Memory is arbitrary and whimsical. I was stirring milk into my coffee this morning and suddenly the sound of the metal spoon clinking against the ceramic cup took me back to sitting next to my mother on her back porch in St. Lucia, the sun slanting under salmon colored awnings as she delicately stirred sugar into her tea, always in a dainty teacup with a handle bowed like a dancer's skirt, maybe a piece from her Wedgwood china collection, such elegance gave her joy. The sense of her with me was so strong. The sun slanted in through the kitchen window and I felt my mother there.
A few things I had wanted to write about when I was feeling frozen:
1) Three more days until the release of Hamilton, the entire stage production filmed with its original cast. It was to be released in theaters in October 2021, but when the pandemic hit, and all the Broadway shows went dark, the musical's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to release the film this year instead, and beam it into everyone's homes, those with a Disney Plus streaming subscription that is, which if we didn't have, I would certainly get for this. My girl is counting down the days, but we wont be watching it together, as she's spending a week upstate with her in laws, who she and her love have not seen since before New York went into quarantine in March. We've pledged to live text as we watch this Friday. I can't wait to sing along to the songs.
2) You may recall my daughter and her boyfriend had tried to adopt a dog a few months back, but in what was for my girl a shattering turn of events they had to give the dog back to its foster as he bit my daughter several times, drawing blood and leaving bruises. He tried to bite her boyfriend, too, except he managed to keep a firmer hold on him. He also went after a child on the street when they were walking him; they held him back, but it terrified them both. An Australian terrier, the dog clearly needed space to run, and was not well suited to a city apartment. My daughter cried for days after surrendering him. She felt they had failed him, but to be completely honest, I was immensely relieved when they finally came to the decision to let him go. I didn't write about it here, because it was so painful for them, but I secretly thought, how is this going to work with a baby? Yes, I'm looking forward to grandchildren, and my kids know it. Anyway, after fostering several more dogs in the interim, ("Penance," my girl said), they have now adopted a scrappy little pup. He's an English bulldog and schnauzer or terrier mix, a shaggy brindled three month old, and they are in love. As my daughter's boyfriend said when they picked him up last week, "When I saw him, my heart just exploded." Meet Munch.
2) On the corona virus front, New York is steadily emerging, with less than ten deaths from covid yesterday, down from a high of 800 per day at the peak in April, and hospitalizations from covid were down to less than nine hundred yesterday, down from some 18,000 a day at the height of the pandemic in April. My husband's museum re-opens today for essential staff, though not to the public. Most scientific departments are continuing to work from home until further notice, however, and when he does return, he will be able to drive and park for free in their once very expensive public garage, thus avoiding the subway. He has several underlying conditions, so must continue to be very careful.
3) Sadly, due to the idiocy and ineptitude of the narcissist in the White House, parts of the country are now dealing with the nightmare that overtook New York City in April and May. While I can't imagine anything will ever be quite as bad as we had it here in our crowded cacophony of a city, I understand that in some places hospitals are already overrun. And in Austin, a 46-year-old quadriplegic man, Michael Hickson, father of five, was refused treatment for covid by a doctor who told his wife that he had "no quality of life." His wife went to court to fight for her husband's right to care, but the court appointed a third party as the man's guardian instead of his wife, and that third party organization ratified the hospital's decision to deny treatment. Michael Hickson died on June 11 because a doctor decided that someone's beloved wasn't worth making every effort to save. I was so gripped by rage, which was really crushing sorrow, that I could barely read the story through the flares popping behind my eyes.
5) Perhaps equally as significant as the cases decided were the cases the Supreme Court refused to weigh in on, including a Second Amendment case to extend the open carry rights of gun owners, and a case to compel state lawmakers to turn over undocumented people to federal authorities, which would have done away with sanctuary cities like New York and Los Angeles. While I'm happy SCOTUS let the lower court decisions stand in these two instances, I do wish the justices had taken a case against qualified immunity for police officers who use excessive force against citizens. Oh well. You win some, you lose some, you fight another day.
6) Finally, in the week's most exciting news, my son and his love are coming over to spend the day with us tomorrow. My boy has been working with covid patients almost every day for months, so he's stayed away from us since March. But he's been on vacation from the firehouse for two weeks, and continues to have no symptoms, so we've decided to risk social contact as we're all missing each other mightily. "I long to see that boy," my husband said as we lay reading in bed a few night ago. Tomorrow we will see him, and his lovely fiancee, too, and I will definitely hug them as soon as they walk through the door.