i told a few of you that i would be drawing all of the pretty houses in ditmas park for this blog and then mail you the hard copies. oh it’s just a little something!, she said. nothing fancy!, she said. but honestly having attempted 3 (and purchased $100 worth of framing supplies for my christmas gifts) i feel i will not be doing it any more until i fix the part of my brain that can do artsy things again. because the drawings aren’t great tbh. tbh also, i hate colored pencils. so little yield per stroke – so many awkward lines lent – the misery of textures.
as it appears i’ve slipped into the saga of my many failings again i’m going to stop here… going to try to embrace a style of writing that is not self-deprecating and prescriptive! would elizabeth warren hate on her sweet little house drawings and colored pencils? i don’t think so.
so this is a thing that’s happening – quarantine – due to a global pandemic. we’re on week three over here in ditmas and it’s honestly… a fraught delight? clearly not a delight that 2,000 people have already died in the US alone and that only privileged white collar workers like myself are able to get paid for the foreseeable future while working from home (and by the way, why aren’t we seeing this as a REAL TIME example of why democratic socialism might not be witchcraft after all?). but as a homebody who draws inspiration and relief from being able to work on my own schedule, avoid morning commute anxiety (it’s been THREE WEEKS since i’ve ridden a train), run or walk during my lunch break, and eat well because i actually have time to cook – quarantine is nice. now i’m back to feeling guilty about all of this because of the fuckedness of our system and its reliance on the working class to keep my precarious capitalist lifestyle afloat (i’d be lying if i told you i didn’t preemptively spend half my stimulus check on silk pj’s and tiny gold chains). but, in a vacuum, things are good and self preservation for me looks like keeping the news turned off as much as possible and checking in on my friends and loved ones more than i usually can and do. which has given me time to remember things – and people – that i only call up in ceremony of birthdays or my parents’ reminiscing or some other rare event. today i told my friend kate all of my imaginary friends names (too embarrassing to share here, but – “fingerhand”) from childhood, and last night i had a very visual pre-sleep daydream of my late grandma’s house in florida. the splotchiness of her skin, her finger-thin legs, the armadillos outside, and the mickey mouse oversized wife-beater (are we still using that term?) i had just gotten on our trip to disney world and wouldn’t take off (even when i got the chicken pox a few days later). i’m also getting clarity on what i really want in life… most specifically where i want it. it may not be ditmas for much longer. i love the thickness of the grime, the bodegas, and the oddities i’ve come to call beauty, but when the ground has fried rice all over it, you’re waiting in a 30 person line to buy toothpaste at walgreens, and it’s 20 degrees and cloudy for half of your days, it’s sad. i also want change. covid-19 is not the good kind of change, but it has caused a global reckoning that i hope will lead to fundamental change. in the meantime, i’ll be enjoying this fraught kind of peacefulness and cuomo brother jawlines.
watch: unorthodox on netflix, for everyone for many reasons, but especially if you’ve lived on the edge of flatbush/borough park, bushwick, williamsburg, or basically any gentrifying brooklyn neighborhood
listen: alison roman’s interview on the second life podcast, which was surprisingly reassuring that (acknowledging my/her privilege) taking risks, being underpaid, and making yourself uncomfortable in order to do the thing you love and are good at will pay off.
make: nytimes black bean chorizo casserole with pickled onions! …on a friday night, with your quarantine-era (i.e. tripled) cocktail of choice… it! was! so! good!