It has been such a long time since I wrote a “ramble” post that I thought I’d write one just to see if I still could.
The last time I wrote one of these was way back when we were still allowed to ramble. Remember those days? The freedom? The self-determination? The illusion of free will? The allusions of “Free Willy?”
It was a simpler time.
Things have become complicated because we have had to simplify our lives in so many ways even while simple things have become complicated.
Finding free time has become quite simple, while understanding how we are allowed to spend it has become complicated.
Turning to friends and family for comfort and commiseration has become easy, while finding ways to do so has become complicated.
Being thankful for what we had is simple enough, though finding ways to hold onto it has become complicated.
The Depressing Signs of Hope
But never fear.
There are signs that things are getting better.
You can tell, because of the rising frustration.
I have been one of the lucky few who were deemed “essential” and so I have had to go into work every day since martial law was declared and we were all told to cower in place.
I have mentioned in some previous blog posts that, over the past two months, driving into work every morning made me feel like I was living in the movie “Omega Man”. The streets and freeways were virtually empty when I drove into work in the morning, and again in the evening when I drove home. I could cruise down some of Dallas’ busiest freeways during rush hour, driving at or above the posted speed, and without another car being closer than about 200 yards from me.
I could walk the normally-teeming, bustling hallways at work and not see another soul.
If I had to pop into a store to buy something, it was very likely I’d be virtually the only person in the store, except maybe the clerk.
I’m not going to lie: I got kind of used to this.
I got used to not sitting in traffic. I got used to driving at the posted speeds. I got used to being able to walk into a store, grab what I want, check out, and be back in my car in under a minute. I got used to walking through my neighborhood and not hearing lawn mowers or leaf blowers or cars driving by.
But that is all coming to an end.
On the way home from work yesterday evening, I had to sit in a traffic jam.
I also needed to stop and get gas, but there were too many other cars waiting to fill up.
I went for a walk in the evening and the air was filled with the sounds of traffic, of yard equipment, and power tools.
So, like it or not, things are returning to normal.
Ready or not, we are about to be set upon by the status quo.
I hope you’re ready for this, because, frankly, I’m not.
The Hair Apparent
One unforeseen benefit of this recent bout of mass insanity is that I have been afforded an opportunity to indulge in something I have not gotten to do since high school.
No, no … nothing illegal.
No … I refer to enjoying the simple pleasure of letting my hair grow out. Usually I get a haircut every 2 weeks, but, as of today, I haven’t had a haircut in about 9 weeks.
Now, my hair doesn’t grow super fast, and so the effect is not particularly dramatic, but I can definitely tell the difference. Usually I keep it cut pretty short because I have extremely curly hair and so keeping it trimmed to a half inch or an inch long allows me to keep it under control, especially in high humidity (which is a constant condition here in Dallas).
But now, after 9 weeks, I reckon it is about 3 inches long … maybe even 4 in places. It hangs over my ears slightly, which is a sensation I have not enjoyed since high school. The other day I looked up towards the sky and felt my hair in back brush against my shoulder. Again, I haven’t felt that since high school.
When will the madness end, you ask? (Not to mention the matted-ness.)
I’m not sure. I work in a pretty conservative and uber-professional corporate environment and so I don’t want to be labeled as a hippy, an anarchist, or a time traveler from the 1970s.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), my hair tends to grow upwards, rather than downwards, so it is possible that in another 5 or 6 weeks I will look like Bob Ross, but without the artistic talent.
I expect I will be made to give up my acute hirsute pursuit forsooth and anon (and on and on), forthwith, and with forth … er, force.
But for now, I am enjoying the sensation of the wind in my hair, of letting my hair up, and of picking the locks of freedom.