Thursday Evening Post: 3.26.20

I suppose now would be a good time to put the grind down on those bad habits.

Said most everyone on the planet at once.

Just had a spell of anxiety, myself. We’re familiar dance partners, so I can diagnose it pretty quick. I’ve had far worse doses in my past. And was in far worse shape to deal with those, as well. But I suppose the whole world being on edge and anxious doesn’t help the talk down.

And yet, today was a beautiful day. Where I live, at least. Very full of life, this Earth of ours. My backyard in particular was quite alive. Still is. That whole mess of natural racket made by critters that live by creeks in early spring.

Might be a little wariness regarding returning to work tomorrow. I am employed in an ‘essential’ trade. One that had to be cautious regarding a whole mess of infectious diseases, long before the current trending one.

The only reason I hadn’t been there this whole time was nothing to do with world events. I always schedule this time of year to be off work. I march in parades, you see. But they all got cancelled, so I ended up being just plain off. And with the small one being home from school, it ended up working out for the best. Personally.

And in all that time, I lived in my bubble. Removed enough to not be so greatly affected. And living by yourself in a town where you don’t really know anyone for half a year can really prep one for practices in social isolation and distancing. But the tragedy that I, still, and many other hold- is being human, and with it, the regularly occurring desire to be around other humans. All sorts of kinds for all sorts of reasons. But any which way you have it, we all seem drawn to pull the same air as someone else. Maybe it has something to do with the sharing of our consciousness. Or maybe it is an instinctual provocation to confirm the safety of one’s own life by measuring it against the life of someone set to similar circumstances and environment.

Or maybe, it’s just hard to be alone.

Which it is. Trust me. For whatever a younger man might have motioned for, I am far more recluse than I’ve been my whole life. I could be a lonely kid, sure. But when you go to school with scores and scores of other humans, you generally end up with a few varied sorts of relationships. I, at times, would find myself with loads of all sorts of friendships, and so on. But not so heavy these last few years. Not so often.

So, I dig the lonely. I do. But I am also fairly seasoned in such affairs, at this point in my life. Not so many others are. Not folks my age, for sure. And plenty of wonderful folks also have a lot harder time dealing with their nerves than I do. The struggle still exists for me, but I was given a pretty nice set of tools in this life, and I was shown how to use most of them well. And figured out a bunch more along the way. Improv man, I’m telling you. It’s art.

But I gotta turn over the record and freshen my drink. Excuse me, for a moment. I may return with an entirely different train of thought. F. Scott, and such.

I often wonder, when I sit down to write, if this is for my self or for others. It was my mentor who I never met who said “write to please only one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will catch pneumonia.”

Which, holy shit Vonnegut. When that quote just popped into my head, it had nowhere the weight or relevance as it did as when I just wrote it out.

And thinking of my mentor I neve met, makes me think of a mentor whom I had met and was close with, years ago, and the planning in the back of my mind regarding a return letter I’ve been meaning to send since the New Year. Which, in turn, makes me think of my friend across the Atlantic who was saying a few months back that he was to be making a trip to the States around now, which certainly isn’t happening, but I have no idea how he is doing.

And all that reminds me that I failed to flip the record and don’t have my drink.

Fucking paranoid scatterbrain.

I dunno. I suppose it’s just hard to lean each other from at least six feet away. And, I suppose, it just sucks when you can’t do something that even if under any more normal type of circumstance you weren’t very likely to do it at all. And though it is a very natural part of this whole thing, and is always what life ends up coming to, hearing that people are dying does something to the soul. If you still have got one. And the brain and the soul/heart… I mean, wow… what a terrible combination. I thought it was just bad when dating, when I used to do such things. But when it comes to lifestyle adjustments during what every major health organization has officially dubbed a global pandemic- those two are just an awful pair.

And yet, who would we be without them both?

We certainly wouldn’t thinking about where or how we were being. The brains, which pulled us from the mud, and the heart, which keeps us living through pain for those moments of bliss and sweetness. Like a cosmic ‘buddy cop’ flick, that unlikely duo is the exact reason that humanity has an overall life which most are worried about losing.

I don’t have answers. Not really. Or at least not yet. Or, I guess, not many. I’m not a true reporter, just like at least half the people talking on the TV, and even more so on the interwebs. And with what has been going on, I feel just as behind as most. Perhaps more. I’ve been scanning numbers, as my brain tells me to do. But my heart reminds me that this is life and that she is most certainly finite. At least in these squishy, slowly decaying vessels. And recently reminded of that by a dear friend’s own loss, by means of what the record keepers of mortality would define as a rather wide spread statistical demise for her demographic.

But she was his mother, and he loved her immensely. And she is gone from this Earth. And my friend is still here. And that hurts, a lot.

So it goes.

I hope tomorrow will be better for everyone. But the truth is, that things don’t get better just because they do. Not often, at least. Even the best book keepers have anomalies. But with this, and so many other events both large and small- improvements are made through the efforts of humankind. Through sacrifices and dedication and ambition. And through fear, doubt and uncertainty. Because cats who ain’t afraid, are fucking crazy.

But folks who can know fear, and move forward anyway… now that, is bravery. Or so I’ve told my daughter. And more than anyone else in the world, I’ve made every effort to only say things to her that I truly believe.

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