Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Another Tuesday

Almost every night for dinner, I make myself tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. This is my comfort food right now. I will likely associate tomato soup with this period of quarantine forever more. I feel strangely disconnected from myself, as if I can't tell what I am feeling. I'm going through the motions, diligently editing my manuscript and getting through the days, each one much like the one before. "Tuesday?" I said to my husband when I awoke this morning. "Yes," he confirmed.

I have a pesky cough, feels like allergies. My joints ache something fierce. Every night I survey my symptoms, wondering if I am getting sick, and then I wake the next morning, no worse than the day before. They say the curve of new Covid-19 cases in New York is flattening. Yet every day people are still dying alone in hospitals, their families able to say goodbye to them only through electronic devices arranged by merciful nurses. On the news at night, reporters interview the nurses. They sob through their words. They had no idea this sort of tragedy would become such an unrelenting part of their jobs. I worry for them. How changed will they be when all this is behind us? Which will be when exactly?

I'm not rushing anything, even though the idiot in the White House keeps inciting other idiots with assault rifles to storm their state capitols in protest of stay-at-home guidelines issued by his own administration. I'm doing my best to ignore him, listening instead to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's updates and taking it day by day. A British commentator, Nate White, wrote the best summation of Trump that I have seen anywhere—other than from Mary Moon, of course. My favorite line: "God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid."  

A lensman named Bruce Byers is doing a series on Instagram that he's calling "Heroes: Looking Into Their Tired Eyes." He's photographing people on the frontlines of the pandemic in our city. This weekend, he posted an image of my son. My daughter said, "His eyes look like he's smiling behind the mask." I looked into those eyes for a long time.


  1. Some of us have the vast fortune to go through this time with the knowledge that on the other end we will probably only be even more grateful for all that we have and all the ones we love and who love us. Some of us, however, do not have that option. They will never be the same in ways that will wake them in the middle of the night in terror, remembering what they never wanted to know in the first place.
    Your son is beautiful. That's all there is to it.
    I think I will go make a grilled cheese and bowl of tomato soup now.
    I love you.

  2. Oh there he is! The epitome of heroic stellar human, he must have such exceptional parents is what I think! Your symptoms are frightening, stay in, no matter what dear leader does...We are looking at probably September to have any measure of safety. The days meld, sensible eating a maybe, trying to not be cranky. Knowing that you and i and Mary Moon and all of us are riding the same gigantic horse...the Orange minions have been and always will be toxic. Stay in, listen to Cuomo, light in the dimness. Love to you. Love to your beautiful children!

  3. I started to read this post just after I had said out loud to Roger, "Is it tomorrow yet?" These are such challenging times. It's hard to grasp what it means to live like this for many, many more months. I dream of vaccines and being free. Grilled cheese and tomato soup was the absolute "go to" food for me when I was young. My favorite for comfort. Your son is a hero. His work adds compassion and sanity to the world. We so need that. Please take care there and stay well, dear friend. Thinking of you and your beautiful family.

  4. You and your family are often in my thoughts. Just as I recognize your son's eyes, I would recognize you and all your family members just by seeing your eyes. Eyes say so much and distinguish us. I agree with your daughter that it does look as if your son is smiling. I relate to your perception that it is hard to tell what is being felt during these confusing times. I'm not sure if I am feeling tired, angry or sad or if it is a new combination of those that I am not used to feeling at this intensity. Food is comforting. Music is comforting. Hearing familiar voices on the phone and waving to friends is comforting. I've been re-reading a book called Trauma Stewardship and appreciate Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's message for all of us who are living day by day in these traumatic times. Sending love.

  5. I have never eaten grilled cheese and tomato soup. Now it sounds really good. Next time we shop, there will be tomato soup on the list. Your entire family got the photogenic gene, I love looking at your pictures.

  6. Your son is a beautiful man. God keep him safe and well.

    Tom soup and grilled cheese sandwich is a classic lovely comfort food. A daily dose sounds about right.

  7. Thanks for the link to the post. My favorite line: 'A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.' And the nation is the poor maiden locked in chains forced to sit next to this grotesque monster. Photographer Peter Turnley also has some excellent NYC photos on Instagram.

    Your sons eyes are indeed smiling. Thank heaven for him and the other helpers.

    Colorado is expected to lift stay-at-home orders in just 5 days! With restrictions, of course. I will still play it very safe. This is new territory and we just don't know what is going to happen next.

    Stay well, stay safe.

  8. Nate White put it so well. tRump will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever. I try to limit my intake of him but it's hard. It's like having a rash and you know you're not supposed to scratch it but sometimes you can't help it and then it just feels worse.

    I'm glad you have your book to work on and keep your mind busy. I can't even imagine living in New York right now, or working there. Those nurses will never be the same. I hope there is PTSD counselling available for them.

    That's a lovely photo of your son.

    Take care and stay safe my friend.

  9. Your son is a gift to the world.

    I often wonder what this pandemic would be like for this planet if your president was a caring and intelligent person. How the world would benefit in all aspects.

  10. if it was just Trump I'd think that the nation would be OK once he is gone but of course it isn't just Trump. it's the Republican Party who are at the end stage of their long game to destroy the government, the New Deal, all restrictions on business gone, social welfare programs gone, let the poor and weak die. so mean, so nasty, so stupid. I cannot tolerate Trump, not his face, not his voice, not his whiney nasty little vindictiveness. I'm glad you are still well, that your son is still well. may we all continue to be well.

  11. That IS a brilliant description of Trump. It pretty much says it all.

    I think your daughter is right about your son's expression -- he seems to be amused by being photographed.

  12. It all feels like too much so many days, doesn't it? And that's from my position of relative safety and comfort. I cannot - just cannot - imagine how the front line healthcare workers are going to come through this unscathed mentally or emotionally, let alone physically. May you and your family stay safe, 37p.

  13. The photo of you son is beautiful. When we were in elementary school, my sister and I would walk home and my father, who was a minister would fix us lunch because he was home. For what seemed like weeks he gave us tomato soup. I have never felt the same about it since, although when you say it, it sounds good and of course, grilled cheese!

    Stay safe, be well.

  14. You've captured my sentiments so well.

    It's so painful and heartbreaking to see the news these days. I can't stand to watch anymore of Trump's press briefings.