other orders are drive through or takeout. The place is still busy...the staff is bustling behind the counter...but inside is ghost town.
Getting out into the world is a priority for me now. I've spent all winter at home wrestling with one malady or another. With the other plague receding (for now) and warmer weather coming on, I want to make sure I get out of the house to see other humans.
Turns out I get pretty weird if the only people I see on a daily basis is my family. I need my friends. I'm even need strangers, for scenery and atmosphere if nothing else. They make the world feel bigger to me.
Things are picking up. A few weeks ago we met some friends for dinner at the Marble Room, a high-end restaurant in downtown Cleveland. Last week several of us met for a birthday dinner. This Friday, a different group will meet for a different birthday. It's wonderful to see everyone again. I feel like a thirsty man getting cool water. For all my talk about being a hermit, I can only stretch it so far.