Dearest Rachel –
There are times when I come up with better titles than I do letters. There’s not nearly that much to say about Daniel’s adventures, except that we’ve gotten away with a lot more than I expected we would.
I won’t say that I’ve been fretting all week about it, but it’s been a nagging concern that we might have problems this morning. I was afraid that I would need to drive him to the Maywood courthouse, only for him to be turned away for neither having a vaxx card or a mask (and even though I had plans to bring him a spare one to wear while he was inside, he would refuse to wear it, and create a scene regardless), and thus be kept from performing the civic duty he had been summoned to. However, as a standby juror, all he was required to do was to confirm the evening before whether he was to be needed the next day – and it turns out he wasn’t.
Well, I do ask you to wish us luck; I guess we finally got some.
And honestly, it hasn’t been the first time this year, either, although in a rather different way. Just the other day, when we were heading off to Sparks on Monday, I thought we might at least try to get some dinner (and use up a gift card in the process). I’ve mentioned earlier how Daniel was no longer to be allowed in any public place because of his unvaccinated status (compounded by the fact that he refuses to wear a mask, but that’s just the icing on top), which was why we were trying to get to a number of restaurants in the final week of the year before the edict went into effect. So this stop was a bit of a gamble, although I figured I could just take stuff to go and eat it at church if it came down to it.
But strangely enough, nothing happened. We just walked right in, and one of the kids (can I call them that? Neither of them looked to be over twenty; and I do seem to be referring to forty-year-old females as girls… it this still okay for me to do?) simply escorted the two of us to a table without comment. Now maybe it helped that we were there at about four-thirty, and the place was pretty much empty – not to mention the fact that I was standing in front of Daniel, armed with both a mask and a vaxx card if it were requested of me – but I had to make an effort to conceal my surprise at the complete nonchalance with which we were seated.
Of course, had I said something, I imagine Daniel would have chided me for my lack of faith, and reminded me how the tide was turning.
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I will definitely admit that we’ve gotten away with a few things.
I haven’t actually seen any of the ‘Matrix’ films, but there is a phrase that has become part of the public lexicon: to be ‘red-pilled.’ You’ll recall my using it to describe myself after the riots in the midst of the lockdowns: the idea that a societal mentality that had precipitated the Civil War, and had existed in this country since 1619 was only just now being considered a public health problem, was suddenly that much more of one than the pandemic that had kept us locked down for three or four months of ‘fifteen days to slow the spread,’ was just too much for me to believe. Public health emergencies don’t fester for five hundred years; nor do ones for which no remedy had been found at the time suddenly lose their potency. Either it was dangerous (in which case, call off the marches, the protests and especially the riots), or it wasn’t (in which case, let us out to live our lives again).
It certainly turned the both of you, rather to my amusement. But while I ‘went along to get along’ – wearing a mask in public, and getting vaccinated when it became available – Daniel has defied them all. And I suppose he’s a grown man, and can make his own choices – to say nothing of the fact that what your family left him gives him the luxury of not having to interact with society if it doesn’t want him to. The funny part is, thus far, he seems to have avoided society’s opprobrium. Certainly, this week, he’s managed to dodge a few bullets, not unlike Neo himself. Heck, he’s even got the fancy longcoat.
Whether he’s going to continue to be this fortunate remains to be seen. I’m glad he’s off the hook for now, but I’m not so sure it will get him through the rest of the year, let alone the rest of his life.
At least I’ll try to stick around to get him through the former. And if you could keep an eye out for us, and wish us luck, honey, that’d help, too.
Because we’re going to need it yet.