The people came out. One by one, each bringing a bowl, a basket, a tray, a kitchen towel concealing a baguette.

She had put a long table and two lawn chairs out for her and her partner. It had been 6 months of social distancing and the isolation was maddening enough that they had thrown caution to the wind and had chosen to have dinner on the lawn in the center of all the condos.

Each person dropped off their offering and hurried back towards their respective homes for chairs. Once all the seats at the table were full, 1022C ran in and came out with an 8 footer which they promptly rose and helped unfold and set upright. Soon it seemed like the whole compound was there with them. No one was hugging or shaking hands but no one was observing the 6ft recommended distancing either. It was almost as though people were ready to meet their fate if only it allowed them one more communing with others. The elderly couple in 1248G ambled over, one on their cane and the other slowly pushing their walker, not caring to get the tennis ball feet muddy. Two people got up and moved their chairs to the far end of the table leaving the recommended 6 feet between the rest of us and the elderly couple. The taller of the two waved the two who had moved away back over and gestured for them to return to the original seating arrangements. The people around help them get settled in and passed the water carafe.

There were now 18 people at the two tables. She looked around and wondered why it had taken 6 months for people to choose community over safety. The feast was not much to write home about but the relaxed shoulders of her partner was all the caviar she needed.

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