“For people of my age,” she thinks, “the places that they truly loved and to which they once belonged are no longer there. The places of their childhood and youth have ceased to exist … And if their outer form has been preserved, it’s all the more painful, like a shell with nothing inside it anymore. I have nowhere to return to.”*

True. Not true. Truth reflects in a mirror, untruth in appetite. Since plunging into quarantine, a child’s pallet from the 1950s (that got replaced by adult cravings) has reawakened. This reincarnated pallet suggests I microwave two White Castle hamburgers for breakfast, cut a slice from a half-defrosted Pepperidge Farm lemon cake to have with 4 o’clock tea, heat-up a frozen Marie Callender chicken pot pie as the city lights up. Are these flavors exactly what they were? Yes and no. Yes. I think so. No. Having totally lost my sense of smell and much of my sense of taste more than two months ago, I don’t know if I’m actually tasting or imagining these flavors.

A tune comes to mind:

Wake up, wake up you sleepy head
Get up, get out of your bed
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red
Live, love, laugh and be happy

Third childhood?

Now I’m walking through,
Walking through the fields of flowers
Rain may glisten but still I listen for hours and hours
I’m just a kid again doing what I did again, singing a song


Here’s a tune that’s been frozen in memory. If it’s been lounging in your memory bank, tap it on the shoulder.


And, while nudging frozen memory, here’s another question for the over fifty crowd – were Lucy and Ethel actually funny?



*From Olga Takarczuk’s Drive your Plow

**When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ Along sung by Al Jolson, 1926, lyrics by Harry Woods

***10/19/1953 – Lucy and Ethel buy the same dress
**** “Let’s Take a Break” by Mia Stone at Art Leaders Gallery, Michigan