The Maskless Cougher
And two other things
I bought my first sweatsuit in March, 2021, exactly one year into the whole pandemic / chronic lockdown situation in which we all find ourselves mired. I have zero regrets about this pale pink, oversized cozy pajama cocoon purchase. Though I'd never be caught dead wearing the pants onstage, I'm a better person for having bought a warm pair of XL depression busters.
Buy The Sweatsuit. Feel no shame.
One morning, when I took my kitten outside on his leash (yes, you read that correctly), my son and I noticed a chickadee flitting concertedly around our screen house. The wee bird was casually trapped inside a three-walled prison cell, its chickadee cohort adorably egging it on from the other side of the screen.
My kitten wanted to hunt it. My son wanted to help it escape, but was scared it might peck his face off, despite my assurances otherwise. I told them both to chill and observe the highly intelligent and melodic creature, which we did for a few minutes. I felt deeply vindicated when it located a gap in the canvas roofing, and split.
Let birds be birds.
A few days ago, while my family enjoyed a short flight home from the east coast, I noticed the woman seated in front of us had coughed more than once. Cue COVID-19 alarm! Abort mission!
We were, of course, masked and otherwise in no position to judge a stranger’s bodily functions. That is, until I also noticed that she removed her mask every time she had to cough. As I imagined her wet, nicotine-drenched cough droplets circulating the cabin, I had never felt happier to be wearing a mask. Masks are brilliant. The social acceptability of mask wearing is delightful to me. I'll be wearing mine long after it ceases to be mandated. I might just keep wearing mine forever.
The Maskless Cougher dropped her lighter once, between barks. It landed on the floor next to my Doc’s. I simply averted my eyes, and kept reading my signed first edition thrift store copy of Ethan Hawke’s The Hottest State. By the time I stood up to de-plane, the lighter was gone.
The Maskless Cougher and her droplets remained on the plane, ready to coat and sink into every surface on the Edmonton leg of the flight.
Masks are wonderful things.