This memory might be yours or it might be mine. It's a memory we all share in some way and something to look forward to someday soon. I'm putting it down in words here on this blog so someday when we are back doing the things we used to do without even a thought, I will come back to this and not take movement and getting out for granted as I may have in the past.
It was about a year ago. A date to go to the theater, to go to Boston, something that we don't do often. I remember going to my closet, looking through my clothes and wearing something nicer than usual because we were going out. I even put on a necklace.
I put on lipstick, not my norm, but again....we were going out. Seeing people, interacting, watching a performance.
I remember getting into the car with my husband, driving down the streets, seeing lots cars heading back home. Spent some time at red lights. Eventually we got onto the Mass Pike. There was traffic coming in from Boston to the suburbs because so many people worked in the city and they jammed the roads beginning at about 3:00 until about 6:30. I remember going down the Mass Pike, seeing the railroad tracks with Amtrak passing by and seeing that gorgeous Boston skyline with the Charles River. Planes regularly were taking off from Logan airport and I could see their arc over the skyline.
We went into the tunnel and emerged near Copley. I love emerging from the tunnel. It's like entering the land of Oz every time. We drove down the street looking for parking and manage to find a space not in a garage. What a lucky day! We left our car, making a mental note as to where it was parked so we would be able to find it after the show. We walked through Boston, lots of people walking along with us. So many people, all shapes and races and ages, some returning from the office and lots of people rushing toward the theater. As we approached the theater there was a line of people and we nonchalantly waited in line along with everyone else, never once thinking of a mask or our distance or who in the line might have been exposed to a virus. We just stood and easily breathed the air and waited to enter the beautiful theater.
Soon we were seated in the theater. Seats were close together. We shrugged off our coats and squeezed into our seats and made sure we could see the stage. We scanned the playbill and looked up at the ornate ceiling. We were there with a group so we said hellos to people we knew and participated in chitchat as we awaited the performance. The theater was full. I looked for the exits as I always do and looked around at the theater full of people. As is the case before any show, there was a feeling of excitement in the air. Would the show live up to its reputation?
All of us, perhaps upwards of 700 people, watched the show and gave it an ovation at the end. We sat together, breathed the same air, laughed with abandon, clapped and just enjoyed. Two hours of escape, two hours of communal enjoyment. Two hours together, swaying to music, following the plot and forgetting what was going on in our lives. Two hours of uninterrupted people together, together, together. It was a beautiful evening, an evening to enjoy the talents of so many creative people who worked so hard to make the experience joyful.
This is my memory of being together, to going out, to a life without masks, to theater and music and performance, to eating out in restaurants, to weddings and Bat Mitzvahs, to dancing together, to laughing with abandon, to hugging each other, to kissing our kids and grandkids, to ball games with fans, to travel, to movie theaters, to parades, to holiday tables, to the beauty of a kiddush after synagoue on Shabbat, to those many things we took for granted.
Here's a toast to the future. May we all return to the these places soon. May the people employed in these industries be able to return to their creative and productive lives soon. We know how much they are suffering during the pandemic. May this time we are living in now become just a faded, muted memory and may we soon emerge from this time ready to appreciate each moment afforded to us with a cleaner and clearer sense of gratitude.