NYC Journal #7 – Thursday 4/16/2020 – A larger day alone
Using up food in the pantry and fridge is satisfying.
Why did I have five partially-consumed nut butter jars? Three peanut butters and two almond butters? I don’t know why. But as of this morning I have none.
Why did I leave two pieces of organic spelt sourdough bread to ossify in my fridge for several months? I don’t know why. But this morning I enjoyed peanut butter and in some spots almond butter and grape jelly on two very thick very hard organic spelt sourdough bread crackers. (Yes! You guessed it! I went through both the fancy jellies and all the Finn crisps!)
Seamless texted me questions about my satisfaction. The final was one about did the delivery person respect my wishes for a contact-free delivery. I said “Yes” because there was no option for “And how! He’d thumped down several flights of steps by the time I turned the latch, stretched up my shoulders a moment to let the Light in at the blades a bit, and pushed open my door.”
The previous two days I’d lunched on whole wheat noodles, frozen peas boiled with a bit of salt, and olive oil. Oh, and yesterday I added some canned salmon with mayo and mustard. Today I bought enough Mexican food (whole wheat steak burrito, large guacamole with chips, large chop salad) for two days. It’ll definitely last two days because I made my own side: refried beans with whole wheat noodles. They’re not just whole wheat. They are an ancient and abiding grain, which has proven its synergy with the human form. (I don’t eat dinner, especially not while under house arrest.)
I was so hungry when I finally got to ordering lunch around 2:00pm! And then they have to prepare it and bring it, texting fiendishly all the way. And then when I was trying to eat lunch, somebody had a clogged tub, and strange goings-on were in motion due to another person’s worried radiator, and something else that seemed noteworthy at the time and which I’ve now forgotten also got going. So I was really really hungry when I finally ate around 3:30pm. As a result, I scarfed my food. I did not adequately commune with one of the best meals of my life — a fresh hearty feast that leapt up to meet the demands of my returning appetite. This I regret.
Hunger enhances a meal, up to a point. Of course, I who’ve lived so mollycoddled for so many years cannot speak of real hunger. I should’ve just sat down, taken a deep breath, gave a little prayer of great thanks, considered the moment, savored the occasion, and ate slowly. Oh well. I can savor the tastes in retrospect. And there was some real-time savoring.
I can’t say enough about today’s teledoctor. It was like she cared! It was the best. I told her how I’d been taking the isolation order really seriously and have only been outside twice in four weeks. She said you must be going crazy. I said YES!, I AM!
We had a lot of other nice exchanges. And she said that while we lack adequate scientific evidence to be too certain — since, after all, two months were wasted after the initial warning (who said that? Was it me or her? Or do I just add it now? You’ll never know! Dr/Patient confidentiality! ) — , it seems like, seeing as my sense of smell’s been returned to me for a while and I in general seem to be reinvigorating, that I should be OK for work next week.
Do you know about the tests? I do. She told me. The one they swab your nose’s interior and tell you that you do or don’t currently have the latest model of coronavirus. This test has a 25% false negative, but it’s better than nothing, and it would be great if I could get one before work begins again — just to be really sure, and in this way extend to my colleagues the consideration that I would like from them, were our roles reversed. And in like manner did she weave many a profound spiritual teaching into her medical learnings. The other test tells me if I have the antibodies: here’s a great idea: call this local hospital that’s looking for people to donate blood with the covid-19 antibodies, and offer up some plasma: you get a test, people less lucky than you get the help they need, everything goes better for everybody.
But first things first: I need to find someone qualified to swirl a cue tip around the inside edge of one of my nostrils. Luckily a nearby walk-in clinic had texted me about the tests earlier this week. I clicked on the link. However, it seemed that since I’d already been to that clinic, I needed to sign in to the website with an already existing account, and if — as in my case — one doesn’t have a login and password, one must call the clinic to get it. And then when I called the clinic, I was on hold for twenty minutes and then transferred to an answering machine without realizing it and then heard, “you’ve exceeded the maximum time. Your message will be deleted.” On the one hand, I’d left no message, so it doesn’t seem to matter that it was deleted; on the other hand, it is always painful to be deleted, erased, forgotten, zeroed away as if you’d never been the legion that you had, in certain moments of fluid competency engaging and utilizing you’re whole moment, known yourself to be.
Beyond the above I don’t know what to say. I think the breath exercises where you take in a small sip of air and hold your breath while expanding your abdomen from your gut up — I think doing that for like an hour stretched out over many hours last night and then again as much as work permitted this morning was very salutary. I think it helped reduce the congestion and papery / fragile lungs. Eating so much so quickly was unsalutary: it seems to have brought back a trace of the paper lung feel.
Today’s Spotify lists were Classical Jazz and Jazz Classic. I don’t know why. I wanted something with bounce, but also with some depth, even if I have a very weak understanding of music and cannot plumb its depths, but can only vaguely sense that some interesting ideas and beautiful sentiments are going on way down there, albeit far deeper and wider than my perception reaches.
Wait! Hold on! Today I was also reminded that the people still working out in the world during this shutdown are not being adequately compensated for the risks they’re running. The least we can do is cover our faces, give them wide berth, look out for them when we can, and also, in a weak but hopefully not completely negligible attempt to push against the injustices within the economy, tip generously. So there’s that. Also we could maybe give some thought on how to look out for everyone. I’m so wrapped up in myself, I can only half fathom wise counsel; but I pass it on, hoping more spiritually mature souls will understand and advance it.
Author: Mr. Toad
Oversight: JOS, BW, AW
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