Monday, for the first time since Marsh, my friend and assistant Dale came in to work. We observed distancing, put on masks, were careful. A lot had piled up over the last six weeks. Avalanches were threatening. We decided tentatively to work every other Monday for the time being. That evening, Woody went to his office for two hours, something he hasn’t done since midMarch. The building at night is deserted. He wore surgical gloves, his mask and used disinfectant. Because of his trip, I got to do deep meditation for the first time in what feels like forever. Afterward, I felt lighter, less frustrated, less irritable and in general looser and happier.
Then yesterday, Woody took me for a drive – I no longer have a car. After my aged Volvo fell apart internally, I saved money for a lightly used car. It all went into my mouth. The dentist I had used for many years had neglected a lot of problems that became evident when I was brushing my teeth and one broke off. I have a good dentist now although of course I can’t see her, but the twenty or so problems that had to be solved used up what I’d saved for a car. Anyhow, I hadn’t been farther than the foot of the driveway all the time I’ve been isolated. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I was happier than I can get you to believe to drive down side roads, mostly paved but some dirt, just seeing the countryside again.
We transplanted the nine varieties of main-crop tomatoes –two thirds heirlooms – that I started back in early March. Because it’s supposed to get quite chilly Saturday night, he protected them with Reemay until Sunday when we hope to uncover plants again. He also protected the hot pepper plants in my garden, as well as the six kinds of paste tomatoes I transplanted there. Yesterday, he brought out the sunflowers and after planting them along the fence, covered them with old plastic milk cartons. Tomorrow I’m hoping to transplant marigolds from the greenhouse. Today the winds are high and it’s chilly indeed.
We both tend to be a little achy these days. Although Woody, when life was as it was BC,
[before the virus]
used to go to the gym four times a week, the muscles you use hauling, digging, reaching behind you time and again for seedlings, are different muscles.
I have been more active lately and also more productive, writing a couple of new poems this week and revising some older ones. I know the next week when the weather is supposed to reach a better plateau, we have much work getting the tender crops in: bell and frying peppers, herbs like summer savory, pumpkins, zucchini, yellow squash, pattypans, cucumbers. The Oriental and Italian eggplants and Genevese and purple basils can wait a while. We also need to start putting in the tender crops we direct seed like pole beans, winter squash including lots of butternut, nasturtiums.
I always thought HE, SHE AND IT would make a better film than WOMAN ON THE EDGE OF TIME and was certainly more timely, but no one was ever interested. Now in the last week, we’ve had it optioned for a film – very cheap but at least it’s some money coming in. Then after the contract was signed with them, along came a woman director and actress from New York wanting to turn it into a play. I liked the idea, but the contract for the film forbids threatrical production for a period of time. Too bad. Suddenly in one week two bites after decades of zero interest.
We have been eating even more seafood than usual. Fish and shellfish of all kinds are available direct from local fishermen. We had 100 littleneck clams a couple of weeks ago and are hoping to get as many oysters early next week. Tonight, scallops. Squid are available too. I love to eat squid in restaurants, when there used to be restaurants, but I really made a mess of it the only time I tried to cook them, so I’ll take a pass.
I’m toward the end of the third volume of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. I didn’t care for her French Revolution novel – she’s far more conservative than I am – but I have been enjoying these novels. It’s an era that has always interested me since I studied earlier and Elizabethan literature. Do you remember when you used to have lunch or coffee with friends and when – for real—you had friends over for dinner