Monday, March 23, 2020

From the wilds of Connecticut. And the depths of despair.

There is something, I think, hard-wired into the corpuscles of Jewish women. Maybe you can trace it back to the bi-monthly rapings they suffered at the hands and appendages of hordes of pogromming Cossacks as they huddled in their rickety shacks and fed a family of 19 with potato shavings and goose feathers. Maybe it's more recent. Surviving the near annihilation of our people at the guns' end and ovens' maw of the closer-at-hand holocaust.
"Whaddaya wanna do tonight, Ivan?"
"I dunno, Fyodor, why don't we burn a shtetl to the ground."
"Aw, we do that every night, Ivan..."

Whatever the case, when Jewish women begin to hear the far off peals of the chimes at midnight, when the last ding-dong of doom tintinnabulates through well-heeled neighborhoods, they do one thing. They put on the Burberry jackets, zip up their Longchamps bags and head to the nearest grocery store to buy food they will never eat.

My personal Jewish woman has been for about two weeks in a state of near apoplexy. Convinced that the foundations of civilization are about to collapse like the Fall of the House of Usher. She has shopped daily for food and has various non-perishables stored in nearly every crevice and corner of our apartment, and yes, has loaded up too the cavernous trunk of my 1966 Simca 1500.

Happiest when she can share her panic, she's dealing with her panic by spreading it around. So, incessantly, she began speaking of a city without food, with marauding bands of knife-wielding miscreants roaming the alleys and byways. Of pestilence, famine and horrors untold visiting our co-op.

I tried to temporize. The city will not starve, I reassure. If there's one remaining thing America is good at, besides opioid addiction, it is our supply chains.

But panic begets panic, and she listens to the news and our impending virusageddon. I attempt to assure her that we had enough food in the house, money in the bank and more to survive. I asked her, jokingly, if there was a Leningrad in our future. That city survived a 900 day Nazi siege which effectively saw every bird and rat and sprig of green in the city eaten, as well as a terrifying rise in cannibalism. She takes me seriously.
My wife (background) forcing me out of the city.
As wives have been doing since the institution of marriage was divined by, I think, Marquis de Sade so many centuries ago, if I were on fire she would attempt to put me out with an axe. She ignored me completely and made plans to wrest me from the only place I've ever felt at home to a house along the water in Old Saybrook, CT.

We are in this town now, and it is a beautiful locale surrounded by a sparkling Long Island Sound and the width of the Connecticut River, at 401 miles in length, New England's longest.

It was here in the 1630s that the white man landed and began killing Niantic Indians and Pequots with a couple score of Mohicans thrown in for good measure. Once safe on these fecund shores, they engaged in slave-trading with Caribbean planters and killed all the whales within harpoon shot. The wheels of progress turn inexorably.

I've read rose-colored notes from friends telling dorsal tales of dolphins returning to the canals of Venice and the clear air of Los Angeles due to the absence of man-made pollution. And I wonder if, since we've been locked down or sheltered-in-place for the better part of 48-hours now, if some half-naked savage will remove my pate one night with a stone tomahawk while I sleep and shoot Whiskey, my eight-year-old golden retriever with a jagged arrowhead, while carrying my wife off to a longhouse somewhere to become a docile concubine to some petty chieftain with a weakness for hamentashen.

Image result for walts old saybrook
Walt's, a local institution since Eisenhower was president, has everything.
Except what you want.

So here we are, in the wilds of New England, far from the madding cry of New York. My wife has already galloped through Walt's, a local supermarket and bought everything on every shelf so I can carry six bags home while walking two miles home through darkest suburbia, indians not withstanding, but surely lurking behind every old-growth oak.

Did I look like the great Harold Lloyd in his 1924 smash "Hot Water" and I struggled my way home from Walt's to our rental home 2.2 miles away with 2.2 tons of groceries in tow.

You be the judge.

I'll be too busy running from Zombies.

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