I had this really beautiful Wednesday where I saw long-lost friends everywhere—some on purpose, some roaming around the neighborhood, even a few from whom I’d been estranged for what reads now as absolutely small potatoes. Case in point: K, the Legend, and I had a perfectly cordial coffee at Oslo–something I couldn’t have imagined three months ago. Three weeks ago.
Overall the vibe was so terrifyingly end-of-the world, like everyone was making peace and exchanging IRL love before the COVID-19 anvil could come down for good. Even the pretty mild sunshine reminded me of the absolutely perfect weather of the morning of 9-11-01, right before the towers fell and people I loved died along with a trust I hadn’t known I’d taken for granted.
By Thursday, the vibe had changed enormously. In crowded grocery and drug store aisles, shoppers anxiously stuffed nonperishables into newly (and ironically) non-plastic bags. Some wore gloves, masks, hunched shoulders. Others stalked about in shorts and tee shirts, plenty of flesh exposed and eyes plenty guarded. By 8:30am lines were endless–snaking around city blocks, up and down stairwells. At Whole Foods I raised my eyebrows at a woman who looked more like me than anyone I’d ever met–long, broad bones; wide slash of a mouth; green eyes defined by bemusement and half-brows. It turned out she also was of Polish descent, only her family had come over in the 1990s, not the 1930s. Continue Reading →