Monday, September 6, 2021

I woke up yesterday in the forest, this morning in town. My trip up north was quick and in some ways sad, because I avoided the Harmony Fair and thus could not see friends I really wanted to see. But I didn't have the wherewithal to deal with that anti-mask hotbed, so I ducked out to Wellington and lay low in the woods with Angela and Steve, and had a lovely evening with them. Steve grilled pork loin and I made spaghetti carbonara and Ang cut up garden tomatoes the way her Italian mother used to, and the trees surrounded us, and I woke up to a fire in the wood stove, and my heart was refreshed.

Meanwhile, Tom went south to Brooklyn and actually found a parking place right on Paul's street: a miracle! So things are going well down there, and I expect him home tonight, no doubt exhausted from city late hours.

Since getting back from Wellington, I've been rattling around the Alcott House on my own, grocery shopping and doing some yard work, watching a movie and eating hot cornbread with cheese. Today I'll wash sheets and bake bread, and then midday I'll make a big salad and take it next door to a lunchtime party at my neighbor's, where I'll meet some of her friends and co-workers.

It's been an odd week, both social and solitary. I had not spent a night at home alone since well before the pandemic hit, so last night I was self-conscious about all the little routines of aloneness: making a meal, filling the hours before bedtime, waking up in the small hours. Yet within the past few days Angela has slept here, I've slept at her house, and now today I'm going to a party full of strangers.

For the moment, though, I'm ensconced in my familiar couch corner, drinking an entire pot of coffee by myself as the cat snores sociably in his chair. The living-room table is clogged with my stuff: the Iliad, a collection of Hadley's short stories, a New Yorker article about major-league umpires, a fresh crossword puzzle. A vase of zinnias sits beside me. Outside, in the gray morning, leftover rain clicks down from the trees onto walkways and chairs. The washing machine churns, and the lamps glow, and nobody needs me to do anything.

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