I was on a detour around Colorado fires when I drove past a little general store and saw Augie sitting outside. Something made me turn around and approach him for a conversation. When I asked him about his pandemic experience, he got up to show me his mask. It is for sure a statement piece.
It didn’t take l long for me to realize Augie and I see the world pretty differently. He had lots to say about the deep state, hoaxes, and rigged elections. When I said I was from Chicago, he looked up at me with a bit of a side-eye and said, “Obamaland," and I said, “Yes, and proud of it.”
But then we talked about the fact that he'd lost both his parents earlier this year, his father in January and his mother in March. He was quick to tell me neither was Covid related. Neither of us hid who we are or tried to sway the other, but we found common ground talking about a parent dying, tough economic times, very little work, and hating the fact that the country feels divided. In the end, I know I appreciated the chance to talk with him and hear his perspective, and I hope he did too.
And then there’s that plague doctor mask. I kind of love it. He gets to express how he feels but, in the end, he still wears a mask when required.