Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
Julie checked herself in the bathroom mirror. In one hour, she was going to do something normal since the pandemic began, well sort of. Three days ago, the Blue Box Riot band announced they were doing a drive-in concert to raise money for out of work musicians.
She had fastened her too long bangs with a barrette, pulled the rest of her hair into a ponytail, and then cemented it into place with hairspray. Her well-worn t-shirt was snugger than she remembered. Maybe she had done more boredom eating than she realized. She chose it because the band members with the words Blue Riot Love over their heads graced the front.
She double checked her purse for a mask and hand sanitizer before setting off to pick up her best friend, Marta. They both had encouraged Marta’s husband, Ryan, to come along, but he said it would be a good girls’ night out. Besides, baseball was finally back and he could cheer at the TV without Marta laughing at his outbursts.
A block away from Ryan and Marta’s home, Julie pulled over and slid on her mask. The mixture of excitement for the concert and concern for her friend and her husband made her stomach jittery. The last thing she wanted was to make either of them sick. As she slowed to a stop in front of their house, Marta bounded down the driveway as she pulled on her own mask.
Marta broke into the lyrics of ‘Jupiter Moon Rising’. Julie giggled at her friend as she steered the car onto the highway. As they pulled into the lot of Tanner Mall, Julie started sing ‘Joe’s Waiting’ and Marta joined in.
The lot had newly painted lines that divided the pavement into much larger car spaces. The rules on the website stated they could get out and dance as long as they stayed within the lines around their own vehicle. Some people seemed to enjoy sitting in their cars. Or, perhaps were erroring on the side of caution. Others had lawn chairs in front or along the side of their cars.
Julie shut the car off and started crying. “Oh, what’s wrong,” Marta asked. She had started to hug her friend, but remembered the virus and stopped.