Events in the time of Covid

How miniaturized, how insignificant personal events, i.e., things to talk about with friends, have become.

This is what struck me this morning, as I decided to put on my spring cotton trousers instead of my velvet, i.e., winter ones.

It isn’t possible to rev up events any more, to plan on going downtown — out of my walking range — to get chocolates at Lilac. If Lilac is even open. Which it may not be, unless chocolate is considered an essential food. All I can plan on is grabbing some chocolate at the cashier’s station in Zabar’s, and only after I pick up my Zabar essentials.

When I walked past Zabar’s yesterday, I saw a window display of individual rolls of no-name toilet paper and I thought, “Good for Zabar’s! Now I won’t have to fight my way through Fairway only to find no paper products on the shelves.”

That’ll be an event, going to Zabar’s.

Popcorn has become my default “Gee, I’m hungry but don’t really want to eat” snack.

An hour ago I trimmed my bangs.

These tiny, unenchanting and unreportable moments of life reminded me of an incident my brother related to me years ago. I think it’s a perfect metaphor for our current lives:

My brother is a composer and musician — guitar, banjo and other instruments. Through his long professional career, he’s been a solo act and part of various ensembles, including his own band, Men Without Hope and several Broadway shows, including Cats.

In the early 1970’s he went on the road with a folk/rock singer who had had a couple of big hits. Quite a number of hilarious stories emerged from that road trip. I think it’s because musicians are seminally funny people. I believe all funny perceptions and stories spring from musicians. (My brother refutes this and in aid of refutation told me a really funny story about how not all musicians are intrinsically funny.)

A tour as part of a small band playing the same routine every night in an endless number of American towns, cities and state fairs can get really boring. (I don’t think my bro would refute this.)

Ergo, a visit to Busch Gardens during the Florida leg of the tour. Because, what else can a New York musician do while in Tampa?

A visit with a twist. Someone, no mention of whom, had acquired some mescaline. (Tours can be really boring. Oh, I already said that, didn’t I?) So my brother and the drummer visited Busch Gardens in an enhanced state of consciousness.

While in that state, my brother and his friend paused at the bear enclosure. The bear was just sitting around doing nothing.

My bro gazed upon the bear for an unmeasured period of time. And then he had an epiphany. He had become one with the bear’s mind and suddenly understood what the bear was thinking.

Here’s what brother said the bear was thinking: “I think………I’ll get up…..and move….over….there.”





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