Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I observed the city of Hartford, near where I grew up. I was watching it, like a film. I thought of its past. The old department store, G. Fox. You had the feeling of a living city.

In a maze of shops and restaurants in a vast mall, I lost Jackie in the crowd. I’d been distracted by some pointless, narcissistic thought. Now I was plunged into panic and guilt.

I was watching a movie. It had been billed as a thriller but it was actually a self-referential Hollywood tale. Famous actors and directors playing themselves. S. appeared as a drug addict. I was stunned—when did she have time to do this? To make the connections, get the gig, learn her lines, rehearse?

I was on a cruise ship with S. and Jackie. We drew close to some beach hotels and restaurants and I could see us, the three of us, sitting at a table. I said, “Look, that’s us!”

I went for Easter brunch at a diner, a place I knew from better days. I remembered going there with friends I don’t see much anymore, a rousing song on the jukebox. I told a waitress I was meeting people and wanted to check if they were there. She pointed me to a long line outside. There were lines to other lines, separated so passersby could get through. People sat and mingled, forming a spontaneous community. A drug dealer conducted business in one corner of the lawn.

Friday, April 03, 2020

There was a work party downtown, in an old manufacturing building with big loft spaces. Everybody getting drunk. Non-work people were there too—P. C., Lis. I tried to explain to someone how much the area had changed, how there weren’t so many bars and music places anymore. He didn’t seem to agree. Finally I realized why and said all the places I knew when I was single and going out all the time, years ago, were now closed—but maybe there were new ones I didn’t know. Still he didn’t react. He was on his way out the door and I realized I was detaining him with tiresome chatter. Back in the party rooms there was talk of an after-hours. Someone brandished a bottle of tequila. Though I was tempted I said no, absolutely not, that would be a bad idea. We all made our way home in the rain, some in cabs, some waiting for the bus.