Lockdown Dairies / New York – Dmitry Sokolenko

2084FEC1-4DD0-44EC-98A6-89334CFF6AD6New Yorkers! You shouldn’t treat your phone booths with such disdain! I can assure you that soon you’ll be needing this type of telephone. I’m not talking about the theory of a plot by Bill Gates’s friends, wanting to trade iPhones and SAMSUNG for injections and so forth. No, I’m talking about something else. During the long duration of mask-wearing, our ears begin to stick out more and more. So, imagine when it’s time to walk around without a mask – many people might not recognize themselves in the mirror and therefore might not be able to get together with their friends. Arguments, divorces, firings could ensue…but these are trifles…our beloved pets will abandon us, and those who can’t just walk away – for example, fish – they will simply jump out of the aquarium. The fish will choose suicide over having to look at our ears sticking out. Even if elves were to return to the world of humans, we wouldn’t recognize what’s happening, since we’ll look so much like them! There are only two ways to resolve this post-virus syndrome. The first is to hand our check over to a plastic surgeon. The second is to talk on these heavy, massive phones. Naturally, there’ll be a long line for the Phone Booth… But don’t worry – you won’t have to observe social distancing! And there’s the definite danger, as we remember, of a telephone sniper at the intersections of 8th Avenue and 53rd street on the island of Manhattan. But I’ll repeat – beauty demands victims. Once I make it up to the Phone Booth, I’ll call London, the London that’s on an island, not the one in Canada, and I’ll congratulate Bjorn Stern on his mother’s birthday!  I’m sure it won’t be easy to make the call, since so many people will be calling him. When I finally get through, and I manage to congratulate him on his mother’s birthday, he’ll ask me, as always, “Whatcha goona do?” At this point, I’ll hang up the telephone on the left and go over to the one on the right, and I’ll call London again. I’ll say that since I’m already at the Phone Booth, I also want to congratulate him on his own birthday. And he’ll answer, “Now whatcha gonna do?” And once again I’ll hang up the phone. Why answer when it’s so obvious – a vanilla ice cream party on the rooftop with the best view of Café Fiorello! Mamma Mia! By the way, a couple of professors, real New Yorkers, guarantee that if I survive the quarantine until the end I can be considered a New Yorker, Jr. I’d like to know – how will Bjorn get from his island to my island now?


Words & Images © Dmitry Sokolenko 2020

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