Route 27 is almost empty at 10AM. More than one of my friends detest this road, especially this section of the road in Edison–congestion at every crossroad, cars going in and out of the plazas and strip malls, double yellow line disregarded for good reasons. More than one suffered an accident or narrowly escaped one. Now that’s all gone. Suddenly the four-lane road is wide, open, and even desolate. It feels like somebody has widened it or even tidied up the sidewalk.

The scanning of the car radio stops at a sonorous voice. I press the button to listen to it–it’s a weekend preaching which I’ve never known existed. It’s talking about the virus, the quarantine, social problems–all the familiar platitude. I feel like crying and tears moisture my vision. Probably the empty street and the deep booming voice trick me into this. I am not the crying type. Other than watching sad Japanese or Korean movies, I don’t usually shed tears.

I used to ponder on the futile pursuit of myself, more to the effect of keeping myself busy than really making myself happy. Useless shopping, squandering time, buying things I never use more than once or twice, talking not about what I really think but what I think other people want to hear, working on something due to habit rather than preference. Now the world is free of bustling, pointless or otherwise. It makes me wonder if pointless activities are indispensable to our happiness. Probably they are.

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