A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 136

English Breakfast tea in the afternoon.

Sunday, August 23

It’s amazing how much time we spend planning. Currently, we have to ponder three matters: things we want to have delivered on Wednesday for a few days’ meals here, foodstuffs we can take back to NYC with us on Monday the 31st, and what stuff to bring back to East Hampton when we return from the city. 

Of course they have groceries in the city, but it may take a couple of days to figure out non-risky ways to acquire it: venturing down the elevator across the street to the Food Emporium and back home vs. getting Instacart deliveries? It seems a bit preposterous to give so much thought to matters that I once performed routinely. But we’ve been very careful during the lockdown weeks since early March, and we’re likely to continue our cautious approach back in NYC.

Our current plan is to drive back to the city on the day of Emily’s mammogram appointment, then after I drop her off at Weill-Cornell Hospital, I’ll somehow park and wait in the car for her. That way, when she’s done she won’t have to get a taxi or face the daunting task of taking a subway down from East 61st St. to Union Square. Unhappily, this also means we will be returning around 7:30 or 8 p.m. to an apartment that has been uninhabited since March 5. What will we find there? Dust…desolation…withered plants? Hot and airless rooms? Rotting food in a smelly refrigerator?

I think I have been extra dutiful in paying bills for stuff we’re not using there, such as electricity or cable TV. So nothing should have been shut off—but there will likely be something unexpected.

Back here, we got a new bread machine, which I am now taking for a maiden voyage. Several inadequate loaves made with the old machine persuaded me that we ought to just get a new one. So this is an “Amazon Basics” machine, delivered on Friday. It seems like a VW Beetle of a machine, basics indeed.

As an anniversary present, Emily got us two hand-thrown pottery mugs for afternoon tea. Pretty nice, as you can see above.

Dinner tonight: an onion-and-cheese frittata, wok-charred snow peas and scallions, and bread-machine bread.

Entertainment: the concluding episodes of Netflix’ Alta Mare, season one.