The wait

These days I often find myself waiting often. Mostly for deliveries of various things that I have ordered days, weeks, sometimes months ago.

I receive these packages—of household basics like soap refills or impulse buys like the white sneakers I saw someone wearing at the neighborhood CityMD—like messages from the outside world. A reminder that it still exists.

The wait is not active, though I might remember and wonder whether the running shoes I ordered have shipped, and how soon I might expect them. While most items arrive within about a week, there’s always some items that are backordered, or shipping from a vendor in South Korea, and it’s not clear when and if they will arrive.

The only principled thing I did in the last year or so is cancel my Amazon Prime account. I don’t boycott Amazon entirely—I’m not that principled, and plus I don’t know who exactly I’d be hurting if I did that—but giving up on two-day delivery is a small sacrifice to make.

I’ve learned that there is almost nothing I need within a two-day window, and if I do, I can get it at the bodega for an extra dollar. And without that incentive, I can order from any other site that offers free shipping.

Now, because of the pandemic and the supply-chain mishaps and all that, I’m always waiting for something to arrive. I like it. I like separating the buying from the arrival, and surrendering to forces that are mysterious to me.

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