Last week, I took a long walk to the south of my Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago. It was initially to be a brisk walk, in order to be healthy. That quickly disappeared, because the weather was so wonderfully fallish, and the homesI walked past, both single-and multi-family, were so lovely, and the trees that surrounded many of them were so beautiful, and the lawns they shadowed were so inviting. I ended up meandering a lot farther than I expected to.
Things I saw:
A tomato tree. Not kidding. Someone had planted a small vegetable garden on the greensward (that's the word I can remember, but most people call it the verge or the parkway or the median, all words I can't remember these days; go figure my brain) - which was wonderful in and of itself. But even better, one of the cherry tomato plants had been allowed to grow ... and grow ... and grow. It was at least two feet taller than I am, so it was at least 7 feet tall. Without any support structure - it was tall and tough enough to have an actual trunk. I didn't take a picture, because I knew that if I started taking pictures, I'd have my phone out all the time and I wouldn't be enjoying the walk, but it sure was wonderful to see;
A plaque in front of one of the houses I passed, noting that it was the home of the first Black American couple in Rogers Park, which was at that point still a separate town outside of Chicago. It was cool to discover a part of history.
A young lady who was sitting on the greensward with her easel, painting a picture of one of the houses I was passing. It made me smile, and I told her she had brightened my day. I didn't know it at the time, but this was part of a project by the artist. Once I heard about it, that made my running into her even more cool.
I observed folks walking their dogs (in some cases I may have observed pro dogwalkers taking other peoples' dogs.) In one case, an eight month old Husky chagrined his human by twice jumping up on me and twice very gently taking my hand in his mouth. I hadn't been reaching out for him, so it wasn't a defense response; it felt like an eight-month-old-Husky-friendship response. It didn't bother me, but I knew the human was chagrined, and I knew the Husky would need to learn not to do that, even to new friends, so the three of us parted with smiles (and apologies that I assured them weren't needed.) The second case involved another pup, a black Lab type, her coat shiny and her aspect extremely shy. I got her to come over and sniff my hand twice. Her human told me that this was almost her first trip out after being adopted, and that I was practically the first person she'd felt confident enough to approach. That was cool. I may be more partial to cats, but dogs are also Very Good Entities.
Then this past Saturday, BB and I took a carefully discussed chance and went to the premiere of the freshman film by a friend of our son's. Everyone was masked, there was a fair amount of social distancing, etc. We wanted to support this young man, who'd rented out Chicago's Music Box Theatre to show his work (a film that couldn't quite decide whether it was a slasher pic or a psychological study, and wasn't nearly as well paced as it should have been, but hey, freshman effort.)
And we got exposed to COVID-19, courtesy of the young man, who tested positive.
He and his father took a test on Friday and got the result Sunday. Since I'd been well within six feet of him, at least twice when he had to remove his mask to take a drink, I'm now isolating as much as possible. I haven't heard back from my doctor on getting tested again myself.
Others who attended the event are furious at the young man, and deservedly so. He's apparently been read the riot act by several people. I just can't muster the rage. ( I did have a tearful Monday, but had a long phone call with my brother, and he helped buck me up.)
First off - we chose the risk, so we can't get that angry; at least that's what I figure.
Secondly, I also figure that he's being punished by being ill himself. I don't want to get the illness and I definitely don't want BB to get it, nor one of our friends, who's just recovering from eye cancer, But rage? Nah. He let us know what happened as soon as he got his test results. And after the aforementioned riot act reading, he texted all of us a very heartfelt apology, with some pretty apparently heartfelt mea maxima culpas. So I texted him back saying "You fucked up - in a very serious way - but you're being punished by the virus. Just don't fuck up again. And take care of yourself."
I mean, what else can one do? This entry was originally posted at https://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/778036.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.