One would be hard-pressed to design an environment more conducive to a lack of concentration than our present circumstances. The term “go to work” has gained greater currency for me during this crisis. We “go to work” because at home you can’t accomplish a damn thing. Try to write an important letter with your kids at home, bills you have to pay sitting right there, your neighbor blasting doo-wop from his garage, and a refrigerator across the room that probably has cheese in it. It’s not easy.
By the end of the week I cannot focus enough to write a narrative with even a whiff of cohesion. I’ll simply offer some random thoughts:
One of my favorite Brooklyn expressions. On a sunny day, maybe you didn’t go to the bother of packing up the car or taking the bus to go to the beach, but you wanted to get a tan, so you would do something that was described thusly, “I’m gonna lay out“. I have few insights to offer on this expression, it speaks for itself. Note the lack of anything else that’s going to happen in the course of “laying out”. While you’re soaking up the sun, are you going to read a book, listen to music, talk to your friend? “Nah, I’m just gonna lay out.” This pronouncement was accompanied later by a turn of phrase I heard uttered by my mom countless times, an expression also likely native to Brooklyn. When one returned to the house from “laying out”, she’d say: “Oh, you got color”; which translated meant that the time you spent in the sun mitigated that pasty Irish pallor you walk around with 10 months of the year. It was meant as a compliment.
If Hell has a smell it’s the smell of a bag of potatoes that you forgot was sitting at the bottom of a closet near your kitchen. Nothing compares to this as far as every day, surprising, household odors. It’s what kids spray from head to toe on themselves before going to middle school in Hell.
My daughter was so happy she saw Frozen the musical for her birthday last year now that the Broadway play has officially announced it’s closing. When the quarantine is over I’m going to bring it back. But my version is going to be a gripping tale of a people struggling for connection and social power via a cruelly temperamental computer app called “Zoom.” My play is going to be called, “Frozen.”
For various reasons that deserve their own blog post, my wife is not a sports fan. She’ll watch sports if it includes brunch but other than that she just doesn’t see the point. In that respect she’s one of the big winners of the quarantine. No NBA, MLB, NFL, Premier League Soccer (brunch). None of these sports leagues are swirling around her with their pointlessness. She even resents sports metaphors, which, even in normal circumstances, are hard to avoid. I thought somehow this situation might awaken in her an appreciation for the escapism that sports brings, but it has only reconfirmed what she’s always believed, we can do without it.
Why are you reading this, shouldn’t you be washing your hands. I’ve been trying to keep my posts short, I want the CDC to recommend that you wash your hands for as long as it takes to read one of Don’s blog posts. Get on it!