Phone conversations with friends, for one.
When we check up on each other, naturally we want to share news about what we’re doing. We’re not doing much. Laundry. We’re doing more laundry than usual. One friend said, “It’s something to do.” It is. I’m tossing pretty clean clothes into the laundry basket on a regular basis. If I get to tossing absolutely clean clothes, I’ll have to take myself in hand.
I’m thinking that whether a socially distanced person is going a little crazy depends on whether that person tends to go a little crazy in any case. One person I spoke to seems to be taking the isolation personally. That is, she seems to be freaking out. I asked her whether she was getting out for walks — a safe enough activity on uncrowded sidewalks.
No, she said. Because people were not keeping at a 6-foot distance. They were just walking right toward her, she complained. I said, “Well, sometimes, sure, but when they do I just step aside to make that distance.” She said, “But they’re not doing that for me!”
I had no further suggestions.
Walking along the streets is strange. I won’t make references to science fiction because I don’t care for science fiction. Nor do I care for horror films. Everything is closed, every business has a polite virus sign on the front door. If a movie reference is required, it feels like a clever special effect, in which all movement is by people but all stores and shops have been frozen.
Because I’m an optimist, the comparison that sprung immediately into my mind is to Brigadoon — if we travelers wandered into the town while it was still in its 100-year sleep. We’re out of sync. Our presence should be wakening the place but is not. Not yet.
I have an album (not original cast) of the musical. Some beautiful songs. “The Heather On The Hill” and, especially, “Come to Me, Bend To Me.”
Speaking of music, I got a call yesterday from Lincoln Center. Several more performances have been canceled. I am offered a choice of refund or donation to Great Performances, the Lincoln Center production group. Of course I’ll donate, i.e., will not ask for my money back.
I saw a nice woman I know in our lobby. She was discussing something serious with one of our maintenance guys. I got a little closer — but not within six feet — and heard, “Oh, Neapolitan.” They were talking about pizza. She said to me, “Food! I mean, it’s really important.” I agreed. We shared an elevator going up.
But then my friend Easy and I (she was born with another name but someone couldn’t pronounce it or something like that, so she’s kept Easy) talked and what came up was: toilet paper! I told her about my wanderings in search of and the mystery of why, when a store does have toilet paper (a restriction of two to each customer, please), it does not have any known name brand. What happened to the name brands? Why are peculiar names on toilet paper rolls? How did Fairway come up with its own toilet paper brand?
Finally, I managed to find a big package of Scott, also in Fairway. Without a purchasing limit.
Easy had the best toilet paper delivery system story. Her nephew in Arizona heard about the toilet paper mania in New York City and express mailed her some.