I am standing in my living room stretching, dancing, and just enjoying the stillness of an empty house. The shades are open, trying to coax in the small bit of sunshine that has eked its way through the cloud mass. These clouds have gone on and on and seem to have settled with the inauguration, as though they know: this is the new now. This heaviness, this colorlessness, this void.
So it is easy to see through the three front windows when he comes down the sidewalk. We are separated by the windows, the structure of the house, and a 4-foot swath of a gnarly vine that some earlier owner of this house had thought to be a good idea to plant. He doesn’t see me as he walks slowly with an asymmetrical – arthritis in one hip? an injury? He is bundled against the cold of the day, which feels more bitter than the 29-degrees the thermometer reads (again – the weather reflecting the times?). In his hand is a red Netflix envelope, and he is walking – I can only surmise – toward the postal box at the end of my block.
Everything in this scene strikes me at once as pulled from an earlier age. The disc in his hand which is increasingly hard to find technology on which to play. The mailbox, which, in this neighborhood at least, is largely a place for parents with very small toddlers to take their children as an activity. It seems peeled from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and dropped here as a reminder of an era when mailboxes were busy places, necessary places.
I continue my dancing stretch. I turn up the volume on Cloud Cult’s “The Show Starts Now“: “I want to be the guy who lives in the moment, not so lost in my mind. …Hold your breath for a better day, and you’ll never learn how to breathe.” My feet, slapping the wooden living room floor, march to my internal postbox, holding my outdated technology that only I know how to operate. It whirs in my heart, sending messages – some confusing, some hurtful, and others blessed incantations of love.