It was late afternoon. Max
Silver, a senior citizen and a widower living in a Northern California
retirement community, had had his usual day since the coronavirus lockdown four
months ago. Hed gotten up early, had breakfast, read the
newspaper, did the crossword puzzle, dressed, checked the e-mails, all spam, on
his iPad, did some housecleaning, had lunch, got the mail (nothing in it),
watched TV news, checked for e-mails, all spam, watched the TV news (all bad),
then had his supper and prepared to watch some more television.
Max considered that
hed coped pretty well during the lockdown, all things considered. He went
to the nearby supermarket once every ten days to get the necessary food items,
medications and other things he needed, always wearing a mask and trying to
stay as far away as he could from other shoppers. Luckily, he didnt have
any immediate health problems so he didnt have to risk going to his
doctors office or to a hospital. The truth was that since his wifes
Harriets passing he hadnt been going anywhere much so being locked
down wasnt that much of a change.
The one new thing hed
done was get in touch with his older brother Nathan, who still lived back in
New York. Max had had an up-and-down relationship with
Nathan. Theyd been pretty close when they were kids growing up in the
Bronx. Nathan had gone on to a successful career in advertising,
married twice, had no children and was now living in a senior facility in Long
Island. When he moved to California, Max had lost contact with Nathan.
Thered been something about Nathan not inviting the family to his second
wedding, Max had forgotten just what, and a rift had developed. Max had been
busy with his own marriage to Harriet and their three children.
Max watched his usual TV
shows but he couldnt seem to focus on them. He felt
uneasy; something was bothering him, he wasnt sure what. Every now and
then he checked his e-mails again. Still nothing. Finally, at ten oclock,
there it was, the e-mail from Nathan replying to the one hed sent
yesterday. So thats what had been bothering him. He had to admit it, he
counted on those e-mails. He watched the ten oclock news, still all bad,
and prepared to go to bed. Hed e-mail Nathan tomorrow. He wondered if
Nathan was counting on getting it.