A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 187

Friday, January 15

Once again, the squirrels seem to be engaged in some kind of gang fight. You hear them chasing around on the roof (their little footfalls, balump, balump, balump, balump, are quite comical), and see them charging frantically up tree trunks, often in pursuit of each other. They all look alike to me—they have no gang tattoos or identifying markings—but I wonder if there’s an invasion going on. Perhaps an outsider family is attempting to muscle in on those who currently occupy this desirable yard with its productive oak trees. 

Emily thinks it’s an echo of the Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol. It’s hard to think of anything else these days.

They really love running along the narrow top of the fence that divides our yard from next door. Nimble little varmints. 

Yesterday, a plumber arrived to make some necessary repairs in the kitchen. I don’t like having outsiders in the house during these pandemic days, but the kitchen faucet and some of the pipes below had worn out and were leaking. So, miracle of miracles, in an hour and a half the guy replaced the old defective faucet with a new Moen faucet (ordered online from Home Depot) that works great. I had been worrying that he’d have trouble removing the old one—but no. It all went swimmingly—so, what’s wrong? I’m left with a feeling that there should have been more hassle—and a not uncommon sensation that there’s something that I’m neglecting to take care of. Income taxes/1099s? When you have nothing specific (other than fascism) on the top of mind to worry about, the anxiety can be even more intense.

After the plumber left, I opened a lot of windows to air the place out…just in case. I also wiped down some countertops and doorknobs with diluted bleach.

Everyone who I’m in touch with is checking frantically to see just when they might get the COVID-19 vaccine. I get notices from my doctor’s office in Manhattan, saying that I can find out eligibility and maybe make an appointment on their website. Question: Are we better off traveling into Manhattan to get the shots—or better off just staying here in East Hampton, sheltering away from everyone and having no vaccine? I’m also checking the Town of East Hampton website to see what they have to say—so far, no facilities closer than Riverhead are offering inoculation.

Dinner: spaghetti with asparagus pesto and a salad.

Entertainment: episodes of Last Tango in Halifax.

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