Harlem Flyer Blog Posts 8 and 9

Duck Duck Goose drawing by judyedwards 3/27/20

Let me at the sonofabum who plunged the world into a huge game of duck duck goose that no one wants to play. And certainly, no one wants to be the goose. Every damn day we sit here like school children wondering whose goose is getting cooked next. At least we are in NYC, sitting in the current epicenter of the coronavirus. Duck, duck, duck, duck—Goose! I already know, if that fat ass goose were to come in my direction, I’m going to conjure up Mama and chase that sucker till the fat flies off of it. How do I know this? My friend, Leslie was posting about weird dreams. A few of her friends agreed that they too were having very memorable and detailed dreams, some of them going back 50 years ago. I’m impressionable, so of course, that night I go to bed and… I believe I was dreaming that I was in a sordid game of duck, duck, goose. You know the kind where the mean girl always picks her same old friends, and when they finally tap your head, your legs are rusty and you can’t run and you’re it! And then the mean girl and her friend say they don’t want to play anymore? Yeah, well just about 3:00 a.m. in the morning my stomach started rumbling. Loud noises that awoke me out of my sleep. And because I have every early symptom of ‘Rona cataloged in my frontal lobe, the stomach grumbling triggered my hypochondriac early ‘Rona symptom of gastrointestinal distress that devolves into an awful case of the Hershey squirts. My breath quickened, my heart beat fast as I listened again to make sure the griping was coming from my stomach. It was! I threw back the covers and feet first jumped out of bed, throwing the cover onto the floor, adopted a fighting stance and hollered in Mama’s voice, ” OH HELL NO! THE DEVIL’S A LIAR!” The mean girls in that dream may have quit before I cooked their goose, but ‘Rona was not gonna take me out without a fight. Still in my fighting stance, I pounced on my stash of seltzer water, washed a can, washed my hands, popped it open, washed my hands again, (don’t ask me why) and gulped that sparkling water down not stopping until I felt the gas bubbling up from my feet. Burrrrrp, burrrrp. I didn’t stop until all that rumbling was gone. Later I remembered that the yogurt I had eaten as a probiotic probably caused stomach distress because I’m Black and newly “elderly” and what’s that thing we have in common with Asians—oh, Lactose intolerance. The pistachios probably didn’t help either. But in this pandemic, every cough, sneeze, stomach rumbling and slight headache take on new meaning. The adrenaline that had me bounding out of bed like a kung fu fighter, left no room for pessimism. I was gonna fight ‘Rona like a girl. And I was prepared to win.

Heard an ad today while I was trying to listen to YouTube, it was an Astronaut who had gone to the moon. His name escapes me. Aldrich, maybe? Did Aldrich go to the moon? The only one I recall is John Glenn. He was plugging some product. But something he said struck a chord. He said, and I am paraphrasing, that you don’t travel to the moon with your fingers crossed. You travel with the optimism that you will achieve your goals. In my crazed state two nights ago after being dissed by the mean girls in the duck duck goose dream, I was attacking that symptom to win. Kill the symptom kill the virus, I murdered it!

This Section Is About The Resident-in-Chief

The resident in chief wants us all in Church for Easter. No lie. I am not lying. He said that the cure can’t be worse than the disease, meaning that the shutdown to flatten the curve will kill the economy and he just can’t abide that. So he’s all for flinging open the doors so Americans can flock into churches like cattle to a slaughter. And today, the guv’na was begging him for 40,000 ventilators for New York. The resident-in-chief said without data, and no knowledge about anything, that 40,000 seemed high, and that he would send 400. Later he promised 4000, and then later still 7000.

The guv’na is clearly no Spades player. He was looking so presidential today. He was stressed and beggarly. When he should have said, “Fuck it! New York is the financial capital of the world. If New York goes under, so does the market and then see what your chances are like for your reelection. ” Sometimes you gotta act like you you’ve got a high suit when you don’t. But when last I heard he was still begging for more. Aye yi yi.

The other thing that happened today is that trump signed that so-called trillion-dollar stimulus package today. It punishes the poorest in our society by giving them very little money and rewards the rich corporations for not being able to survive for two weeks without tanking. Recall that the same corporations used their republican tax scam loot to buy back their own stocks.

A Lot of Folks Aren’t Staying In

Yesterday, Thursday was a beautiful day. An aberration amidst the pandemic. Maybe if all the days sucked with bad weather it wouldn’t feel so surreal. But the sun was shining, plenty of light… And New Yorkers took to the street. Unmasked, ungloved, I stopped counting when 62 people had walked past my window and 5 minutes weren’t up. A Lubavitcher sect in Brooklyn had a big wedding disbanded by the FDNY. The women were dressed up and the men with their Russian Shtreimels (fur hats) were ten deep when FDNY interrupted them. They were asked to close their Shul. The Rebbe refused to close, countering that they would not close until Mashiach came. They are still waiting on Menachem Schneerson who died in the early nineties and is buried at that cemetery in Queens. For years thousands waited at the cemetery to greet him when he arose. It hadn’t happened yet. I heard they finally closed. But it’s not only them, across the city playground basketball hoops were being taken down and parks chained to get people to stop congregating, stay home, flatten the curve so that we don’t overwhelm the hospitals. It’s selfish not to do so.

Vegging Out on Netflix Helps

I wasn’t very productive on Thursday, and I didn’t care. Maybe all that kung fu fighting tired me out. I checked in with my daughter and grands. The girl was somehow managing to be late to online school. So proud of her, keeping up the tradition. And the boy doesn’t have any online classes, just a shit load of work. In fact, they both report that the teachers have overloaded them with work. Left up to me, I’d tell them not to do it. Just do you. But, I was glad to hear that they sent around a survey asking about the work they were assigned. My daughter was working from home, so I went back to sleep until late afternoon. You can do this in a pandemic without being questioned. I got up late, ate, did a bit of cleaning and re-arranging, and then flipped through Netflix. Found Quincy, the documentary and enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. When that was over it was close to 1:00 a.m. and I wasn’t ready to go to bed yet. So I found my old friends, Grace and Frankie and watched season 1 episode 1 again. Around 3:00 a.m. in the morning, I awoke laid out on the couch. I am not a couch lying person. Couches, Mama always taught us, were made for sitting on. You lie on your bed. My ex-husband was similarly strident about not lying on couches, so it was never a taste I developed. I don’t watch much television anyway, so I’ve never missed it. But last night I propped a pillow, covered myself and snuggled into watching television on the couch. It’s amazing how conventions fall by the wayside so easily when you are in the midst of a pandemic.

Stay in, Stay Safe, Stay Well. And if someone ducks your goose, fight like a girl.