sidewalk lupper in New Paltz
Saturday, November 14 2020
It took me awhile to find the panagram in the New York Times Spelling Bee this morning because it was "acolyte," a word not on the tip of anyone's pre-frontal cortex. Gretchen was drinking her usual decaf coffee, but I was drinking kratom tea instead because I was making this a second caffeine-free weekend. Well, it would've been caffeine-free, but I absent-mindedly ate a chocolate chip cookie, and I don't even like chocolate chip cookies.
At Gretchen's urging, I also decided to begin a course of citalopram (aka celexa), which is the prescription serotonin reuptake inhibitor she takes to fight her depression. The dose would be 20 milligams per day, and the experiment was to see if it helped me fight anxiety, which might turn make me less interested in alcohol. It's an experiment worth performing, and Gretchen has lots of citalopram for some reason.
At some point as we were doing our usual Saturday morning thing in living room, my Aunt Barbara called. She wanted to tell us that my mother had called her yesterday and seemed to be doing okay, at least by her standards. It seems Barbara herself is going batty because she spent a large part of the call reminiscing about the gardens my father used to grow. I hadn't been aware that Barbara shares an interest in gardening with my late father that my mother never did.
Kratom makes hunger more unbearable, so at some point I busted into a bag of hand-made yellow-corn tortilla chips and ate them with hummus and tiny shavings of ghost pepper (collected from the garden before the Halloween frost). It was a good combination.
Gretchen and I decided to do lupper again, this time at the vegan café Commissary in New Paltz. Gretchen had been on the phone with Kristin, our college friend who happens to live in New Paltz, and the phone call went on so long that we didn't get to New Paltz until the sun was setting behind the Shawangunks. Due to the pandemic, Commissary doesn't allow in-door dining, though they've provided a few tables out on the sidewalk, one of which we commandeered. Unfortunately, this Saturday was much colder than the one we'd had a week ago, so it was good we'd worn layers (it was a good use for my insulated trousers). Still, it would've probably been better to do have our car parked there on the street and eat in that, as another set of Commissary diners were doing.
I don't really think of Commissary as providing the kinds of dishes that make for a full meal, but Gretchen ordered five or six different things: socialist soup, mac & "cheese," "cheesy" ramen, marinaded seitan, beans & greens, and even bread pudding, and it was so much food we had to take some back home with us. Neither of us ordered anything to drink. Had I not been avoiding caffeine, though, I would've gotten some kind of fancy coffee drink.
Before driving back to Hurley, we walked up and down Main Street to check out how the pandemic is affecting businesses. Alarmingly, a good number of them were back to having indoor dining and even drinkers sitting at the bar, though only P&G was crowded enough for this to look dangerous. When we first walked by, it was still early, and the P&G host seemed to be directing her customers to use every other booth. But on the walk back, as luppertime gave way to the more crowded dinner hour, those empty booths were being filled in as well. As for the guys at the P&G bar, they all looked to be of an age where coronavirus would not be a good thing to catch. Were they really so bored and lonely at home that they were willing to sit maskless three feet from another maskless old codger in an indoor space? I suspected that they must all be Trumpies who still consider the coronavirus a "democrat hoax."
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