I was sitting in the living room of The House on the Hill, listening to the sound of the furnace kicking on because that’s what passes for excitement these days, when I suddenly had an idea, Modern Philosophers.
It had been months since I’d gone up to the roof to talk to Gary. I was pretty sure that Gargoyles were not subject to social distancing rules seeing as how they are made of stone and can’t get sick. Besides, I was bored out of my gourd, and a climb up to the roof would be excellent exercise.
As for why I hadn’t visited my loyal Gargoyle in so long, I blame the weather. Maine Winters are harsh, and there’s usually a large amount of snow on the roof. Basically, for those 182 Days of Terror, the roof and Gary are off limits.
He understands, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss him.
When I crawled out of the attic window and onto the roof, I was hit by a burst of frigid March air. Definitely still Winter here in Maine.
My heart did a little dance, though, when I saw the familiar stone form perched on the roof’s edge. Gary didn’t turn, but he knew I was there as Gargoyles have the keenest sense of hearing.
“It’s been a long time, my friend,” he said in his deep voice.
Luckily, most of the snow had melted, so I was able to make my way to the edge without falling or slipping. That was a near miracle for King Klutz.
“How have you been?” I asked when I finally got to the edge.
“The silence disturbs me,” he admitted with a heavy sigh. “All I hear now is the din of televisions tuned to the saddest news, the worried thoughts of those living in fear, and so much crying.”
“When I go for a flight, there’s no movement below me,” Gary continued in a sad tone that made me want to give him a consoling hug. “No cars on the roads, no people on the sidewalks, no boats on the water. I know there are still people down there because I can hear their sadness, but not being able to see them is unnerving.”
I nodded my understanding. “These are strange, scary, and stressful times,” I explained. “While I enjoy being an introvert, even I’m getting antsy at the idea of being cooped up alone all day. In the past, I’ve avoided people because they annoy and disappoint me. Now I’m avoiding them because I’m afraid they will kill me.”
Gary hopped down from his perch and retracted his wings since the wind had died.
“I’d never let anyone get close enough to put you at risk,” he assured me. “Social distancing enforcement is my specialty.”
I chuckled at his wording. “I appreciate that, and I feel very safe knowing you are up here watching over me. Unfortunately, you can’t follow me into the grocery store, which is the one place I will need to go during this stay at home mandate, and the thought of those impending supply runs slightly terrifies me.”
“Just limit your trips by buying more than usual,” he suggested.
It sounded so logical when he said it, but it’s not like all food lasts for months, nor is there always enough at the store to buy. Plus, I just had no idea how long this was going to last, so how much was enough?
“There is one way you can help with social distancing,” I smiled at the evil thought that popped into my head. “You could fly above me when I run on the river walk, and then dive bomb anyone who refuses to give me at least six feet of safe space.”
I didn’t really mean that, but at the same time, I kind of did.
“It would be my pleasure,” Gary confirmed with a sly smile. “Operation Gargoyle Safe Space has a green light. You want to go for a ride to clear your head?”
That I absolutely wanted to do. Being outside in the fresh air helped me to feel alive, and reminded me I wasn’t some couch potato zombie who couldn’t see the light of day again until the President gave the all clear.
“For sure, my friend,” I enthusiastically accepted his invitation as I climbed onto his back. It was like riding a bicycle. Even after a six month layoff, it was second nature.
“My only requirement is that you make as much noise as possible while we’re soaring through the clouds,” Gary stated. “We need the world to sound like it’s alive and fighting back. At least for a little while…”
And then we were off. Into the great wide open. A man and his Gargoyle, making the world a little less quiet and way more alive.