banality of the apocalypse
Saturday, March 21 2020
It was a sunny Saturday, but still cold enough to have fire in the woodstove during Saturday morning coffee. My reading material has become entirely about the coronavirus, even on Saturday mornings (when I usually prefer to do light reading about electronics). Interestingly, I'd been avoiding the news in the depressing weeks when Trump was acquitted by the Senate and the age of impunity dawned. But then in late February the coronavirus made me a news junkie again. I've even mostly stopped watching YouTube; all I want to do is read.
Late this afternoon, Gretchen (who really can't do the social distancing thing) met up with Sarah the Vegan and Nancy at Sojurner Truth Ulster Landing County Park (near the west end of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge) to walk the dogs (Ramona, Neville, and Jack). The dogs were delighted to be together, romping on the shore of the Hudson (at an elevation of zero above sea level) on a beautiful sunny day. There were only a few other people in the park at the time.
Later Gretchen ventured into the big Hannaford on 9W (in the strip-mall section north of Kingston) for provisions. She reported that it felt post-apocalyptic in there, with many barren shelves. The only pasta left was lasagna, there was no extra-creamy oat milk, and none of the tofu she prefers. There was kale, radishes, celery, baby spinach, fruit, avocados, cereal, frozen vegan pizzas, vegan "popcorn chicken," and packages of quick-prepare Asian noodle dishes. Gretchen found herself adding the last remaining garlic in the entire store to her cart. She ended up buying a fair amount of things. Contributing to the ominous Lynchian quality of the Hannaford, the canned music continued to play even as shoppers tried to keep apart and avoided eye contact. At one point Gretchen did have to say something to a man whose cart was blocking her way, and she added, "This is weird, isn't it?" The man agreed. When I heard this description, I characterized it as "the banality of the apocalypse."
This was our first in-house date-night, and we made our own dinner. We heated up a frozen Vegan Harvest pizza, to which I added slices of fresh tomato and sauteed onions and mushrooms, and Gretchen baked the vegan popcorn "chicken." She also made a salad comprised mostly of baby spinach. I cracked open first one Corona and then another as we watched old episdoes of Shark Tank and the latest Jeopardy.
For the past six months or so, I've been making the bed almost every night before climbing in, something I almost never did before then. A made bed has somehow become an indispensible pleasure of life. Tonight after drinking a stiff screwdriver, I went to bed and was pleased to find that Gretchen had made the bed. Perhaps we're both in sync as our feelings about a made bed have changed.
Celeste this morning.
Gretchen got sleepy after drinking her decaf. Charles, as always, was being Charles. You can't really see evidence of the haircut I'd given Gretchen yesterday.
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