Dear Marcie,

Getting mail is especially exciting now that we’re quarantined. Even if it’s just junk mail. It’s something. It’s communication. I read every word. Anyway, I thought I’d write you a letter.

The typical question of “What’s new?” really doesn’t seem to apply anymore. What’s new? Well, I bought some clothes. Not that I can wear them anywhere. Just something to get a package. Because packages are even more exciting than letters.

I sat on hold for an hour and a half to cancel my subscription to mailed groceries and household products. Even the toilet paper. I’d rather tough it out at the stores. Scour the aisles for that last pack of two-ply. Gives me something to do. Because going places is even better than getting packages.

My social media usage is up. Surprise, surprise, I know. I’m trying to limit it, I really am. No one is really posting anything so it’s mostly ads and memes and other things that don’t include the faces of people I know. The faces I so desperately wish to see in person.

There was something interesting the other day, though. You know how sunflowers always face the sun? Well, I saw someone say that when sunflowers can’t find the sun, they face each other. How cute is that? It’s been raining all day and all I can think about is sunflowers in a field somewhere, facing each other. Weathering the storm together.

That’s the worst thing about this quarantine. It’s taken away our people to weather the storm with. Especially people like us who live alone. We don’t have anyone to face now that it feels like the sun is gone.

But then I think about how crowded the parks were. You know, before they closed them. So many people. People who probably never went to parks. People who would normally be cooped up in offices and schools and stores. They were out, enjoying the sunshine. Breathing fresh air. Smiling and waving at strangers. 

And even now that the parks are closed, I have this urge to go walking around the neighborhood. Not typical for me, as you know. I’m usually Example A of cooped up in the office. But I’m learning it feels really good to just be somewhere that feels so open. The walls can’t close in when there are no walls. 

Anyway, all of this got me thinking. Maybe we’re like reverse sunflowers. We’re peopleflowers. We always turn toward people. But maybe when we can’t turn toward each other, maybe we can turn toward the sun. I mean, hey, at least it’s something that can’t get you sick. It’s basically taking a vitamin, right? Isn’t that a thing? People who take their vitamins don’t get sick, that’s what my mom always said.

I hope you find a good friend in the sun, Marcie. Stay well.

Until we can face each other once again,