Home > Uncategorized > Quarantine Diaries – Day 99 (a little push)

Quarantine Diaries – Day 99 (a little push)

It’s getting to the point where I’m no fun anymore.

Stephen Stills wrote those words over 50 years ago.

They seem particularly relevant now.

We’ve had a nice stretch of weather. I like to sit out on the front stoop late at night and ponder. Enjoy a beverage. Watch the cars as they fly down the road, in a hurry to go nowhere. Always with a soundtrack for company. New Dylan record. Latest from Joe Henry. My homemade Tragically Hip playlist. I love the Drive-By Truckers at times like these. And Jason Isbell. There’s that latest Neil Young I’ve been meaning to get to. Maybe tonight if the storms don’t finally roll through. That’s what they’re calling for. A few good days in a row are all we can hope for ’round here.

My cat roams outside most days….and she’ll appear out of nowhere like an apparition, and perch herself on the front stoop and join me in my surveying. She’s pretty inscrutable. Based on her past, I’m not sure I’d want to read her mind. But she seems a bit out of sorts lately as well. These last few months seem to have cut down on her wandering. She doesn’t venture as far, or for as long. We used to fret about getting her inside before closing up for the night. Now, she’s right by the door. She’s seems over this shit, and needs her bed.

Behind me in the house is all that I hold dear. All that I love and treasure. All that I would kill and die for. And even so, times like these can make me feel like a fraud. I should be stronger. But I’m not.

Lincoln called it “the tired spot”. Churchill and Nick Drake wrote and sang of “the black dog”. And how many men and women with guitars have articulated the blues? How it can descend on you with little warning, and hang around for days or weeks at a time. Our county “opens” on Friday, which I suppose is a good thing, especially for the businesses that have been hurt so bad by the shutdown. But the virus numbers coming in are pretty dire. A second wave is just about inevitable. If we were all vigilant, masked, and distance conscious, we might weather it. But we’re not. So it’ll be the difference between lighting a match, and lighting the matchbook. To defeat this thing requires overwhelming force……everybody pulling in the same direction. In 2020? That’s impossible. Even with people dying. The lack of empathy is staggering. It breaks the heart. So more will die. Needlessly. Americans fighting Americans…..a little mini civil war.

And so it goes. I pretend to be ok just about all of the time, but I’m not ok. And neither are you. We’re scared and nervous and pissed off and feeling pissed on.

protesters-try-to-topple-andrew-jackson-statue-near-white-house-062220The injustices were always there. Scabbed over. These last few months have ripped the scab off, and the nation is freely bleeding out. We need something and somebody to salve the wound. But instead we get buckets of salt tossed into it. So it festers. But all the while the young learn more and more about the things that were skipped over in history class. That our founding fathers were not made of granite. That even our nation’s national anthem was written by a man who owned other human beings. That the civil war was (and is) more than a chapter in an outdated history book….and that it didn’t settle things by a long shot. It’s no secret that a map of the confederacy and a map of current red states looks frightfully similar. And most importantly, that none of this newfound knowledge means much if the generation we failed decides to stay home in November.

As statues continue to tumble, it’s ironic that the movement is being accused of trying to suppress history, as if lionizing men like Robert E Lee and Andrew Jackson hadn’t done that for generations already.

So one side moves….and the other entrenches. All in the midst of a pandemic that won’t go away, no matter how many times the president clicks his heels together and chants “there’s no place like Tulsa….there’s no place like Tulsa…” Our kids are about to head out, piling into school buses and classrooms and dorm rooms, all in the name of defeating something by pretending that it’s already been counted out. That keeps me up nights. I haven’t slept in 99 days. And I don’t see any sleep coming over the horizon. Despite the tired spot.

Change is inevitable. Most prefer it so sneak up on them…..the way our Iphones improve, or how we no longer have to use a dial-up modem.

But sometimes change requires what we’re used to being torn down….and that scares folks. But it shouldn’t. Some things just need a little push.

In a bit..


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