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Everything is dark…

darknessEverything is dark. Everything is empty. More than panic, there seems to be a sense of underlying sadness out there, perhaps because of the cracks that this is showing in ourselves. Our inner-dickishness.

Driving through town yesterday things seemed so quiet and desolate, but there was almost an electric current of tenseness around every unknown corner. It’s almost like we’re sorry that we’re about to act like an asshole, but then do it anyway, and then sorta regret it later. But not enough so that we don’t act like an asshole 10 minutes later.

Never before, in my lifetime at least, has society shown itself so vulnerable….so nakedly hanging by a thread. All the illusions we had about our own advancement have been ripped away. It seems the maxim that any society is only 3 missed meals away from anarchy might not be as absurd as it sounds. Anybody who has read “Lord of the Flies” is currently navigating grocery stores with a clenched sphincter.

Is any of this reasoning 100% valid? Only time will tell I suppose. I can only praise whatever your favorite deity is that this generation (and government) wasn’t in play during WWII. We might have collectively set ourselves on fire.

Our generation, in comparison, has begun calling 9-1-1 when the toilet paper has run out. I wish I was making this up but I’m not. There is a fine line between prudence and idiocy, and the world suddenly seems filled with tightrope walkers.

However, a sliver of silver lining. The term “essential personnel” has never before come into this much focus.

The kids manning the registers. The delivery drivers. The warehouse workers. The ones keeping your power on and watching over your elderly parents. The faceless people answering your panicked phone calls and keeping your internet working. The waiters and waitresses and the bartenders and actors and actresses and the folks playing the live music so you can maybe you can forget that you’re now living with the sword of Damocles over your head, at least for 3 minutes at a time. Next time you shit on the service and entertainment industry, remember these strange days. And then shut the fuck up.

Everybody is preaching to everybody else. It’s easy to tell others to stay home when your salary is guaranteed, or you can do your job remotely. But what about those who don’t get paid if they don’t leave the house and deal with others face to face? Are they supposed to buy their toilet paper and bottled water and pay their rent with a note from their mothers? Should they wipe their ass with leaves and drink rain water?

Are we gonna stop ordering stuff online? Who is supposed to pick and pack it? Who is supposed to deliver it? Are they supposed to “work from home” as well? People are furious that store shelves are empty. Who delivers to these shelves? The magic grocery fairy? Are truckers “endangering your Mom” by hauling supplies….so that your Mom can have them? What would happen if the folks who worked at the store decided to stay home en-masse? Would you shit on them, or applaud them?

Sometimes there is no safety net. Some folks want to build one. Others devote their lives to ensure that will never happen. And now here we are. To paraphrase Mike Tyson, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

What to believe? Who to believe? From a pool of morons comes the experts.

Things are changing. Day to day. Hour to hour. Minute to minute. The world we woke up to today is different than the one we went to bed in last night. And that one was different than the night before. The only way to detect light at the end of tunnel is for things to remain constant for…..a few hours….a few days.

So all that’s left is to do the best we can. We can be a little nicer to each other. We can share, although based on the amount of shopping carts I’ve seen stacked to the ceiling with Charmin, and the price gouging that goes with it, that doesn’t appear fucking likely anytime soon. We can be like Italy and sing arias from our balconies. We can wash our hands and say I love you at the end of the day to those that make us whole. We can hang together or we can hang separately.

I’m one of the lucky ones I guess. I have a roof and a decent job and my family is here and we’re all safe and we have what we need, and the means to get more when the time comes. At least for now.

But once that 3 meal threshold comes and goes? What then?

We’re not as different as we think we are.

In a bit..


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