Have you changed your mind in, say, the last nine years? How about the most recent six-months?
I hope so.
In 2011 I wrote a post about an invitation to a feast. Any reader might choose anybody to be his companion in my hypothetical scenario.
The possibilities were unrestricted. Any person alive or dead would qualify: If You Could Have Dinner with Anyone in the World …
What I didn’t consider in offering the challenge and posting responses was a thing called time. Time appeared a near-infinite concept. No one who responded to my query lived in the presence of Azreal, the Grim Reaper, so far as they or I knew. Infection did not stalk the earth.
People made bucket lists assuming the planet would be as open to them in, say, nine years, as it stood on the day my essay popped up on WordPress. The normal human concerns about money, romance, and work remained ... normal. My respondents weren’t locked down, mask-wearing, social distancing creatures.
If you wanted to hug someone you’d hugged 100 times before, you might reach for embrace #101 without a thought. No dread needed to fill your head.
The value of skin against skin hadn’t skyrocketed. Closeness wasn’t an existential issue. Your loved one didn’t carry Death’s scythe with which to harvest you.
Now we esteem lives in a different way. Some of us do, at least. Indeed, there is a partisan difference even in Americans’ sex lives: Sex in the Era of Coronavirus.
But overall, perhaps we understand, in a less abstract way than we did in the pre-pandemic era, nothing is guaranteed. OK, taxes and death, the old standbys. Nothing else. The topic today is the same one in the earlier article, but with a guarantee of safety unneeded then.
If you could have a meal with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be? In this imaginary opportunity, the food will be safe; the virus will be vanquished, no caution to keep six feet apart, or wash hands again and again.
Is the question too easy? Are the answers predictable? I’m guessing the list of people is more limited. Perhaps I’m wrong.
Surprise me. Or not.
The first image above is Death and Life by Gustav Klimt, sourced from Wikiart.org/ The one below it is Grim Reaper obtained from FreeSvg.