NYC Journal #1: Limited Visibility

NYC Journal #1: Limited Visibility

[NYC Journal]

Thursday, 4/2/2020, day 14 of quarantine.
A little asthma-y.
On the whole feeling better.
Lungs seemed less papery this morning.

Outings after Wednesday, 3/18/2020 are two:
(1) Thursday 3/26/2020: Took out garbage; walked to curb; got mail; back up steps; felt winded and dizzy, gave up on work-at-home for the day and went to bed.
(2) Thursday 4/2/2020: Took out garbage; got mail; back up steps; felt a little winded, but pretty good and continued the 9-5 work-at-home gig.

The improvement from (1) to (2), as well as waking up with lungs feeling less like paper, and also thinking I could kind of smell the cinnamon and Italian spices during today’s test have encouraged me. And generally I feel better. But yet cannot exult too high, as right now I feel a little asthmatic, which goes to show I’m not quite all better.

Life is fine. Continue to work in my unchosen and reluctantly accepted career in appointment-begging and vendor-nagging, but through the aether now. Call, talk, coordinate work dates, order supplies, process payments, even get after people – all though the magical luminiferous aether. And Einstein said it doesn’t exist! Well, no one can always get everything right. That wouldn’t be fair.
Life going OK. Parents call at 7:30PM to check in. Other people text hellos, all from some degree of isolation, a few from their own quarantines.

I don’t understand this someone said about how the actual NYC numbers are quite low. The numbers of what? People who tested positive for this novelty virus? Or the uncounted many told to stay home with their suspicious symptoms because the healthcare resources can’t handle them? Best to say nothing. Almost always doesn’t pay to say things.

Strange times. It turns out, however, that leaving your apartment was highly overrated. You can do almost all your work from your living room. You eat healthier when you don’t eat out, and also when you have to ration your animal products, and especially when you’ve got no alcohol. And every confrontation’s milder through the aether; it’s very soft and padded; kind of luxuriously gauzy, and one falls gently asleep in its safe folds.

Good thing you quit smoking all those years ago. Interesting that you keep waking up with papery lungs like you’re 22 and have smoked a pack of cigarettes the eve before. It’s the opposite of the thrill of youth: consequences without indulgences. Because actually, it would just be for a bit in the morning and then you felt great and would rock on, dashing gloriously forward, perhaps even doing some homework.

But this journal isn’t about you. This is about New York City. So what do you observe? Some people walk by my window. Most don’t have masks. Lots of cars parked on the side of the road, none of them wearing masks. An old tree’s branches shake their tight buds in the gray winds; clouds are strafing soft through the pale blue late-afternoon sky. I like the white dogwood, fully in bloom as April begins. I would scold it for appearing so early, but it seems to be right – this mild weather will hold and unfold into milder weather.

One guy biked past without a helmet and with a mask; another with a helmet and without a mask. Guy #2 seems the wiser one, particularly if he’s got a mask in his bag in case he has to go to a convention or some other crowded gathering with lots of chatting and laughing, with minuscule droplets of spit floating gently everywhere, coating everyone, binding all participants deeply and irrevocably together. They both coasted down the center of the street. Partly because there are less cars; partly because a van’s double-parked and so consuming the bike lane.

So we are all together in our isolation, except for the necessary employees who haven’t gotten sick. And that guy who is jogging. Well, he’s jogging alone. What about that couple walking? They’ve a couple feet between them. Are they social-distancing? Or do they already live together and are just out for a stroll, enjoying a close relationship long ago sought, discovered, won, and nurtured? The guy talks with an open hand flapping near his waist. Emphatically. The other hand is hold a cup of something.

A frail old man in a big mask with three cylinders that gives him a horsey look. He leans forward as her walks and then, bony fingers on sedantop, slides carefully into the passenger side of a waiting car.

Three strapping youths stroll boldly with wide shoulders down the center of a wide sidewalk. The center lad’s brown cashmere million dollar overcoat is open and flaps heroically in the breeze. On the return you realize it’s not a coat or cashmere, but a light brown loose-knit knee-length button-up sweater that he got for $10 at the used clothing store and which went for $100 brand new fifteen years ago, when he took up the trombone for fifth grade marching band because there were already too many saxophones and enough trumpets and flutes are for girls.

Well, I guess that’s enough first-hand reporting.
You heard it hear first! If you were even listening.

Author: Johnny Onda Spott
Editorial Team: B. Willard / A. Whistletown
Copyright: AM Watson

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