In my senior year of high school, I was ensconced in solitude – not so much in an angsty “pity me” way, but rather in an “I can’t wait to get out of here” kind of way. I would purposefully push other people away to avoid making any sort of human connection. Mostly, however, I was grasping at the idea of a future where I could meet like-minded people and be able to establish real connections. The more that I went through high school, the more I realized I didn’t have those connections; I had acquaintances with whom I would share an occasional laugh – acquaintances who would sometimes refer to me as their “gay best friend.” Dynamics like these were what really deterred me from meeting people.
Author: Samuel Weinmann
Currently, it feels like I haven’t truly interacted with another person since before the pandemic. While I now attend classes and go to work in the morning, something still seems off; I feel a profound disconnect from those around me, and while I could pretend like this experience is unique, I know that it’s not. Especially after so many months of social distancing, it feels as though we have forgotten how to be human.
Every Spring, the magnolia tree in my backyard comes to life. Bursts of pink and purple appear out of nowhere, hugging the previously bare branches. I smell the ginger petals and cannot help but stand in awe of the tree’s resilience and beauty. Countless winters have worn at its cracked bark, yet it makes its resurgence, year after year.