Right now, I’m practicing social distancing – about 1,500 hundred miles from my Portland neighbors. I’m not home where I should be, but rather staying with friends in Tucson, Arizona. I just finished my morning run and got an elbow bump from one of their neighbors from about 100 yards away. What else can you do but chuckle a bit under these tense circumstances? My 401k is now down to about a 299k and thoughts of an active travel year are seriously in jeopardy. Many feel that I’m being irresponsible and selfish by not hiding in our apartment. They’re following the rules and I’m not. I do continue to cough, but it seems to be more the result of allergies and certainly not a threat to society. Thankfully, it’s getting better in this dry heat, one of the reasons I wanted to come here.
Restaurants and bars have yet to close in Arizona, as has been the recent trend around the country. We’re defiantly going out to lunch today, at least with a group of less than ten. Considering that the majority of people are staying home, maybe we should sit at separate tables? I’ve wanted to go to the Congress Hotel since our last visit here, discovering it was where fellow Hoosier John Dillinger was captured. (See Post #845). They have a great lunch spot called the Cup Cafe, where we’ll celebrate what’s left of a normally festive St. Patrick’s Day. It fits with some of the other gangster locations I’ve visited in the last couple years like Harry Caray’s in Chicago, Spark’s Steakhouse in New York City, and the Las Vegas Mob Museum. In a way, I guess I’m not too different from these notorious killers who used machine guns instead of a cough to scare the masses.
I plan to hook-up with an old Sigma Chi fraternity brother over lunch, the last of my known friends here in Arizona. The original plan was to go to a couple of Spring Training games, but instead it’s been primarily re-connecting with the past. We’ve done more socializing than distancing, with acquaintances from Elkhart, Indianapolis, Decatur, and Albion. In a few more days, we’ll head back to Portland and try to practice a little more responsibility in trying to flatten the curve of viral infection. In the meantime, we’ll continue to be controversial rebels in maintaining the current socially acceptable 6-foot distance from our friends and neighbors.