Safe and Sorry

JFK was assassinated on a Friday.  The World Trade Center was destroyed on a Tuesday. 

Coronavirus is every day.

In 1963 I was in the 6th grade. My teacher was Mrs. Kauffman, a sturdy older woman I remember as humorless and purposeful. That fall I had a crush on Mary Pat Frost. On WKNX, the local AM radio station, the Beatles’ “She Loves You” played on 45 minute intervals. The British invasion was well underway. In those days schools were still rehearsing emergency procedures, for tornado and for the A-bomb. I recall taking my place in the hallway, along with every student from every class lined up single file, tight against an inner wall, hands clasped over our heads, our bodies sinking to the floor like so many deflated balls.

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A Finch, a Bruce, a Burrata

“Your Bruce Jenner shirt,” my wife says, “is on the ironing board downstairs.”

It’s a Thursday morning in Coronavirus time. We’re having coffee in the kitchen. Later today I’ll go to the grocery store, an outing that used to occur daily. Now I go once a week, if that. For these trips, along with gloves and mask, I wear clothing I don’t care about, shirt and pants that might accidentally rub up against virus and will need to be washed right away. I’ll have to strip to my shorts in the garage before my wife lets me back in the house. 

“Look at those fatties,” I say, pointing to the goldfinches perched outside the kitchen window. “They’ve emptied the feeder again.” 

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