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Welcome Home?

I have always been welcomed home with open arms. After my first sleepover in third grade; after a month away at summer camp; after four years of college, and even years later, after I moved to New York City, my parents welcomed me home for the entire summer.

But now that the world has come down with Corona virus, their arms are not so opened wide. Don’t get me wrong, they want me home, urged me weeks ago to come home, but who knew it would come to this? Like those who fled Poland before the war, encouraging family to join. But many–never imagining what could happen–stayed.

Last week the Rhode Island National Guard went door to door weeding out bad guys, I mean, New Yorkers, telling them to self-quarantine. I must drive through Rhode Island to get home to Cape Cod. Will I be stopped? Sent back to The Big Apple?

New Yorkers have always had reputations. Rude, aggressive, pushy. But that’s not true. We’re determined and hard-working. But now we’ve got a new status: pariah, the 11th plague in this year’s Passover Seder. “Boils, frogs, lice… New Yorkers.”

If I were to go home, which I desperately want to do, I would have to be quarantined for 14 days. Stuck in my room. There, but not there. A view through the window. Food left at my door, like the boy in the plastic bubble. How long can humans go without hugging? Heck, at this point I’d settle for a fist bump from a stranger.

In his book You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe said, “… and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us – we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.”

I hope Wolfe was right; that these things will pass, because I so want to go home again.

Stay safe.

x, Felice

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