David Duchovny had a front row view of life in New York City during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. While other New Yorkers left Manhattan for more open air areas in the winter and spring of 2020, The X-Files star stayed in his high-rise apartment that overlooked Central Park. “My son was a junior in high school, so we weren’t going anywhere,” Duchovny tells Yahoo Entertainment now about the mood of New York in March 2020. “There was this very real quiet that would be punctured by ambulances, but otherwise there was very little ambient street sound, which you don’t realize how overwhelming it is until it’s gone.” (Duchovny shares two children with his ex-wife, Téa Leoni.)
That’s the version of Manhattan that the author and actor recreates in his just-released novella, The Reservoir. Set during the initial months after COVID-19 made landfall in New York, the narrative follows an ex-Wall Street bean counter named Ridley, who passes the long days alone in his apartment by taking time-lapse photos of the park below. Estranged from his ex-wife and adult daughter, his life is absent of any other human contact — that is, until he notices a flashing light in an apartment window across Central Park that may be another lonely soul seeking a connection.