Contrary to popular advice, I like to talk to strangers. I may have mentioned this before, along with the fact that I cannot be blamed for this affliction. It is my Mum’s fault, I have no choice in the matter. Nature or nurture? Whichever it might be, I am a lost cause.
This morning, early enough to encounter dog walkers and joggers, I wandered into town to pick up a prescription. I danced the Two Meter Fandango with everyone I met, crossing the road or moving into space, ensuring Social Distancing protocol was observed. Each time we exchanged a smile, a thank you, a good morning.
A shaven-haired chunk of a man approached with his similarly imposing doberman. I had passed this duo many times before, a nod the most intimate we had ever been. Today, as he moved into the road to let me pass, he said “I feel bad doing this” and we stood appropriately far apart and chatted for a few minutes. A charming, personable fellow.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been in contact with friends and family, and even the odd stranger, more often than ever before. Checking up, checking in. Although, in physical terms, we feel so very far apart, perhaps more importantly we have become much closer emotionally. The silver lining.