Can we be straight with each other? How can you be sure that you are thinking straight these days? Me I cannot. I believe that honesty with oneself is an important step, because knowing I'm "not quite right" protects me a bit against the hijacking of my healthier brain from Zombies and Space Aliens.
If you don't wear tin-foil over or beneath your helmet, and you don't yet speak to trees and rocks, you may believe that you have this new world in the bag. But do you really "Got this"? The more I interview friends, and strangers, a noteworthy reaction which I'd never noticed prior, seems to leak out a bit. We all lack hugs, and earnest smiles, and what has replaced them is caution, melancholia, a wide berth, and sympathetic gestures like those waiting for news in a Hospital, or exchanging condolences at a wake. The thing is, that if you are not yet in the hospital, nor at a funeral, could you please dispense with the long face, because it's fucking bringing me down! I know for a fact that most people these days are wasting 80 percent of their time. Maybe you need some tin foil... Cuz if this thing had a moral it would be this, “Normal” happen when you act “Normal” — When will that be for you?
Whereas previously my elderly parents were THE ONLY people to send me re-hashed internet anecdotes, silly images, and awkward signs pawned from the stale innerwebs c. 1998 -- NOW, everyone seems to quip small B.S. sundries, like they are sharing a chiclet in prison. I now get texts with dumb-shit images, and Gifs created by someone so far up on the food-chain, that I'm not even certain of the context. The issue is that this crap now comes in torrents from formerly smart people. Small comics, a 'la The New Yorker, with self inserted quotes or quips, which are meant to make them clever'er, but which simply make me look away with disgust. I've tried to play the same game sharing an article or two from a scientific or nature journal, or by sharing a story from a friend or author, but now it seems that in our global malaise pandemic, we can only read gossip, jargon, crappy gifs, and anecdotes, that amount to a shit-soup and sandwich. I do love hearing from people, and really love to be engaged, and to feel busy ascending the social ladder, but -- That ladder broke in March, and we all tumbled back down into this murky well. You pretend that you will glean some clever intel from your news-feed, , and that by sharing it you will enlighten others, but the truth is that your addiction to a quick paragraph every ten minutes is a plastic carrot in front of your fucking peloton. You are getting dumber.
In your new relationship with a global pandemic do you:
A. Feel profoundly overwhelmed?
B. Feel like you have everything completely under control?
C. Feel nothing whatsoever?
D. All of the above?
If you’ve answered “D”, then go ahead and drink that whole bottle of Pinot Grigio tonight with your pizza, because you deserve a reward for your honesty — and you are at least partly in control over these somber emotions.
If you didn't answer "D" then Go Here
We now look up from your damp silo to that bright light, sometimes eclipsing into a half-moon depending upon our slouching posture here upon the bottom. You make-believe that "we are OK", but that is far from the truth. We are not OK. We will surely be stuck here as if in a mauve laundromat, fluorescent green glow flickering over your phone waiting for wisdom and your pants which never seem to get dry. And so here we sit, reading comics, giphy junk, this dumb blog, and trash novels, hoping to feel something akin to a hug. We will stand around in this laundromat forever if we don't make an effort to walk the fuck out without our pants on. Fuck it! Nobody wears pants anymore anyway!, Just break with the low-rent coin-op dungeon, and have a walk. Whatever side of the spectrum you dwell upon doubled up with masks, and a carabiner clipped sanitizer upon your belt like a holster to inoculate you or your friends like Jesus, you must know that you have become, well... Not quite yourself lately. If you are the fucking messiah, and you could squirt a bit of that magic juice on my forehead to anoint the doldrum out of me and my friends, then do it already! I'm, so over you Mr. Preachy Pants. I have reconciled my binge drinking, and my lack of follow-up, and I have cleared my calendar to spend every waking moment of free time slumped upon the couch in a wet-hot heap, like someone squirted me into it's palm. I am OK with being in a funk, and I've resigned a few months to figuring out just how bad, it is. But what the fuck is happening to us all? Today I realized that we are all waiting for a shot in the arm. We are all clinging to the kitschy "back to normal" cliche' such that we forget to do anything whatsoever in the mean-time. The best week I had this summer arrived last week when I forgot my phone in my pants pocket and laundered them. Peace and Quiet.
Did your 86 daily glances at your news-feed reveal some wisdom today?
Did your preachy-pants friend link you to a story in which some bad actor caused you to writhe again in anxiety?
Do you believe that the end is nigh, or that "normal" will return soon?
News Flash, there is no going backward. Just because you have been thinking of yourself as somehow walking this drama backward like a locomotive backing down to latch your comfort animal, that ain't gonna happen, and it's no joke. Don't be the brunt of this joke, You will not find a magic regression therapy once you test positive for antibodies. There is no "getting back to normal", THIS is NORMAL, Own it. The moment you begin to act human again, you will inspire others to become humans again. Kindness, Pass it on.
You cannot chum around with one real person for six months or a year and five imaginary stoned friends on your couch hoping to "get back there". Your only path is forward, through this. So, dear brother, when you are completely finished sucking at the teat of Social-Security CoVid Style, and marshal the courage to stand again -- You can walk quite upright straight through the front-door of your cave, and go look for a job.
Your recovery begins, when you call your friends back, When you make a date, When you stop popping xanax, and lunesta. Yes technically "a whole bottle of wine" is too much... Think of the whole world as being in the same funk as you in your slouchy pants, and a dirty T-shirt, and now try to imagine the weight of all that comfort food. Things get back to "normal" when you act it. By the way THE Surgeon General has determined that being a slob is bad for your health, (even though he also wants to quit his shitty job and shovel sleepless cereal upon the couch at 3 AM), He has nonetheless determined that you are not making the most of your free-time, and this is bad.
Grab that tin-foil and wrap it around your smart phone, toss it in a drawer, and go outside, it's lovely out, and it's humanizing.
If you don't, then you may be better lining your helmet with shiny foil like the rest of us, and sitting on your couch until the abduction is over.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.