When I Wake Up from This Dream

By Emma Westenberg

Afterthoughts, post pandemic:

Connecting with others playing sports (soccer…)

Indeed, connections are easily built without any conversation needed. Passing the ball around the field and scoring together links people together like magicy. Teammates bond quickly. After the game, speaking to strangers is very interesting. During the match, I form an image of their daily lives simply by judging their style of play. For example, a player who is constantly focused on scoring goals can translate this into their existence by drive and ambition. On another note, I am really looking forward to the day where referees do not have to sanitize the ball at half-time.

Travel freely

I am so excited to be nervous again when passing through the American border by car. The customs officer staring at the driver and asking questions, and the passengers quietly sitting at the back. I miss road- tripping with no specific destination. In general, planning a trip can be time-consuming, even before the pandemic. I am anticipating flights roaming freely around open, and ready-to-host, countries. Closures are happening too abruptly for travellers to get their reimbursements. When travelling, the sense of adventure and newness lead to a vibrant feeling of being alive. It is such a special feeling.

Be allowed in any currently closed building

Eating at a restaurant. Visiting a museum. Studying at the library. Not studying at a coffee-shop. Watching a 3D movie. Going to school. The list goes on and on…. Weirdly, when re-exploring skyscrapers in Montreal, I am beyond excited to take an elevator with others. Pressing any button, with no fear. Sneezing and coughing, without the anxiety of stares.

Chanting GO HABS GO in the Bell Centre

Recently, I made an incredible find at Salvation Army. It is a knitted Montreal Canadiens crewneck, made by NHL, for a mere $8. Other than being proud of my browsing skills, I realized that other than giving warmth, it had no value. Outdoor hockey rinks might not be assembled, and chairlifts may not operate. Untying my skates, with dysfunctional fingers due to the Canadian cold, is a hilarious scene I hope to watch in the near future. Even better, after having cried of laughter, a hot-chocolate waiting for my arrival is the reward, not to mention digging into a poutine with friends.

Shaking hands and having physical interviews

I am not sure how to behave on virtual interviews. What is a good introductory gesture? Is waving a hand aggressively before the audio appropriate? I have no clue! Clapping elbows does not seem, or look, professional. The elegant action of making a toast creates close contact. Cheers! I was asked, by my own family, not to blow the candles on my birthday cake! Instead, for the safety of all, I had to become a human fan.

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