Updated: Apr 1, 2020

It was maybe nine am on a Sunday morning. We were in one of the bars along the stretch, close to Pranz Gardens where protesters had stopped construction of the smelter. I don't remember the name of the bar. It wasn't Pam, but one of those places where the name of the bar and name of the aged lady behind the bar and her actual name were all different. This one had a picture of a water wheel painted on the wall. The wheel was turning in an impossible direction. Water was going up it. Whenever that fact ceased to trouble me deeply, I know I should stop drinking immediately. On this particular morning, one of the guys had already started saying that the Mackeson girl was looking at him. This is when we knew that he should have stopped drinking two drinks ago.

As a child the only thing that happened on Sunday morning was church. To be in a bar after a night shift on a Sunday morning was not something I could have imagined. That wasn't something reasonable people like me did. And here I was. With most of my shift and some guys from maintenance and most of a contractor's crew. Becoming decidedly less stressed at the memory of the just concluded fourteen-hour shift, plant bucking and fighting control all night and the water going upstream, turning the water wheel backwards. Almost certain that I was going home and probably getting called back to work another two twelve-hours-plus shifts instead of having four days off.

When the Trinidad and Tobago team took the field in the first world cup match in Germany, the feeling in that stadium was utterly electric. I could have cried and screamed and jumped up and down all at once. Neither we nor the Swedes knew what to do with ourselves in Dortmund afterwards. When Maximus Dan started singing Soca Warrior, Swedish fans were climbing trussing like they were to the mayhem born.

One of the freedoms we've had to restrict has been acts of congregation. This event is causing us, at the most connected time in the history of our species, to need to physically withdraw from one another so systems have a chance to be enough. The Government in staged mitigative response, mandated groups be under twenty-five, then no more than ten. Rum shops closed. Masses are conducted remotely. Schools are shuttered.

Conversely and adding to the sheer weirdness of this is that there are so many ways we can use to stay connected, so many opportunities to join in, check-in, to be present. Very Second Life come to life. So many of us now have the time to see that we have so much. To see that we matter. Each of us. All of us. Together. Apart.

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