A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 89

Will I be permitted?

Monday and Tuesday, June 8 and 9

To get rid of refuse at the town dump, you must have a permit prominently displayed on your car. On the East Hampton Town website, it says the old permits remain good “until further notice.” But this morning, when I went to the dump, I was told by a staffer at the gatehouse that this was inaccurate. I must apply for a new permit—mine would be expiring on June 15. 

This can only be done by mail, since all Town offices are closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. You must fill out an application, send a check for the required fee, and include a copy of the relevant documents demonstrating that you are indeed a resident of the Town.

There’s the rub: The required document is a copy of your auto’s state registration, showing a local address. But where to get a photocopy made, since many businesses remain closed? I spent the morning in a fury at this assinine requirement as I searched around for a copier—and that meant going out more in public than I have for many weeks. There was no copy machine at the post office, nor at the nearby CVS drugstore, although someone there said she thought there was a place on Newtown Lane near the Stop & Shop supermarket. I tried a computer fix-it place, and they said to try the UPS store down the street. Success! And after only four once-discouraged conversations.

Got the xerox copy, swung by the Chase Bank ATM to get some much-needed cash, then back to the P.O. to mail in the recycling-center form. Oh, and while at CVS I snagged some TOILET PAPER!!!

The center of East Hampton appeared about as busy as any other weekday woud be in any other month of June. Many stores remain closed, but there were plenty of cars in the main parking lot and apparently lots of business going on. At the post office and UPS, there were lines of people—most wearing masks, many waiting to mail large packages. Stuff they had bought online and were now returning, perhaps?

I did all this while wearing my snazzy tartan face mask and lavender rubber gloves, beneath a coif befitting a cast member from the musical Hair. Except there were no gray mop tops in the ‘60s love-rock song fest.  No geezers allowed in the Age of Aquarius.

Will there be anyone at the town clerk’s office to receive my letter and mail me the dump sticker? Only time will tell, but I doubt that this drama will be concluded by the 15th.

Tonight: London broil, marinated in red wine, garlic, and olive oil, plus baked potatoes with sour cream, and green salad with avocado. Sounds artery-clogging and all-American for sure.

Entertainment: Polish alt-history thriller 1983.