It’s the first time we’ve gotten together as a group since late February. The six of us met on our patio in the early evening yesterday, a belated solstice celebration. Our three houses line up side-by-side on the Oregon Coast. We have been full-time neighbors since my husband and I relocated here, “back home” for me, but the beach house front yard where we’re coming together has been in my family for eight decades. It once perched solitary, surveying wind and water and the steady flash of Yaquina Head lighthouse. We are lucky to find ourselves here.
We’re talking about “Covid conversations,”the ones we probably wouldn’t have if we were out and about in the world, busy doing. Bob has brought a New Yorker magazine with him (in addition to macaroni salad!), the one with a Roz Chast cartoon on the cover. Curiosity piqued, I ask, “”What’s up with that?” He opens to an article featuring a movie-star-magnetic face. It’s about monetizing baseball, when that began, and the face is Lou Gehrig’s. He reads this from the opening page:
“As long as you have stars and scores, you have an industry. Hot-dog venders and parking lot attendants will be out of work, but most of the business can go on.”
He pauses and says, “So how do you spell vendors?” And I proceed to spell it the way I’ve just written it: V-E-N-D-O-R-S. (I have blogged here about our participation in an annual spelling-bee fundraiser, so maybe not so Covid-convo?!) He slaps the magazine and quips,”Why can’t they get a decent editor at the New Yorker?” Laughter. He had asked his wife Michele the same spelling question the night before, sleep capturing them both before any resolution.
Michele asks Google because here we all are, the team, wide-awake. The response comes quickly:
There you have it—only posers or New Yorker authors! Mystery solved.
Ah, friendship, I have missed your physical proximity, the real-time conversations. We are so lucky to be here.