I Miss My Strangers

Consequential Strangers is a book and idea that I have discussed before and think about a lot. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it lately, as I’ve been down with the virus and totally isolated since March 20th.

Briefly, A CS is someone who you see or have a minor interaction with on a typical day (fellow bus-riders, clerks, baristas, etc). They make up an important part of your normal life — some without even talking to. They are just There. You miss them when they’re gone, even though you might not consciously think about them regularly or even at all.

Right now we are largely missing all of our Consequential Strangers. On our car ride yesterday (my first since Mar.20th), I asked that we go through the French Quarter, where I was many people’s CS, and have a lot of Consequential Strangers (a lot of homeless people, and a lot of other shop workers mostly). I saw two of “my” homeless guys, which was comforting but also alarming. At least they had masks.

I miss working in the Quarter terribly even though it used to also annoy the eff out of me regularly. What I miss most is the “howyadoin’s” that would collect as I walked to or from work, and being known and recognized as part of it, as having a place there.

We are all displaced right now. Even if we barely left our houses before, the small places we used to go are a part of us, our routines. The people there are like very distant family, even the annoying ones.

It’s okay to miss it. It’s normal and healthy to miss them. Even if you don’t know their names.



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Christie M. Schaefer

Christie M. Schaefer

C.FoxnoseHuling, Writer, Pro-Glitter and I vote. she/they/hey