What's Different Now

This is my list of things I’ve noticed that have changed in the last few months, Breath. Now I carry mints so I don’t have to smell my own breath inside my mask. What was that I ate for lunch, a sweaty sock and coffee grinds? Yuk.

Haircuts. My boys and I were going to this fancy barbershop before they were forced to close and between the three of us, the cost was $100 . . . plus tip. A few months ago I bought a set of clippers (for $28) and we started cutting each others’ hair. At first it looked like a drunk and blind person did it. Then just a drunk person. Now we are all sporting cuts that look like they were done by someone who had a wine spritzer, or two. Oh, and I’ve noticed a lot of people have decided (not always by choice) to reveal their real hair color. Gray is the new blonde.


Outdoor Dining. I think it’s great restaurants can expand and serve us outside. However, it’s a little like camping (or glamping). It’s civilized, but you’re still at the mercy of the elements. There are bugs, humidity, and market lights strung inches from your head—plus the drinks get watered down when it rains. It truly is curbside service. When seated outside in a makeshift stall, I always sit facing the oncoming traffic because I want to down my drink before it’s too late—or take it to go, which used to only be allowed in New Orleans, Key West, and Vegas. I’ll say this, it would be a good time to be a plexiglass salesman or a carpenter who specializes in using reclaimed wood.


Fitness. I’m not sure how it is where you live, but in California, people are super fit. I mean they look good. Really good. The guys are ripped like Zac Efron. The women resemble Kelly Ripa. I’m impressed by how sculpted everyone looks. I feel like I went the other way and put on the “Covid 15”. I’m sort of into fitness. I’m gonna “fitness” whole pizza in my mouth.


Movies. My bandmate does a Saturday movie night in his driveway (the film is projected on the garage door). Others are staying home and binge watching Vampire Diaries or some other guilty pleasure. Me, I’ve been going to the drive-ins. It’s just like the old days—one kid hides in the trunk to get in for free (hey, it’s ten bucks now), we pack our own healthy food (who am I kidding?) and after a double feature, the car battery is dead. Good times. Really, it is.


Driving. In California, we tell someone a destination is about thirty minutes away (which equals about ten miles . . . on a good day). Other places, people will tell you a place is ten miles away, meaning ten minutes or less. When I was in Montana, I stopped in the middle of the road and took a . . . picture, and didn’t see a soul. Today, in my hometown I don’t have to plan my day around traffic—because there isn’t any. So nice. I feel bad about people (me included) who aren’t working and not commuting, but the upside is there is no rush hour.