A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 215

New to our yard: Cherry Frost climbing roses.

Friday, May 28

The lockdown appears to be drawing to a close. Out on the streets of the East End, you see a mix of people with and without masks. Theaters are reopening—albeit with lots of kiddie movies. Regal UA East Hampton Cinema has the horror movie A Quiet Place Part II and the Disney comedy Cruella, along with racing drama Dream Horse and action flick Godzilla vs. Kong, the poster for which reads “in theaters March 31.” Whoops. 

(Presumably, the youth suffer less from COVID anxiety than do older people, but then this theater has always featured lots of adolescent-appropriate, disposable flicks.)

Restaurants, too, are in the process of reopening. The former Michael’s is now Rita Cantina—no menu posted yet on any website, but I bet its South-of-the-Border fare is every bit as authentic as that of Taco Bell…if a little more pricey. There’s also an “extensive Agave-focused bar program.” Oye, que loco!

All of which raises the question of just what Emily and I should do. Do we want to revert to our former habits, where we viewed our East End house primarily as a getaway destination and our Manhattan apt as our real residence? Or do we completely reverse that pattern?

 Over the past one year-plus, we’ve established new ways of coping with the demands of everyday life, including Stop & Shop food deliveries, FedEx conveyance of Walgreens prescriptions, libraries for e-books and a little more, and streaming videos from a variety of sources. 

Over the past several days Emily has watched Zoom videos of panels dealing with numerous legal topics, and right now, she’s having a telephone conference with her primary-care doctor. Yesterday, I went and got a very good haircut at Vinnie’s Barbershop in Amagansett—so that’s one more tie to the city that’s been broken.

Vinnie is very agreeable and interesting. His house is in Sag Harbor, and I gather he has always lived there. I went to the shop—a long-running fixture in Amagansett—signed his wait list, and loitered outside 45 minutes for my name to be called. I wore a mask. He didn’t but said he absolutely would if anyone asked him to. 

There are only two barbers in the shop, Vinnie and his son Nick. Vinnie’s corner of the shop is festooned with dozens of bits of paper money—notes from England, Iraq, Iran, Africa, and every corner of the globe. He was acquainted with Cuba’s two currencies—the peso for locals and the CUC, or convertible peso, for tourists. I didn’t ask for his opinion of Bitcoin, Monero, or blockchains—why make trouble?

Emily discussed a possible return to the city with her doctor. The doctor’s advice: stay put. The pandemic isn’t completely over, she said, plus there has been an alarming rise of violence in the city, some of which the doctor had witnessed.

So summer is practically here, and it’s easiest just to stay where we are. I guess that’s what we’ll do…for a bit longer anyway.

Dinner: a grilled eggplant, peppers, and onions salad along with mac ’n’ cheese.

Entertainment: the Christian Petzold “terrorists-on-the run” movie The State I Am In, via streaming service MUBI.