They corner me a quarter of the way into my evening walk. I’ve been tracing this route since the first week of lockdown; now, in week five, my soles can pull me through it in my sleep. These habits are innocuous enough in isolation. And yet I can’t contain that air of doom, the anxiety throbbing underneath it all. I see myself shuffling through my neighborhood like those fleeing pixels that become Pacman’s lunch, gliding down the same old tunnels to no escape.
I’m entering one such tunnel, a sort of wooded path forking off a driveway, when I hear a hello at my heels. I turn, squinting in the glare of early sunset. It’s three women: an older woman and two young women. A mother and daughters, teacher and students? Leader and disciples? They approach, this strange trinity, asking if they can give me a “presentation” on the Passover. Lucky for them I say yes because I’m a poor practitioner of saying no. (Do I emit a heathen look? Hare Krishnas like to stop me on the street.)