Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Walking Six Feet Apart in Harvard Yard

Well--I was going a little stir crazy in my apartment. My cat, Ketz and I were involved in a staring contest, and I was putting off developing my online courses to sometime later this week.
Being the walker in the city that I am I took a shorter-long walk this afternoon. The weather was crisp, a classic early spring sort of day. I stopped at the Dollar Store on Somerville Ave and grabbed the last traces of dental floss, the rare of gem of toilet paper, and paper towels. I noticed while walking many people were following the six foot rule as they swerved away from me like I was a leper. Harvard Yard ( as pictured below) was pretty deserted, and the cops told me the Widener Library is closed for the foreseeable future. That's understandable--but it has been a haunt of mine for almost 30 years--back when I was in graduate school obsessing over Henry Roth's trilogy. Well, I will miss it--great place to do work and study. The cafes like the Tata and Pavement were open but very few folks were in there--and some of these venues spaced their sparse patrons far apart. There were a few people with masks, but they really part of the virus landscape as of yet--The Harvard Coop was open-- but there was a handful of patrons. I ran into a Bagel Bard--Doug-- my namesake, and we shot the shit-- he wants to get a job with the census. I said, "You will be exposed to a lot of people." " I'm not worried," he replied, as the long shock of his gray mustache nervously twitched. I stopped at the poetry section browsed through Merwin--he had a great poem about a woman trying to domesticate a fox, Neruda--a fine poem about when one closes a book- and then-- only-- the world opens, Mary Oliver's dog poems,and Frank O'Hara Lunch Poems. My hands were all over these tomes--I guess I should be ashamed of myself. I walked back to Somerville--the air had a strange feel to it--the birds chirping seemed a bit ominous to me now, people looked at you like they were asking you a question. I hope this passes soon. Stay well my friends.

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