It was very late February and we’d just gotten back from Disney. Charlotte and I went to the mall to make Lily’s birthday reservation at the Lush bath balls shop. It still seemed as if everything might be okay. We gave them our credit card and went on our way. A week later we had to cancel it though, everyone was freaking out. First week in March and talk of lockdowns and quarantine, people starting to wear masks.
I just felt detached from it all. A strange summertime with no parties, no hosting. Getting blasted in the backyard instead, staring at the sky, waiting for the first star. The smell of the night. The feeling that maybe I’m immortal followed by proof in the morning that I’m not.
It might have been a rock or a rabbit, the shape on the grass by the neighbor’s house with a bit of morning sun giving it a halo like some saccharine after-school special from the 70s. And then I saw it chewing, it had ears, and hopped a foot to the left, a rock with legs. Seems there’s rabbits everywhere now and I’ve never eaten one but I’m starting to think about it. Fresh rosemary, white wine, baby potatoes in a cast-iron pot come fall. Nick Drake.
The smell of a wet beach towel pressed against my face, taking in the scents of youth and memory, the forgotten core of me. And I watched the moon arc slowly across the sky as I grill-roasted the chicken and moved it halfway through, propped like a tripod on a beer can: beer can chicken, they call it. You stand a bird upright with an open can of beer up its bum and smoke it for an hour with the lid closed. Rub it with curry, cumin, all-spice, pepper and cinnamon.
I sat as the bird smoked and Beth trimmed our roses and the moon disappeared behind the house. And there was not much sound beyond the sound we made, smoke mixed with the setting sun giving the light texture, moving eerily like fog. We had nothing but time it seemed, but there would come a time we’d have no more. But that was far off, still. We had today.