CATCHING UP WITH OURSELVES

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^^
the land is quiet, the streets empty; one can see the  Milky Way again !!
The inside of my apartment has been memorized. Every blemish on the walls is known, each slant of the floor. I can tell the exact temperature — and the difference — of the various rooms. I remember each room’s smell. The details vary and vary within each. On the stove my evening pasta is boiling.

We are alive here, and as Henry. MIller recounted in Tropic of Cancer, every chair is in place, not a spoon mishandled. However, none of us is lousy. We wash our hands every minute, our hair thrice a day. We launder our clothes, trim the hairs in our noses. If we had a coronavirus, we would self administer. Of course we have none. Yet we keep an eye out and the tongue in.

we have caught up with ourselves, my wife and I and two of our grandchildren sheltering with us. I in particular like To run my days months ahead of my time.ine. Always going, moving  — you who know me see it. That’s all gone now. My timeline sits folded like an accordion — snugged into the bookshelves like a carry-on in an overhead flight pouch. My life no longer runs — it barely walks. My wife even knows who it is, now, unlike before, when, coming home at ten pm after an all day work run, she woujd be asking, as she heard the door opening, “who’s that ??”

she watches movies. I read. The grandkids pretend to play. Occasionally we take a ride. There is barely any traffic; we can go where want to, just like in the 1950’s. Yet we can’t stop at a roadside restaurant. We.re lucky if we find an open gas-station. The countryside feels empty. At night we can see the Milky Way. No airplanes drone across the heavens.

All is calm. All is anything BUT calm. When will this end ? I can’t stand myself.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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