Leaning in kept causing me to fall, so I turned to Qigong for health, spirituality, and life energy. I do not yet understand much of it but I am up to the part about slapping my hips while I walk. Or maybe my thighs and my butt. I am not too coordinated and I never took an anatomy class. People seem amazed at my Qigong mastery because they keep staring at me from afar. My neighbors kept their distance from me long before I discovered Coronavirus was not the half brother of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. I tend to talk and sing loudly when I am anywhere by myself because my thoughts overwhelm me with memories of my mistakes and cringe-worthy moments. I try to drown out embarrassing remembrances with noise like an “I can’t hear you” chant. I usually restrain myself when anyone is within earshot. If I am caught by surprise, I wrap my hand around an imaginary cellphone and pretend to be laughing and joking with someone on the phone. I worry that others can tell I am talking to an imaginary electronic device. That becomes a new embarrassment to blot out in the future. Recently I was passed on a walk while singing nonsense words that rhyme with blue, e.g., “he was new blue, a hue for you too.” I not only drowned out my memories but the stranger’s footfalls behind me. He passed with nary a glance my way. I kept singing (a little softer) just to prove I was not caught doing something stupid.

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