Many of us are sequestered alone indoors all day. We’re not used to it. And we don’t like it.
Writing is generally a solitary occupation but journalism is not. We generally work cheek-by-jowl in a too-small office because cheap real estate is rarer than writers, at least owners of publications seem to think so. And we are yakking all the time—testing out ideas, ledes, angles; howling over other people’s mistakes and moaning over our own; verbally editing and amending.
Truth be told, we’re all probably producing more WPM than usual. But we’re quip-starved.
Here’s an idea how to get some relief that’s better than drinking by yourself.
My brilliant neighbor, Heidi Belka, came up with an idea for brief relief: the six-foot-apart cocktail party. We live on a short block in The Marmalade where the front yards (and mostly the back yards and the houses) are small. We can converse with our neighbors without leaving our property. So a few nights ago, we all gathered, drink of choice in hand, for a socially distant cocktail party.
It was great. Heidi’s husband Josh, on hiatus from Ballet West, spent most of it on his door-side bench, drinking watered-down wine.
Michael Aaron, owner of Q Salt Lake, came into the street in his purple bathrobe and holding what he called an “earthquake martini: Bailey’s, vodka and a splash of Gran Marnier. “Shaken, not stirred,” duh.
I met neighbors I never knew, neighbors I knew but couldn’t remember the names of and neighbors whose shoulders I have cried on. No touching at this gathering—we were all strictly six feet apart or more.
It was a small group. It’s a small block. It wasn’t a long party, but it did give us a chance to see smiling faces but keep our isolation intact. Because that’s what we all must do.