Post A Selfie From January 2020, Not Knowing What Was To Come
This pair of black jeans, bought on the run last January, became a lifeline and a lesson.
Last weekend, a friend on Twitter asked, “We’re not all still wearing jeans, are we?” I didn’t know what prompted this on her part — I forgot to ask if she meant, “have we all given up on clothes now?” — but an unlikely revelation floated up as I answered They’re all that’s keeping me together. And to be clear, it isn’t just jeans, it is black jeans. These black jeans.
When I think back over what I learned during quarantine this year, most of it is not particularly practical, and some of the gentler things come to mind first — some self protective gesture, no doubt. Gin, it turns out, helps take out a pen stain, but not vodka. The black raspberries I found in the yard of my new house are indigenous to Vermont and also Korea , and no, they are not the same as blackberries. A bird feeder is basically a bear feeder, if the bear gets there first. Broccoli, which I’d always scorned as the worst of vegetables, is in fact a prince, if you grow it yourself, maybe even a king, though the crown is the least of it. The leaves, which grow abundantly after the crown is harvested, are delicious, and I even like them better than most other greens. I felt a terrible sense of loss remembering all of the broccoli leaves I threw away before I knew this.
A favorite detail: My husband loves The Bee Gees so much he hears them when he wakes up. I learned this one morning when I was singing “Run To Me,” and he came downstairs to find out why I was doing that. Part of how I survived the first months of quarantine was through listening to what I think of as the kind of songs the DJ plays to say good night and send you home. I was imagining the night when I finally get back to a Karaoke Bar with friends and we sing it together, and everyone sings along and helps.
That was in April, when I was nursing him through COVID, and I would sing along to the song softly to help me cry about my fears while I did the dishes, so as not to burden him while he recovered, and also just to feel less alone.
Until the far-off night my friends and I will be singing karaoke again together, I have my black jeans. Which…