Saturday, May 9, 2020

I DRANK GREEN TEA THIS MORNING. I had two cups. My grandmother who lived with us in her late years would sometimes say ‘just a cup of hot water’ when my mother would ask what she’d like after dinner. My two green teas this morning didn’t have much more kick than that. 

I want to like green tea. I want it to be what I have instead of coffee. When I’d go to Joe Jr’s diner here, that’s what they’d bring me. I always got green tea there. So too at my Sunday breakfast place Bluebell. I was a tea guy in both places. I liked the idea of tea. It seemed clean, healthy. I didn’t think of it as British or Irish. I thought of it as Asian I guess. It seemed enlightened. I tried to be all in. I even looked at Youtube videos about tea to deepen my resolve. I bought boxes of tea. 

Coffee my mother oohed and aahed about too much when she’d take her first sip at the breakfast table. I could talk to Dr. Freud about that. 

I didn’t drink coffee until after college and then I didn’t crave it or need it to start my day like some guys. I certainly never oohed. 

But with my cigarette years behind me and my drinking days behind me too, coffee has become a friendly dark echo of those days and it gives me a kick I seem to need. I have a cup right next to me now.

Friday, May 8, 2020

I GO AT LEAST ONCE A DAY to the bodega across the street. Every morning I buy an orange and a Granny Smith apple and a banana which they have in clear bags galore. I get a black coffee too, and more frequently recently, a cookie or a chocolate muffin, even a Milky Way if I can’t resist. I love the small store. The older guy in the photo is the Korean-American owner. He’s not there very often. His attractive wife often is. He’s just checking on something. Usually it’s just one young person behind the counter, from Nepal or Egypt or the Philippines. They’re here in school. When the owner couple isn’t there, they turn up the music, always rap.

If you live here, you go to such stores. Every neighborhood has them. Each neighborhood is like a small town. That’s why people like living here.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

It’s Thursday. I was up early and deleted this photo I’d posted on Facebook last night. It’s of an aggressive guy with no mask who was out collecting empty cans in big clear plastic bags. He was out on the street just around the corner almost to the CVS. We bothered each other. I didn’t like his looks and he didn’t like that I was taking his photo. He calmed down sort of when I told him I was taken with the way the cans and bags looked. Though I wasn’t really. The older Asian women with lined faces who I usually see with those big bags I’m taken with. Somehow their dented and crushed cans look to be arranged in some order in their bags which is impossible but maybe they can do the impossible. There’s some ancient aesthetic about them. They don’t look like they can speak English. I’m almost sure they can’t. You wonder if they’re crazy a little bit. Or are they just poor? They have an unusual focus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

It’s May now. It’s Willie Mays’ birthday. He’s 89. I remember him as a player. He was my favorite so I keep track of him. I have a Giants cap that I wear a lot. 89 shocks me even though if I did the math in my head, that's what it would be. My being a month tomorrow from turning 73 shocks me too. For a Zoom call I had with my three daughters last week, I tinkered with the lamp on my desk to try to make my face look younger when the call came.

This isolation I don’t mind. I mind it for the society but for me I’m a loner. I don’t even need a real TV. I keep talk radio on in the background and I read a lot, and look at things that interest me on the computer, mostly art and photographs and interviews with bright people on YouTube. 

What I do miss is holding the sign in front of the Dept. of Education every weekday morning. I did it for seven years. I want to be back there. I hope school opens in the fall for all the reasons it should. And for me.