A car door slams; a catbird yawps--and now the crossing bell, clang, clang, clang, and the first Downeaster of the day slides past, sounding its mournful klaxon.
Somewhere, too close, a big truck brakes, a dump bed rattles. Flitting, invisible in the maples, a cardinal coaxes Sweetie, sweetie, sweetie; and now another car door slams, a baby complains; two doors down, Gilbert the terrier barks, sharp and short. Upstairs Tom's alarm suddenly stutters; I hear him roll over and turn it off, and then a small silence, and then I stop writing this sentence and I get up from the couch to carry him up a cup of coffee.
* * *
Yesterday we went out for our first meal in 15 months. We decided on a Washington Avenue feast: first, a big tray of oysters on the Shop's sunny deck; then beer and poutine, down the street on the patio between Oxbow Brewing and the Duckfat Frites Shack, where we got spattered with rain but decided not to care. Have you seen the cover of this week's New Yorker, with a family standing in a dark room and peering out around the edge of a huge door as the city opens out before them? That's exactly how I felt as we sat in our little circle, watching people pour beer and chatter with their boyfriends and drop used cups into the garbage and shriek about raindrops and order milkshakes. There we were were, without our masks on, watching other people without their masks on. Paul even saw a friend at another table, and went over to chat. It all seemed kind of unbelievable.
We were so giddy that we had to take naps for the rest of the afternoon, and then we played cards and I put together a late supper of tuna melts and salad, and that was our thrilling Sunday.