The company of strangers

I don’t think we really thought, before this pandemic hit, about the pleasures of gathering in person. We just took it for granted that we could go to a bar, or a restaurant, or a museum, or a ball game, or a park, or the circus, or a concert, or the beach.

There would be lots of people there. We wouldn’t know any of them, and they wouldn’t know us. We don’t care about them, but we are glad that they are there. And they don’t care about us either, but they are glad that we are there.

But it wouldn’t matter. The feeling of being surrounded by lots of our fellow humans is its own unique kind of pleasure, unlike any other.

When this pandemic ends, as it inevitably will, we will once again be able to feel that pleasure. But this time, we will not take it for granted. We will drink in the pleasure of the company of strangers, those people who don’t care about us, but who are glad that we are there.

And it will be glorious.

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