Getting past the mask
I was chugging along barely faster than a brisk walk on my morning run around the park near my house. It’s not far, maybe two miles at the most. Just a good way to wake up and get bed-muscles stretched. Up ahead, I spotted a woman shuffle-jogging toward me. She had a mask on as well. As we closed, around an upcoming curve in the path, I decided to cut across on the grass to avoid sharing heavy breathing which you could see in the cold morning air. Ha! I hadn’t shared heavy breathing with a woman in a long time. Instead, as Archie Bunker used to say in his 70s sitcom, we would be ‘passing like sheeps in the night.’ As we neared, I raised an elbow in a Covid salute. I could see the woman’s eyes smile as she nodded. She looked like she could joke around. My kind of lady.
When I got to the top of the curved path I saw that she had started another circuit at the far end of the park and that we would be passing each other again. My mind, as it often does when I joggle it loose, running, goes free form. I picture us like two masked outlaws passing on the road to Tombstone. She shouts, “Don’t bother going into town. Someone else just cleaned out the bank.”
“Damn.” I start to pull off my mask.
“Naw, better leave it on,” she calls, “folks’ll get suspicious…think you’re trying to hide something.”
I smiled to myself…at my own joke. Happens a lot lately. That’s what social isolation will do to you.
Then, as she thumped past me, she called out, “Who was that masked man, Kemo Sabe?”
Well, I’ll be damned. Were we on the same wave length, or what? She could be fun to get to know if I could get a good look at her. Makes me wonder how men get to know women in Arabia under all that cover-up, get to the person not just her looks. Could be something good coming out of all this Covid mess. Except I don’t know if I would recognize this lady without her mask…when or if we don’t need them. Might be fun to find out.