On an emotional scale, it’s just making sure that my family is safe and that we are healthy. I call my parents every day to make sure they stay inside. The health of my husband, and of course my cat. On a different level, I’m trying to help people figure out new ways of doing the things they used to do. I’m a theater person, and I’m trying to figure out ways of doing individualized theatrical experiences.
What was most important to you before you had to social distance?
Always checking in with people. Making sure that they feel uplifted and empowered and heard was always a big thing for me. Also art, but in a different way. I was trying to write a play–I still am–about Emmett Till. I used to go out all the time. I think I was social because being social felt right. Now I’m home a lot, but I kind of love being home at times. I forgot how much I like to be alone at home with my puzzles, my kombucha, and no one to bother me!
What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over?
I have this wonderful friend, his name is Jaro. We fought over who gets to have him on their side in the wedding. We love him. One of the first things I’m going to do is give Jaro a big, big hug. I want to group hug Jaro. After that, I want to visit my parents. I was trying to visit my mom and dad–they’re in Arkansas and I miss them all the time. I want to visit them.
What are you doing to pass the time?
I work a lot. We have this new initiative that my company is working on and it’s all-encompassing and time consuming. It’s hard because we’re all spread out and not able to contact each other so easily, so that makes it difficult for sure. I think jigsaw puzzles are saving my life a little. I do puzzles all weekend. I have a method and a strategy.
What makes you happy right now?
Puzzles, duh! I made weed butter–I think that’s a miracle. I think marijuana is a healer right now, and if you can eat it, then you should. You probably shouldn’t smoke it, because lungs are vulnerable, but if you can find a way to eat it and just have a good time, that gives me a lot of joy. Spending time with my cat. I knew I had a good husband, but throughout this entire process, I’ve been delighted by how strong he is and how much joy he keeps imbibing into everything around us. It’s been cool to see him jumping at the opportunity to provide joy. It’s something I knew was in him, but I didn’t know the level of care that he was capable of, and it’s astounding. He’s incredible.
What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today?
Go more places. Go visit mom and dad. My uncle died at the beginning of all of this, and I never got to say goodbye. I would say go home and visit friends. I would have talked to more people that I don’t see often.
Everyone’s kind of just getting by–no one has their shit together. There’s this piece of graffiti I love in New York, you see it when you’re going over the bridge into Chinatown. It says “a city of children” on the side of one of the buildings. That used to mean one thing to me–we’re all playing pretend–but this is incompetent even on a corporate level, and it’s also happening to people on a personal level. No one had their shit together, and that’s fine. It’s relieving in some ways to see it. We were just flying by the seat of our pants–some of us flying a little higher than others, but not by much. It’s very humanizing. I think it’s also going to cause a lot of things to change, hopefully for the better. I think it’s going to send us down a path of more humanity, treating people more equally, understanding wealth disparity. No one really knew what they were doing, and that’s ok.