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••• The International Writers Magazine - 21 Years on-line - Life After Covid

Back to Normal - 2021
• Martin Green

The pandemic was finally over. Daily life could resume.


     Jack Smith and his wife Mary, senior citizens who lived in a Northern California retirement community, were having breakfast.   “Are you doing anything this morning?” asked Mary.

     “Yeah, going to the Lodge to shoot some pool with the guys”

     “I bet you guys will be happy to get together.”

     “It’s been a while.  I hope I remember how to play.  How about you?”

     “Bridge at Irene’s.”

     “You can catch up on all the gossip.”

     “We’re serious players.”


     The pool went okay until the second game when Rudy said that Mike scratched and Mike said he had nicked the ball he was shooting at and a big argument ensued.  Then Rudy sank the eight ball but his cue ball followed it in and Mike said that meant he lost the game and Rudy stormed out.  Jack had forgotten that Rudy and Mike were always squabbling.  Well, things were back to normal.

     When Mary returned from her bridge game Jack asked her how it had gone.  “Irene overbid as usual and then Norma didn’t follow suit and nobody could keep score.”

     So that was definitely back to normal, too, thought Jack.

     After lunch Mary said they were low on milk so Jack said he’d go to the supermarket.  He had to go to the bank, which was in the same shopping area anyway.  Mary gave him a list of a dozen other items they needed.    As Jack was a senior citizen and cautious driver he kept to the right lane but a couple of other drivers, who evidently thought they were on a freeway, honked their horns at him.  In the bank there was a long line and every customer seemed to have an intense discussion with the lone teller and when he finally got to the window the teller called Jack “Dearie.”  

     In the supermarket Jack discovered that things had been completely moved around and he couldn’t find anything.   The store person he asked said she didn’t know either.   At the checkout the person ahead of him had some problem with her credit card and he had to wait until that was straightened out..   After he finally got back to his car he decided he’d get some gas but another car zipped in ahead of him in the line.   Everything was back to normal.

     When he returned home Mary told Jack that her car was making a funny noise and that she didn’t think the air-conditioning was working right.  Jack said he’d make an appointment to bring it in.  He settled in to watch the afternoon news.  Russia was making threatening moves again.  China was warning Taiwan.  There was trouble in the Mideast.  In the US, there were peaceful protests that had unfortunately become riots in a dozen cities. Each party was blaming the other one for the riots.  Inflation was rising and the stock market was down again.    Congress was deadlocked.   The government might have to shut down at the end of the month.  Things were back to normal.

     After dinner Jack and Mary did their usual television watching.  The hospital show had doctors heroically dealing with coronavirus cases.  The crime show had detectives dealing with a sociopath who wanted to infect people with a virus.  The family drama had the husband and wife each having an affair, the unwed daughter having a baby and the son was on drugs.  There was the usual profanity and nudity.  All as normal.

     Before going to bed, they watched some of the local late news show. The California legislature was considering a tax hike.  Homelessness was getting worse.  Some kind of protest was scheduled in front of the state capitol tomorrow.  A state senator was accused of sexual assault.

There was a report of some strange illness in China but it wasn’t considered serious.
Everything was back to normal.

© Martin Green - November 2020
 mgreensuncity at 
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