Morris and Cynthia in the New Reality (& other stories)

by Allan Yashin

I’ve been thinking, Cynthia..

My God, Morris … not before my first cup of coffee .. have some consideration…

You may have just arisen, dear, but I’ve been up since 4 in the morning ….

Didn’t I tell you those 2 hour naps in the afternoon were disrupting your sleep…

My dear, Cynthia…those 2 hour naps happen to be the stage for assembling my cast …picturing my setting…the furnishings..

Cast…setting…furnishings…You’re doing all that while you’re in there snoring?

And when I go to bed at night…it’s the theater for putting my cast into motion. ..develop my story…And that’s why I get up so early…I’m brimming with excitement to fulfill my creation…

Fulfill your creation? You haven’t been drinking Lysol, have you?

You may jest, Cynthia…but after self quarantining with you for the past 10 weeks…I can only say one thing….I’m sick of you!

What did you just say?

And I’m sick of myself too!! Morris and Cynthia this…Morris and Cynthia that…Enough already!

Morris…I don’t like the sound of this! You’re scaring me…

Nothing to fear my love…it’s good bye Morris and Cynthia…hello Rick and Ilsa

Rick and Ilsa? Arent those the names of the characters from—

That’s right…our favorite movie Casablanca… from now on call me Rick…and you will be the gorgeous…Ilsa…what wonderful casting my beautiful one….

Hmm, Morris…


Alright..RICK…very cute…very cute…but we’re still here in the Lower East Side of Manhattan…

Oh, that was soo Yesterday…today we dwell in tropical Morocco…look at the palm tree in our living room…

Palm tree..what’re you talking …Morris..I mean Rick…taking our mop and turning it upside down and sticking it in the magazine rack is not quite the same as having a palm tree in our living room…

Ilsa…a mop? You’re having hallucinations! I know how difficult things have been for you fearing the Germans here in Casablanca…you must be so tired. Let Rick make you one of his famous cocktails…

Cocktail! Morris…I haven’t even had my morning coffee..

It’s Rick…Rick…but all right Cynthia…I can see that you’re not up for joining me in Casablanca…So maybe you’ll be happier with our next world shifting experience…

Oh, no…what is it this time?

Something grand…something majestic…something that will carry us up in the sweep of its drama…

Oh God..I’m afraid to ask…

The Phantom of the Opera….only I think you should be the Phantom…I think I’m too heavy to swing from our chandelier


Marty and Cynthia in the Distance

Slow down, Cynthia, I’m going to break my neck!

Morris, please, you know that the CDC advises that we get a brisk walk of 30 minutes in twice a day. Do try to keep up the pace.

Under normal circumstances that wouldn’t be a problem.

Well, these days certainly aren’t normal circumstances, Morris. We’ve all got to make adjustments to the way we do things. You do want to live don’t you?

Yes, Cynthia. As I’ve reassured you that I do want to live a dozen times since this virus crisis has begun. But breaking my neck will kill me just as fast as the virus.

Well, then do you want me to walk backwards today?

We tried that yesterday and you said it made you so dizzy you had to sit down…well I mean you wanted to sit down but said the wood on the benches on the streets could be carrying the virus…You just stood on the street corner holding onto to me for support …and then we had to run back home because our 30 minutes were up.

Alright, Morris, I’ll slacken the pace a bit so maybe you’ll find it easier to walk backwards today.

Fine, fine…but tell me Cynthia, do you see anyone, anyone at all, who’s doing what we’re doing? Walking down the block backs pressed back to back. You walking forward to see who’s coming towards us, and me walking backwards to see if anyone is coming up behind us.

The rest of them are all careless fools. You know how important it is to practice social distancing. Get absolutely no closer to any other person than 6 feet. God knows, any person we pass could be a carrier of the virus.

I know, I know…6 feet …keep a 6 foot distance.

And our method of walking back to back gives us the optimal opportunity to see someone approaching from any direction.

You’re right, Cynthia, you’re right. I know you’re doing the best you can to keep us safe.

I’m not worried about myself, Morris. It’s you. If anything happened to you I don’t know what I would do.

And I feel the same way about you, darling. Can you turn you’re ahead around a little bit so I can kiss you?

Not, now, Morris, not now! A man is walking towards us and he just touched his face. Run, Run!!


Marty on the Ferry

Is this the new normal?

Marty wondered if there was any way to calculate the number of miles he had ridden on the ferry since this all began? Matter of fact, he wasn’t even quite sure the exact date the ferry had become his home, sometime back in March.

His cell phone had one of those apps that counted the number of steps he took, but it didn’t compute miles traveled while you were standing on the ferry as it traversed the East River. So, how many? Too many.

Too many since he had been with Margo, felt her warn body sleeping next to his, kissed her lovely face…held her in his arms.

Now she was just a far away face, peering out their bedroom window at him as his ferry briefly stopped at the Greenpoint ferry landing twice a day and he stood on the top deck waving wildly and exchanging blown kisses handing there in the brisk river air till they were dissipated; once in the morning as his ferry took him up river from its overnight stay at the Brooklyn Navy yard to his ultimate destination each day…the hospital on Roosevelt Island.

It was a hard decision but the only one that made sense to him, back in March…he had to protect Margo. Couldn’t continue living with her, coming home to her every night after working oin the ward with the virus infected patients all day….She was willing to take the risk of that.

Marty wasn’t. Not even for a second. So when he said he’s now to using the ferry as his luxury cruise ship with his enormous stateroom…it slept 125 he joked. But he was usually the only one who slept overnight on the ferry. And since he was know by the crew of the ferry as an essential worker, no one minded bending the rules and letting him spend the night on the docked ferry. Eating what passed for his dinner…whatever was still left in the hospital cafeteria at the end of his 12 hour shift.

So how many miles, as March became April and stretched into May and Memorial Day weekend was announcing that summer wasn’t far away.

How much longer on that ferry and only seeing Margo standing at her window each morning at 6:43 as he was going to the hospital…and 7:12 at night returning as the ferry headed down river to the southern Brooklyn before eventually docking for the night.

How much longer would the ferry be his home? Good thing it wasn’t an apartment. Then he’d have to decide if he wanted a one year or two year lease…but on the ferry it was day to day…but Marty didn’t know when that day would be.