D. Pat Thomas

Writer, Yoga Teacher, Lover of Things Outdoors


Coming Out

Posted by Pat on April 14, 2021 at 9:20 PM

For the first time in a year, I was able to socialize with friends this week: have dinner, sip wine, pet the cat or dog together, giggle and hoot, chat, play board games – all without masks on. Such a joy to once again see the faces of my friends, to take in the curve of their lips as they smile and laugh, to hear their words, clear and unmuffled. Such a long, long time it’s been.

Experiencing the closeness of people I truly care about is just so powerful. Standing side-by-side to cut onions or gaze out the window. It is so very hard to quantify what we have missed in the past year, and how that void has affected us. Speaking for myself, the sense of isolation and the reality of distance created a sense of loneliness and solitude that was only partly eased by phone calls and Zoom. We long for time together, we hurt for each other, we need hugs and smiles and laughter to feel truly alive.

There was a certain awkwardness in the beginning: that ingrained feeling of being too close, the mental alarm warning ‘it’s dangerous, back away.’ It’s a learned reaction, and can be unlearned.

So now we dream: of concerts, jazz clubs, restaurants, the ballet, the symphony, the state fair, parades, theater, coffee shops and bars. Some may already go to these places, but for now, I am content to hang out with my friends again and watch life open like a flower, one petal at a time.


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