Straight Out of Central Casting

This is my first post in a newly created category made especially for these very unusual times: QuaranTim. Steve and I are now living in self-quarantine. With one exception, we are only going out for essentials. That exception: we take walks in the neighborhood to avoid cabin fever.

Our neighborhood has always been a walking neighborhood. Many people walk their dogs. And a lot of couples and individuals take walks for the pleasure of being outside. When taking our walks, we are very careful to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from everyone else who is also out walking.

From our walk yesterday

We’ve been told by a medical doctor friend of ours that being outside is actually good for you. The ultraviolet light in the sunshine kills viruses, including the Covid-19 virus. Additionally, there are few “flat surfaces” outside that can act as easy transmission vehicles for the virus.

But, as much as any other reason, we just love being outside!

At any rate, over the past few days, people walking the hood seem to be even more friendly than usual. Perhaps as a reaction to being isolated more than usual, most are quick to say “hello.” Many are quick to engage in some idle chatter for a moment or two. But yesterday’s walk was different.

A couple of days ago we met Hailee as she jogged through the neighborhood. She lives in a neighborhood contiguous to ours. While maintaining a distance of over 6 feet, we stood in the street and had the most engaging, fast-paced, 2+ hour conversation I’ve had in a while.

Even though we are very different people with exceptionally different backgrounds and life experiences, we hit it off instantly and just couldn’t shut up. I really enjoyed talking with her.

We discussed at least a dozen topics at least once. Some topics we revisisted multiple times. In some future posts, I might share a bit of our conversations. But for now, let me briefly describe this delightful woman who unexpectedly entertained us for so long.

Hailee is 2 years older than me. She’s a very bright, very straight, very informed, happily married (for many years), inquisitive, liberal, feminist, pediatric nurse (originally from Chicago), Jewish mother of two (who believes all Jewish mothers secretly wish their sons were gay), who bluntly speaks her mind fluently. She frequently gestured with carefree abandon as she spoke at a fast clip.

Two brief quotations from the conversation: “Look at you, Tim. Look at where you came from and what you did in your career. You’re directly out of central casting: the way you speak, the way you look. You were perfect for the part. I’m telling you: central casting!”

And, as our conversation was nearing an end, she quoted American actor, playwright, director, writer and composer (best known as the co-author of the 1967 musical Hair), James Rado1:

“The draft is white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from red people.”

Yes, every second of our conversation was energized and usually a bit astonishing.

  1. born James Alexander Radomski; January 23, 1932