A Ghost Living in a Ghost Town- Using Quarantine to Get in Touch with Old Friends

Quarantining has led us all in search of activities to fill the sudden void we have been left with and to help maintain our sanity. I (Gerry) have tried to approach the things I have let go, and the things I have told myself, forever, that I would get around to, but have not found the time. Now is that time.

I have recalled days at work when I have longed for more time at home to approach all my little projects and ideas. If only there were more hours in the day… the week. I have taken this time to reach out more often to loved ones and ideally, to those we have lost touch with along the way.

Me (Left) and Kevin (Right) at a Rolling Stones show in Raleigh, NC, Circa ’94

Time and distance have their way of separating us eventually. Recently, I posted an old picture of me and my old friend Kevin, on Facebook. I have not spoken to Kevin friend in over 15 years, even though I had thought of him often. The picture was of us tailgating at a Rolling Stones concert, in the mid-90’s- don’t judge. We were very hip for the times. 😉 The warm reaction I received from the photo promoted me once again, to get in touch with my old pal. Through a series of events, another old buddy, who had seen the photo, managed to get me Kevin’s phone number. He had recently contacted Kevin after several years and engaged in several anonymous texts to keep Kevin guessing before revealing who he was. He advised that I do the same.

A few days later, I heard there was a new single from the Rolling Stones. Kevin happened to be the biggest Stones fan I had ever met. I automatically thought he must be enjoying this, too. The song was quite interesting, and one of the better things they had done in decades. It also seems to capture some of what is happening during the Covid-19 pandemic. For those of you in your homes, although glad to feel safe, you may feel a little like a ghost in a ghost town. When I heard the song, it also felt a little like hearing from an old friend, and continues to with each listen. This all felt a little too coincidental that this song should appear right at this time.

An altered photo of the Rolling Stones- of course, Keith would never wear a mask.

I finally texted Kevin, anonymously. He had no idea it was me until I quoted the title of the new song to describe how I was feeling. This immediately gave me away. We ended up talking on the phone, and it felt as if no time had passed at all. That is the way it works with old friends.

Most of our towns, big or small, feel a little like ghost towns right now. When we take our daily walks and avoid getting close to the few people we do see, it is easy to feel a little like a ghost. Luckily, friends and loved ones, are just a phone call, or Skype away. If I can take one positive away from my quarantine experience, it is that I did not waste the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend I really care about.

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