Being cooped up in the house has given me a lot of time to reflect. More than ever, it’s important to open up to people, to talk, to speak upon one’s insecurities and to realize we are all in the same boat with these feelings. Writing has long been a channel for me to do so and I’ve been pretty shit about keeping up with it. However, the difference in me between when I first started writing to now is undeniable. My beard has grey hairs in it. Injuries continue to take longer and longer to bounce back from. No one mistakes me for an undergrad or grad student anymore. I’m age 31, I am “supposed to have my shit together.”
Spoiler alert: I do not.
Truth be told, I have quite a few articles written or nearly written. Writing has been nagging me. It’s been tough to keep up. I enjoy it immensely but often, I feel like I’m yelling into a void. Many of the people I’ve written with have gone on to do amazing things. Some have experienced life changing events. Others just haven’t had the time to write, like me. Truth also be told, I miss getting the occasional DM that I struck a chord with people. So here I am and I hope to continue writing, if only to preserve some sanity.
As a member of the genus “homo” and the species “sapiens”, I’m keen on trying to make sense of the world. One day I could give someone a hug, the next day, I am a card carrying Boomer Remover. COVID-19 and its ensuing shitstorm has given us a species a unique perspective on life. Other than a few big cats and kittens, COVID has largely ignored the other animals around us. Anyone that says, “one person can’t change the world” clearly has never undercooked a bat. Which brings me to an aside. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU COOKING AND EATING SOMETHING THAT EATS THINGS THAT SUCK OTHER THINGS’ BLOOD!? One would think this would be common sense, but here we are.
This entire situation is an exercise in theatre of the absurd. Somewhere between Tiger King and masked idiots with guns protesting their right to go to Denny’s, society has flipped its gourd. Fuck, last night we went out to help rescue a cat in the middle of nowhere in SW. Half a mile down the road, our tire went flat. As I sat on the shoulder of some no named two lane highway, we just started laughing about how outlandish this situation was, taking into consideration the fact that all the stores were closed after 6pm, we couldn’t call an Uber, and the people around us wouldn’t answer their doors and risk being infected with coronavirus.
My neck of the woods has not been as affected as others. Call it geographic isolation, call it lack of interesting shit to do here, call it what you want, but that’s our reality. I have family members that are not so lucky. My family’s store is on the frontlines and my aging uncles are out there day in and day out in the hard-hit state of New Jersey. My cousin and his wife are currently COVID positive in the hospital as he was deemed essential as a structural engineer and worked until he got sick. He and three other coworkers have contracted the virus and I am worried about them. While my cousin is not on the frontlines, it goes to show how delicate life is.
I’ve largely quarantined, save for the few times to get supplies and to go hike. I am lucky to have a job where I can work from home, but many are not so lucky and are not. People who work in positions that are frowned upon or thought of as dispensable are now deemed essential. Grocery store workers and fast food employees are working to keep people fed and supply chains going. I hope after this settles down, we have a frank discussion about the definition of essential and compensate these folks accordingly.
Despite all the bullshit, not all is bad. I’ve reconnected with many people I haven’t talked to in a good while. I’ve learned who my close and true friends are, and we celebrate accordingly on Zoom happy hours. We make food and drop it off to each other. A group of us stood beer in hand, socially distanced, to celebrate an adult birthday, and another friend celebrated her child’s first birthday by mailing everyone a cake to make at home. Rule #32, enjoy the little things.
My buddy dropped off some beer the other dayyyyyy because that’s just the way he is. Whoever goes on a beer run and finds some cool beer drops the other one a beer. Humanity is unique to our species and I for one would like to be a small piece of that, to have a dialogue about what’s going on. See you all soon.