June 12, 2020

The new hazmat suit did not do justice to his physique. The sleeves were too wide and puffy. But he wore it on the date. He could handle oversized, just not baggy or shapeless PPE. She could not have noticed the broadness of his shoulders underneath all that plastic and rubber. Maybe it was the industrial lighting too, that softened his edges. Without the privacy of a nook, sitting next to the entrance meant that every person who walked in could overhear a sliver of their conversation. 

Not like there was a lot of talking going on anyway. The reflections on the plastic helmet were distracting. How was he supposed to look her in the eyes? She was talking about how important routines are. “I just bought the nova breathable helmet from Pike. Their motto “Just Wear It” really speaks to me. My running stamina is so much better now.”  

His mind drifted to what it would feel like to accidentally brush knuckles across the table. Maybe it was the forbidden nature of the act that made it all the more enthralling. He knew what he desired was sacrilegious. To shake her hand… without the glove… The thought of such a transgression sent a frisson of delight through his entire body.

Condemned indoors
I have been searching the web
For comforting things

A pat on the back
Would console more than the drinks
That #savef&b

A squeeze of the palm
Could really warm bereft skin
Replacing online likes 

Once perfunctory
Now noticeably missing
the holding of hands

Our skin is hungry
like stomachs rumbling loudly
For their needed fix

What will we do now
Without the oxytocin
That touch provides

Lockdown dwindles
Perhaps our fear and caution
Will protect us here

Hazmat suit on sale
Shields the nerves of our bodies
And hides loneliness

Real intimacy,
Leaves much to be desired
Without a handshake

Dinner was over faster than he could extend his arm.