Nothing like a little contrast to make you reeeeally appreciate something.
Today, I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. It took so long to find a Lyft driver that I started getting concerned that I was going to have to walk home. Five hours.
Then, that magic moment, a knight in shining armor — literally, a silver SUV — pulled up. I smiled and waved. Nervously. Because I knew I wasn’t safe quite yet.
Not until I got in the car and saw that he, too, wasn’t wearing a mask. 😁
The man instantly upgraded from knight to straight up miracle. I’ve never seen it before — at least, not since prior to the thing that shall not be named — and I had been nervous that I was going to be denied (and still stranded) for not wearing one myself (which almost happened on the previous Lyft). But when I saw my driver’s beautiful bare face, I knew it was going to be okay, and I could relax and breathe easy.
I rewarded him by openly chatting with him the whole time, since I knew it was going to be a real human interaction, like in the olden days — he told me about his family in Florida and Atlanta, his daughters, his home near the beach where they ride bikes in the summer, and the big family vacation they all took to New Orleans last week, complete with beignets and Cafe du Monde, which he pronounced with the accent. It sent a thrill through me and made me remember that I’ve always wanted to visit there. Not now, of course, since they are still using masks, social distancing and reduced business hours, but… It felt like magic again. Travel, family, cajun food, music, night tours of the cemetery… a big wide world of wonder.
And it was a bit synchronistic, since I’ve been seeing the fleur-de-lis everywhere lately, including three times while out today.
And even though I was curious, I never asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask. I’d considered it, but then, not only did I not want to risk his job (because God knows they’re listening), but really, it’s better to not talk about it, to not acknowledge that it exists, and to carry on like it doesn’t. A sweet moment suspended above reality, into pure possibility.
The sweetness of enjoying life.