Out for a walk with friends by the ocean, having arrived in separate cars, we talk about our fears, and what precautions we are taking. But it is hard to hear what they are saying through my hat, my hood, the ocean’s roar, and the strange distance that we hold between us. My attempts at speaking are lost in the wind, unnoticed. It is hard enough to gain footing in conversations at the best of times, never mind this. I stop trying and feel myself slip away from them, as I focus my attention on the waves, and the ground.
— Jennifer MacLatchy (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
* * *
No Prom? No Honey Sticks?
“So what are your thoughts on honey sticks?” I whispered as we lay in the grass on an oddly warm day in February. I didn’t even let you answer as I continued to mouth off about how I was going to bring you honey sticks and how fascinating bees are. I didn’t know that would be my last day with you. Soon enough I was on a plane back to California and living with my chaotic family for god knows how long. I watch the bees fly by my window. I think of us and what prom would’ve been like.
— Irie Cooper (Valencia, California)
* * *
Three hours ago, I was the happiest man in the world. My fiance and I exchanged rings and flew together to our honeymoon in the Bahamas. I can vividly remember the first time we met. It was her smile. I was running my first flight and she was my flight attendant. Her smile kept me relaxed throughout the entire operation. Once we landed, I had the courage to ask her out, and we have flown together since. Sadly, our honeymoon ended prematurely, and I’ll never get to see her smile again if we’ll all be forced to wear white masks.
— Pawit (PJ) Sethbhakdi (Bangkok, Thailand)
* * *
We meet with the midwife on the phone.
She answers our questions and we have that standard-issue conversation: how strange these times are, how we look forward to gathering, how certain we are that this is for the best.
The midwife cannot take my blood pressure or listen for the baby’s heartbeat, so I am left to trust that my body and its tiny resident are working as they should. We felt quite clever when we chose a clinic within walking distance of home, didn’t we?
— Sandra Henderson (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.