This covers the week of 10/25/20 - 10/31/20.
The assignment drags into the night. At one point I picture myself shutting the laptop, sliding into bed, and forgetting about deadlines. A peaceful thought, but not a realistic possibility.
On vacant private land, a homeless man is assembling a home. It won't be long before it's torn down. In the meantime, he's brought in materials from other neighborhoods and set up an unsteady shack with tarp. Several feet from it are a barrel and a bucket, some canvas bags and a shopping cart.
During two weeks of staying shut up in her apartment, her most exciting moment, she reports, was arming herself with bug spray and a Marble notebook to hunt down a large roach.
The leaves on the thornless honey locust trees are a vivid yellow. One fountaining yellow tree after another, the pavement spattered in bright leaves.
"For Halloween," he tells me over Skype, "I'm pretending to be an alcoholic." He has a mostly finished bottle of whiskey on his desk, in full view of the camera.
The idea of buying a house appeals to him much more than the reality of living in one, maintaining it, and cleaning it. So he goes on Redfin and stares longingly at a ranch house in Lancaster, PA that he'll never buy. Because the floor plan is online, he pictures what he would put in each room and wonders whether two recliner chairs would fit in the tiny screened porch.
I spot a kid dressed up as COVID-19, what the virus looks like under a microscope. It's a costume both funny and depressing.