Elena Bowes

New York-London travel & design writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Love in the Time of Corona

April 2nd, 2020
PonderingsWanderings: US

I hate ethical dilemmas.  On the one hand, I have zero symptoms, I feel totally fine. On the other hand, Stretch has tested positive for Covid 19. On the one hand, I have kept my distance from Stretch, washing my hands nonstop. On the other hand, Stretch has tested positive for Covid 19.

My mind is like a volleyball court.

Dear Elie, I type, Stretch has  tested positive for Corona. I guess we need to wait another two weeks before you can cut and color my hair…

I pause before I hit send. God and Cuomo will love me for this. I am doing the right thing, the honourable thing. I hit send.

My beauty regime has gone so downhill. What’s the point of getting dressed? Even showering seems overkill. Only Stretch can see me and then at a distance. I  face-time close friends and family, who, to be honest, aren’t looking so great either.

Feral is clearly back again. (I imagine it was in during 1918- Spanish Plague and all)

Stretch is basically locked upstairs, like Mrs. Rochester in Jane Eyre. Therefore, he has no idea what the downstairs looks like. I figure I’ve got another week or so before I start to clean up our Greenwich townhouse.

The irony is that Stretch is depending on my cooking to get healthy.

Hmmm, quite crunchy  he murmurs while eating the omelette I whipped up this morning.

Egg shells are protein, I lie.

You didn’t finish it? I say when I retrieve his plate.

It was good, but there was a lot of spinach.

He knows better than to criticise the only game in town.

I regularly face-time Julia who is in NYC messing up that apartment. Who puts glass bottles of diet coke in the freezer?

A millennial, that’s who.

But a millennial who also happens to be a great cook- (follow Julia on _cookingthroughcovid_ )

She walks me through meal preparation-

Wait! Don’t start the tuna, until you’ve made the rice first. And the broccoli.

Oh, right, I quickly turn off the heat on the tuna.

What I like is I don’t ask Stretch what he feels like eating, I just decide what I feel like making (or reheating). And deliver it to his door. It’s a small power trip. Yesterday’s prawn cocktail surprised him.

Today he’s getting goulash.

I also use Stretch’s imprisonment to clear out his closet. I have been putting up with these shirts for far too long…

I went onto his Bonobos account last night and bought him a bunch of new shirts. Bonobos then annoyingly sent Stretch an email listing all the shirts.

All the shirts  you bought me are the same color, he complains this morning.  Navy blue.

True, I had to agree.

I love Stretch in navy blue. He’s a classic winter.

I am glad to hear you complaining. You’re getting better. I miss the old complaining Stretch.

My daughter Kate just came back from her honeymoon to quarantine. As her husband Harry said- they will have seen only each other (no one else) for 6 weeks straight. Harry didn’t seem surprised at all that divorce rates have spiked in China post Corona.

Kate calls me and whispers on Face-time,

We’re out of olive oil. We both know it. How many times has Harry scratched his head and said, Now what do I need to get at the grocery store? I ask Harry, What happened to that common sense you use at the office? Now Harry, think, I say, what is the one thing we’ve discussed?

Remember you are not doing me a favour by getting the olive oil. You are also not doing me a favour by doing the dishes. This is a team effort. What does he say back? I ask

I need to be better.

Just then, I hear a

Helloooo, from Mr Rochester upstairs.

Thinking Stretch might be missing me, I answer,

Hi! How are you?

Just need some rehydration up here.

Florence Nightingale back on duty. Talk about rehydration, I could use some too. Thought I’d take a self-improvement course on rehydration …

March, 2020