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Life is about perspective.

Hands down, my favorite thing about reading non-fiction work is having the opportunity to see someone else’s perspective. Why not take the most important topic on everyone’s brains currently and see it through another lens?

Lives have been lost, businesses shuttered, and streets of one of the busiest cities in the world silenced. Yet, Bill Hayes dares to share his perspective. It’s unique how he goes about, such in small vignettes, little memories filled with insight, and the meaning behind each of his photos, which fill this book. At times you forget this is our reality. It feels like a distant memory, not a collection of works assembled in the now. Day by day, hour by hour, he still finds stories to tell. Some days are mingled with present circumstances, while others are stories of those he’s interacted with during the pandemic.

Mostly, however, his love story is prevalent.

You see, Bill is a single gay man living alone in NY, sharing his joy and struggles of what had begun as a new relationship halted by the current state of the world. He is vulnerable, real, honest, and authentic to himself as well as with his audience. His style makes you feel as if you were enjoying the afternoon reflecting on the times over a cup of coffee.

In the present, a portion that stood out to me was his recollection of last times. Something I, too, have pondered upon during the stints of quarantine and the “new normal” that has followed. He states:

“Now I think about the last time I went to the gym.
The last time I went swimming.
The last time I got on a plane.
The last time I saw a movie.
The last time I saw a play.”

Our collective perspective has undergone a forced shift that none of us saw coming.

It makes you wonder when any of these simple statements will again become a reality instead of a fond memory. Furthermore, requiring you to take a self-inventory of all the things you’ve taken for granted. That notion has remained a constant sentiment throughout the book and how we are indeed living. Bill Hayes’ How We Live Now showcases a time we have learned to cope with and the journey of love amid it all.

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Want to know more about Bill Hayes? Check out his site Here