Q. What’s happening now?
Q. How so?
A. Thrown off.
Q. Thrown off track?
A. Not sure I was ever on track to begin with.
Q. Well, what happened?
A. I walked into a building I seldom frequent, and I had a bad experience there.
Q. Why did you go there?
A. Because I had left my glasses there.
Q. Why had you gone there in the first place?
A. Because that’s where a guy was who could fix my iPhone for free. He fixed it, and I left hurriedly because I didn’t feel safe there.
Q. Why not?
A. Somebody who usually hugs me wanted to hug me, and she seemed not to accept my reasons for not wanting to touch her. It made me uneasy.
Q. What happened when you went back to get your glasses?
A. Another person wanted to hug me. When I explained my reasons, she asked if I was serious.
Q. What did you do then?
A. Realizing I had a mask and gloves on at the time, I gave up and hugged her.
Q. How did that feel?
A. I didn’t act according to principle. I caved in under social pressure.
Q. Does that happen often?
A. Not as often as it used to.
Q. Why not?
A. I don’t go out as much. I stay inside most of the time, and conduct most relationships on the Internet or on my phone.
Q. Doesn’t that deprive you of social contact?
A. Not really. I have social anxiety in public social situations. I am very comfortable with Zoom meetings and other forms of Internet interaction. My social anxiety is not aggravated that way.
Q. But you don’t stay in all the time, do you?
A. Not at all. I exercise vigorously outdoors, usually once a day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays up to ten of us meet in the sanctuary of a certain church and rehearse a couple musicals I’ve written, while social distancing.
Q. A couple musicals?
A. Yes. At first there was only one, then they became interested in another one. So we’ve got a lot of music to do, and we find this very rewarding.
Q. Don’t you want to hug each other? Isn’t that what musical theatre people do?
A. We want to, sure. But we don’t. We stand six to ten feet apart from each other, and obey the laws.
Q. The laws?
A. The laws. The mask mandate, and the governor’s rulings.
Q. But the people in that other building don’t obey the laws?
A. Many of them do. But enough of them don’t that it makes me uneasy.
Q. Have you always obeyed the laws?
A. No I have not.
Q. Do you always obey the laws nowadays?
A. Yes I do.
Q. Then why hang out with people who have no regard for the law?
A. That’s a very good question.
The Questioner is silent.
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