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Time to Dust Off the Zombies
Turns out it's fun to leave your house again.
Oh hey, shit Jesus, where you been? I’ve been looking all over for you, all over of course meaning the same places it has since last March: the piss-carpet CVS where they lock up the store-brand turkey jerky; the Target whence I stole $50 over the course of a dozen beknownst-to-me mismarked 12-packs of Jack’s Abby last summer; the other places I buy booze; and the coffee shop where I tip $5 a cup because I started doing it early in the pandemic out of financial survivor’s guilt and how can I stop now?; and the two or three rooms—depending on how you define high-end architectural flourishes such as doors and walls, although we do have three closets and a dishwasher that we only use to store seasonal coffee mugs so can’t complain—that we live in.
So yes I’ve searched low and lower in all those traditional locations, but it’s also been my great privilege to stalk you sneaky bastards at a handful of new places over the course of the past month as beer patio season lurches into view and the vaccine chugs its way through my blood (and/or guts, however that works).
We’ve been drinking wine on weekend afternoons on the part of the river where college students preen their way through picnics and volleyball games guzzling White Claw and being generally bright and shiny and pleasant to be around. Normal boring adults walk by with dogs and toddlers, and the baby ducks are due soon. It’s a good scene.
We’ve also patio’d at the Miracle of Science (chicken sandwiches and Notch Pils!), Noir (carrot hummus and a cocktail made by hands that have never, to my knowledge, scratched my ass!), Phoenix Landing (Weihenstephaner and pizza!), Cambridge Brewing Company (fish and a hundred beers!), and several times at the Plough and Stars, where a lot of my old dirtbag friends have washed up following the demise of our beloved People’s Republik. I’ve been drinking 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust there, and I recommend you do the same. Those Plough afternoons have been some of my favorites in the past 14 months, catching up with friends and enemies and hoping the rain holds off till I finish my beer because it’s not quite time for me to join the party inside, but that day’s coming on fast.
For better and worse reasons, vaccine supply is starting to outpace demand in the United States. I’m not an expert or even a particularly clever regular person, but I have plenty of time to track this shit. Mass vaccination sites are already starting to wind down, and you can get walk-up shots at the drugstore. We’re just about ready to enter the phase of our public health journey where desperate gangs of Faucian Angels rove Staten Island begging unaccountably angry people in My Husband Matters and So Do Two of My Brothers and Tommy Would Too if His Ex-Wife Hadn’t Planted That Third OUI on Him Before His 15-Minute Probationary Period Ended t-shirts to trade five seconds of their nondominant shoulder’s time in exchange for an early entry pass to the garlic knot warehouse sale.
That’s good and important work. I’m only a week from fully clean myself and my loved ones are all good too, but I realize I’m still part of the herd and I want us to immunize as many donkeys as possible, so if slapping a nickel tax on each beer will help with the effort, I’m all for it. This pandemic is not over, and we especially need to figure out how to protect the children. But most kids aren’t cool enough to hang out at bars, and we’re only a month or so away from the point when all adults who want to be fully inoculated are. All this to say I’ll see you at the bar.*
*If you can’t go to the bar because your vaccine hasn’t kicked in yet or you otherwise consider it unwise for your physical or mental health, that is COOL. We need to stop harassing people about this shit. Yeah, society needs to bounce back at some point, but that doesn’t mean every person needs to engage in every activity on the precise day some newsletter asshole deems it safe or appropriate. The very cautious have done most of the lifting on this since last March, and if it weren’t for them another couple million people would be dead, so those of us ready to emerge should just thank them and save a barstool for whenever they’re ready.