2020.03.22 // BROOKLYN //
It’s pretty different out now.
This is Friday Letters, on Sunday.
I’ve put shoes on two times since the last one of these: once to take the laundry down (we’re encouraged to not use the elevator now in my building), once to bring the compost bin back up—and that was on Friday, when it was so warm out here that it seemed criminal to stay inside. By that time that day, the sun had set and it was still like a trick summer night, like late August when the fall almost starts. The vernal equinox was the night before. Friday was the first day of the earliest Spring in the United States in 124 years, and I was out in it for three or four minutes before I saw two people coming from across the street and turned back.
Tonight I’m making these and I put this on.
Some of the things we can’t do anyway: the F wasn’t going to run to Coney Island anyway this summer, and the Chase ATM isn’t going back to a coffee shop no one liked all that much before, and the prison email system didn’t work well last month either, and the truth is I would have found other reasons not to finish it. If someone in my family of origin who I haven’t talked to in years dies, I wouldn’t know anyway. I wouldn’t know if I got the virus because first they weren’t and then they couldn’t do tests. The city is being erased anyway. Everything is happening faster and I can’t see it for myself.
If you need some bounce and style in your isolation, Libeled Lady is kind of like if someone at MGM thought, let’s do a Jean Harlow screwball comedy, and then drop a cut side-plot from The Thin Man in the middle of it. I didn’t know Harlow was with William Powell at the time she made this with him (and he was never “with” Myrna Loy, outside their Nick and Nora duties).
It’s just a Campari seltzer with a lemon peel. But I’m admiring the peel! I was digging around, in the tossing of old things, and I finally figured out the vegetable peeler in the back of a drawer for all these years can make a passable lemon peel for a cocktail. Just scrub the lemon a bit before you do it, and roll it on a clean surface (or the other way around, it’s up to you) if you also plan to cut it and squeeze a little juice in. But you don’t need to. I did once when a blood orange was sitting too long in the bowl and that was almost too much. You decide how much Campari you want to put in. This was an 8:1 seltzer to Campari night. You can also put the Campari in an olive oil cake instead.
…and while you are there, you could also pick up Full Surrogacy Now by Sophie Lewis, and A Planet to Win (co-written by Kate Aronoff, among others), and All-American Nativism by Dan Denvir (who has also done two of my favorite interviews I’ve ever been asked to do, on his podcast The Dig).
STATION IDENTIFICATION //
This is Friday Letters, by Melissa Gira Grant (me), the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work and a staff writer at The New Republic.
But it’s Sunday. Thanks for reading again.