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As we quarantine ourselves from ourselves, learn how to make bread so good we never have to buy it again, rearrange what little furniture we do have, and make too many TikTok videos, let’s not forget the world that awaits us when we emerge. And no, I’m not talking about the museums, the parks, or the theatre.  Below, you’ll find a list of things I personally can’t wait to experience again – join me, will you?

Tall people breathing on me

The only breath I’ve felt in weeks is my own and that’s completely unacceptable, and frankly, not that fresh. Come on! Exhale through those nostrils! Let me really feel the hot air!

Body checks in Midtown

I need human touch! You got pent up energy. And probably anger! And I’m here to absorb the blow as you storm through the first crowd you’ve seen in months, glued to your phone, snapping right back into that blind disregard for others that I’ve missed so much.

Pigeon poops

Right now the thrill of casually walking down the street and suddenly seeing a flock of birds take off eleven inches above my head sounds way more freakin’ exhilarating than staring at that bird painting for those twenty-three minutes that felt like hours, like I did last week.

Verbal assaults by taxi drivers

I’ve been on the phone talking about “how I’m feeling” with literally every friend I’ve ever made, so I’m ready for some conflict! You haven’t had anyone to scream at for months. Come at me, Taxi Man and or Woman!

Walking through sewer grate steam

Enough with the face masks and essential oil bubble baths! I want some hot, unidentified steam that rises up from the doldrums of the city and into my unmentionables!

Getting clotheslined by the MTA turnstile

I’ve been walking through too many entrances too easily.

I need the jolt of the metal turnstile smashing into my abdomen, obliterating my reproductive organs, to make me feel alive again!

Getting my face smashed with a backpacks on the A/C train

No one on my daily walks is coming up to me at all, let alone smashing their overstuffed backpack and semi-wet pack into my face! Bring on the Jansport, pals!

Rocking out to someone else’s early morning tunes!

I’m only listening to my music, my podcasts, and watching my TV shows.

There’s a void. What say we all ditch our noise cancelling headphones for good, and let a cacophony of Michael Barbaro’s tenor from a man’s Google Pixel, some anime from a child’s iPad, and Cardi B from a woman’s iPhone reign supreme!

Trash Tornados

I keep a pretty clean apartment. And rarely there’s a wind tunnel. So my chances of getting hit in the eyeballs with specs of dirt, glass, and probably feces has been slim to none. Elements of New York City, collide! I want to crinkle my face, blink incessantly, and feel the dirt betwixt my teeth!

Katie Novotny

Katie is a comedian and copywriter, living in New York to chase her dreams of becoming the official spokeswoman for Bengay.

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