This political book I'm doing seems to have no end, like the crazy surreal world it is attempting to capture. I feel guilty, because I had accepted another job editing someone's manuscript, and the author of that work has already waited a month for me to get started. With RBG dying last week, it is possible she may have to wait a month more. I am trying to craft an email to her explaining things. I know she is anxious to get her book done and sold, her family could use the money, but I simply can't abandon the first project until it is completed. This is why I've been a little scarce around here, working intensely all day and reading your posts on my phone when I fall into bed at night, but not commenting much. Please know my silence is not a lack of care.
My niece who has been living with us for the past year went home to her parents in Orlando for a while. She hadn't seen them since January, and decided she could work remotely just as well from there as she could from here. She doesn't go back into her office in New York City for at least another month, maybe more, so it's just the man and me again, puttering together, being outraged at the news together, moving around each other with gentle humor and untucked ease.
I'm starting to reconnect with friends I haven't set eyes on in forever. I went for a walk and then sat on benches in the gardens where I live with two different women on Friday and Saturday last, chatting and soaking up the sun. And the week before, I sat with five other women under a tree in Central Park, our folding chairs in a socially distanced circle, catching up on our lives in quarantine. On the bench we wore masks. In the park circle, we took them off, trusting the wafting breezes to blow our invisible droplets away. New York continues to do well, with positive cases at less than one percent, and fewer than five covid deaths a day in the state, none of them in the city most days. But people are still dying from this thing. We are trying to figure how to live this masked life and love each other safely.
Up there in Cambridge, my girl and her guy continue to live a rather more social existence on campus, meeting up with their new friends almost daily. Last Sunday, her love's section group and their partners all went on an apple picking outing, organized by the school. It was outdoors and masked, ergo safe, though these young people have also begun to gather in each others homes. Most of their get togethers are still in rooftop bars or on lawns. But it's getting colder now. I wonder if the school created these section pods within the larger class so that new students might get to know one another, since classes are still all virtual. The students (but not the partners) still get tested twice a week, so if anyone comes up positive for covid, they can quickly trace contacts within the designated sections. Maybe they also intentionally placed my girl and her love in a section where almost all the students relocated with partners.
That's my girl with her puppy, Munch, with whom we have all fallen in love. Munch also has fans on campus, with human friends scheduling regular play dates with him. My daughter reported that one woman told her she had overheard her husband on the phone to his mom saying, "There's a dog here I love so much. His name is Munch and he has such a joy for life." Munch is indeed scrappy and affectionate and energetic and sometimes hysterically bored. Did I mention they tested for his DNA? He is half English Bulldog, a quarter Beagle, an eighth miniature Schnauzer and an eighth mutt. His shaggy brindle coat probably comes from his Schnauzer ancestry.
Here's a blast from the past I ran across recently. The photo of my husband and me was taken during carnival in Antigua one summer. We weren't yet married. I was a year older than my daughter is now, and the man was two years younger than me. Honestly? I still wonder how I got so lucky that this tall handsome man with the dancing wit and steady heart chose me. Thirty four years later, I choose him still.