(Flickr/ Hash Milhan)

So, in case you haven’t noticed, things are a little different. Everyone’s rocking some impulsive haircuts, has watched Tiger King, and is suddenly using Zoom (and knows what Zoom is).

Oh, and we’re all stuck home because there’s a pandemic tearing through the country at light fucking speed.

But please, for the love of everything good and worth living for, can we just pretend for five seconds that our new small talk doesn’t contain the word “quarantine”?

For just one little article here, let’s go back to ordinary small talk. For example, the weather.

We all remember what the weather is, right? Back when we could go outside? And breathe in the fresh air? Do you remember what fresh air feels like?

I can see the sky out my window, and it’s such a beautiful blue. It makes me want to spend the day out and about, which I definitely cannot do. I’ve tried to go out a couple of times, and it’s pretty interesting. People these days will literally swerve into the road to avoid sharing the sidewalk with a stranger. And it’s not like they have anything to worry about once they’re on the road, because there aren’t any cars.

The road and sidewalk have become, like so many other things, meaningless. Does a man made path even exist with nobody to walk it? Is it even fair to call them paths, if they don’t take you anywhere? Or are they just ugly slabs of concrete that have outlived their usefulness?

I mean, it’s only been a few months. And life hasn’t changed that much: we still wake up every morning, eat food and – sometimes – get stuff done, then cozy up in our beds at night. I for one wrote this in my pyjamas, and I’m not sure how coherent it is because I fell asleep at four in the morning, Nintendo Switch in hand, cursing the Animal Crossing gods because I can’t catch a snapping turtle for my museum.

But hey, I still remember what the outdoors looks like. Or at least, I can make educated guesses as to what’s going on outside.

The sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and the birds are singing louder than ever. Probably because there’s no one out there to stop them from taking over the world.

Do you remember all those old Facebook posts about how crows can remember human faces and can share that information with their crow buddies?

I definitely think that by now, the crows have realized our guard is down. They can go out onto the road without getting run over. They can sit on benches without getting shooed. With every passing day, our grasp on planet Earth slips a little bit more. I bet they have their own rudimentary written alphabet based on their studies of our road signs. As far as they’re concerned, we’re too busy giving ourselves shitty dye jobs to even notice the world changing around us.

Yeah, it’s absolutely getting around the bird grapevine that all the humans are stuck indoors and the world is theirs for the taking. And honestly, I’m fine with that. Crows are ridiculously smart, and if you’re nice to them they’ll probably spare you. They might even give you pinecones or whatever.

But really, if you can, go outside and just let the sun touch your skin for a hot minute. Don’t worry, it’s more than six feet away.