Tuesday, May 19, 2020

I dreamed you were skipping little stones across the surface of the water

I'm a NEXTDOOR nnarcissist

I forgot my credit card at Trader Joe's the other day and burst into tears, but not until I was safely back in my car. My body clearly would've preferred to sob all day for no concrete reason, but I had to bribe it to stop so we could get some work done (see above, it is very CAPITALIST work I am doing).

Monday, May 11, 2020

The month after the month they say is cruel

I want to make a record of sorts, but will it be a record of a brief, strange period in history? Or a record of the moment when everything changed forever?

Is that too melodramatic?

Detail: when I queue up, approximating six feet from the person in front of me, I picture my brother Adam lying down in the space, head to toe, approximately six feet.*
Sweet was the walk.

*It's funny, I could also picture my dad or my brother David, both also approximately six feet long. But for whatever reason, it's always Adam lying there. :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

I would swim the seas for to ease your pain

Reminding myself of the chill I got the first time I got a New York Times breaking news email that was coronavirus-related but didn't specifically mention coronavirus. The assumption that 100% of everybody knew exactly what they were referring to. And then a Portland Press Herald headline: NEW CASES SURGE. Just the fact that there was no need to specify cases of WHAT.

Isaac ventured out to the grocery store for the first time in a while, and he wore his suit to do it. It was an event. I've been going the opposite route, hair scraped into a ponytail for maximum mask ease. Gray mask. For a while I was carefully applying mascara before I went into the world, because we're all 100% eyeballs now, but the last few times I didn't even do that. It's all about comfort, and pockets for keeping my debit card handy. Last time I went to Hannaford, I got carded for my tiny box of cooking wine, and I had to scrabble around in search of my wallet and then rifle through it for my driver's license (these masks, they hamper downward peripheral vision, have you noticed?). The whole time I was thinking Really? Do you see these eyeballs? I'm fifty-two goddamn years old and I'm buying 12 ounces of bad white wine.

We've had some days warm enough to open the windows, and it's made this whole situation feel a little easier, although from the look of things it's also made people feel like it's probably fine if they meet up with friends and stand close together, and in the case of my cigar-smoking neighbor, smoke stinky cigars en masse, defiantly. Even Isaac and Edna can't stay away from Christian, who comes by in his sharp outfits (brightly colored jackets and crazy shoes, velvet and suede and satin) so they can take long, socially-distanced walks together and sit, spaced apart, in the back yard.

Gus has stayed with us long enough to celebrate his eighth birthday! He naps so deeply these days, buried deep enough in sleep that I have to put a hand on his side to make sure he's breathing. At night, he snores more loudly than ever. He's taken to eating dirt sometimes, seeming a tiny bit confused at others, but mostly he's still 100% Gus.

I took little Clover to the beach this morning. I like to think that we both looked at this cottage and dreamed of living there, a step away from the sand, with the constant sound of wind and waves.

Come visit any time!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Hell, I love everybody*

Oh imagine a world in which I could find paying work as an itinerant internet archaeologist!  

My latest finds:

We ate it for dinner. Will report any negative repercussions.

I will be thinking of Leonard the next time I prepare to make sandwiches.


Total mood.

Hunger? Try some Dark Salves with Dog Mustard.


"Goodtime Jesus" by James Tate*

Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dreaming so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it? A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled back, skin falling off. But he wasn't afraid of that. It was a beautiful day. How 'bout some coffee? Don't mind if I do. Take a little ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.

Thursday, April 09, 2020


Okay, hear me out: Sicilian twins playing Coldplay on violins.

Here's a capybara getting a massage from a chicken.

And...we're down two appliances in this pandemic. At least it's the dishwasher and the microwave and not the stove and the refrigerator UNLESS I JUST JINXED MYSELF!

I keep writing this blorg post, a few words a day, and each day things get stranger, my friends. We were without running water for one day, one brief strange day of using those crinkly plastic bottles of water (city-supplied, thanks Portland!) to wash our hands and rinse our toothbrushes, and scooping buckets from the tub into the toilet to flush. Since I wrote the above, we've replaced the microwave, but the dishwasher will have to wait awhile, since a person can purchase a new dishwasher, but a person has to haul it from the sidewalk into the house on their own these days. Mark and I keep fearfully pressing our ears to the refrigerator: is it making a weird noise?

And while washing dishes by hand is a stress-relieving activity for a couple of us (Edna and me), we need the refrigerator, which is so full it feels like Christmastime. 

I feel like I'm playing pandemic bingo, and I'm almost there:

  • Made our own sourdough starter
  • Made the whipped coffee
  • Sewed a bunch of masks
  • Started a 30-day ukulele class on YouTube
  • Made the beneficial biscuits
  • Made a comforting soup
  • Got carryout from a local restaurant
  • Had groceries delivered to our porch
  • Donated three N95 masks (discovered in the basement) to a local hospital
  • Made no-knead bread thrice
  • Watched Tiger King
  • Joined a family Zoom meeting
  • Cried when a beloved celebrity died
  • Canceled a haircut, a dentist appointment, a mammogram, a blood test, and a follow-up shingles vaccine
  • Made baguettes
  • Had bagels delivered to our porch
  • Stood in line for 45 minutes to get into a grocery store

Things are about to enter a new strange phase as the DOT starts work this month on the roundabout project that involves our driveway. Today I gazed out the window, distracted from work, watching two guys with a...circular saw? Cut a line across the bottom of our driveway?

I went to Trader Joe's for the first time in weeks, and their system felt very organized and as safe as can be expected, with all the workers wearing (homemade) masks, and very few shoppers in the store at a time. It's like a dream, drifting around the grocery store peering over the top of my own homemade mask, my own breath like a little ghost caught in front of my mouth. I put a small container of heavy cream in my cart and then wove my way up and down the aisles before I realized it had a leak, and I'd left a long, winding Hansel-and-Gretel trail of white drops through the entire store. I pantomimed my apology to a worker. I don't know how he felt about it, since we were both wearing masks and it's hard to interpret mood through them. But in general, the TJ's folks were not their usual cheery selves.