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It was the height of the pandemic and we were all thirsting for live things. Live meetings with friends. Live dinners out. Live music. And I was pregnant with our second child. On St. Patrick’s Day, Dropkick Murphys streamed a live show, which we watched loudly. Matt drank beers at the dining room table, and I watched him thirstily. I would give birth just a few weeks later, a mask separating my mouth from my baby’s soft, fresh head.

Throughout the lockdown times, we became accustomed to walks around the neighborhood, crossing the street to avoid our neighbors, still waving kindly. This continued for weeks after the baby was born in April– both the walking and distance-enforcing. Our parents would come to visit and stand in the front yard. We’d hold the new baby, like Simba, up for them to see on the front porch before going back inside to be alone as a family of four.

By May live-streams of concerts became more common, less novel, and artists were charging admission to them and selling merch. Towards the end of a walk, checking my watch, I told Matt, “I’ve got to get home for that concert,” which is funny to say, even now. I was hot and sweaty from the early summer heat and my cheeks were pink. Matt got the kids ready for bed when we got home and I tried to access the concert. It wouldn’t work on the TV so I had to login on my phone, which was almost dead and needed to be plugged in. I sat on the edge of the couch, phone plugged into the wall, waiting for Chris Carrabba to start his show, surrounded not by other eager concert-goers, soft music buzzing in the background, a large beer in hand, but simply my living room furniture and the sound of a toddler’s raucous bedtime in the adjacent room.

Later, I took the concert to bed, propped my phone on a pillow and lay on my side. Chris played guitar alone and I listened intently for a while, until slowly, and then all at once, I fell asleep.