Monday, May 25, 2020

The Level Of Discourse

"Wait, what song is that?" I ask my roommate.

"It's from Robin Hood," he replies.

"I thought it was a seventies song, and all I could think of was 'ooh-da-lally-ooh-da-lally' so I thought I was wrong...," I say.

"You're bringing the whole apartment down, Scott - get your head in the game!" Katie calls from another room.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Putting My Foot In My Mouth

"When will things come back?" our roommate asks in a plaintive tone as I wash dishes in the kitchen.

Katie cheerfully lists off a number of institutions (like the Met and others) that are working towards reopening, before adding pragmatically, "But, you know, New York will be last, since we have the most people."

"And we had the most people die," I add thoughtlessly.

"Oh, I don't think that's helpful," Katie says.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Bet It Was About Masks

We walked to where I'll be starting back to work next week, following the bike route to make sure there weren't obstacles like construction or cops parked in the bike lanes. Everything seemed clear, and most people seemed to be wearing masks and making at least a nominal effort to maintain social distancing.

When we got home, Katie looked at her phone. "The Citizen app says there was a fight at the intersection by your work just now," she tells me.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The New Helpfulness

I stand on the curb and play with my phone while Katie runs into the drugstore. Some people stand a few doors down next to a mattress, like they're moving a bed into, or out of, an apartment, and subsequently the group disperses, leaving just one person out there, also playing with her phone.

A gust of wind comes up and catches the mattress where it's leaning up against the wall, and it sails to the ground with a resounding thump.

My first impulse is to go over and help her pick it up, but then I think: I don't know her, and more importantly, she doesn't know me, so I just stand a few yards away while she handles things, and I try not to look like I'm ignoring her plight.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Matter Of Public Record

The line to get into the co-op extends around the block, passing right in front of our door, so we often see people in the queue standing their socially distant six feet from one another while they wait. 

As we come out to walk to the park, we see that the gentleman waiting directly in front has neglected to put on his mask to be in public. Katie pauses at the top of the stair to take out her phone and take a picture while I stand in front of the shop on the street level floor of our building, waiting for her to finish.

When she's done, we head down the street, and one of us points out a very good dog coming up, which we are obligated to point out to the other whenever we see them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Stubborn

"I'm going downstairs to sit outside," I tell Katie. I even change into jeans, just in case it's cold out.

But when I get downstairs, it's actually even more blustery than I anticipated, and I end up wrapping up in a blanket against the wind, which honestly doesn't really help much, as the wind sneaks cold fingers in the gaps to chill me.

Rather than go upstairs, maybe grab a jacket, or just abandon the whole thing as a bad idea, I stubbornly stay and finish reading my chapter, because I came down her to read, and by god I will read, dammit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

An Outing

I lie on my back and listen to the sounds of the park with my eyes closed: a dog barks, a kid talks about the plot of his favorite video game with his dad, some girls chat about what they ate for lunch, birds chirp and quarrel above and around us. Tufts of grass poke into my back, but in spite of that I find myself almost dozing in the warmth of a lovely spring day.

It's almost enough to make me forget what's going on, why no one is within six feet of us, in one of the most crowded cities in the world.

Katie says something, but her voice is muffled by her mask, and I ask her to repeat herself.