A Programmed Life
Designed, on fields of white,
squiggles etched on skin, smelling of paint,
squeak and stutter, and moan,
the names of grandparents.
Coded, in ones and zeros,
patterns of coin flips, yes and nos,
never and always, pink and blues,
life and death.
Compiled, a life of choices,
branching, nesting, looping,
with ifs and whens and wheres,
while promises break and bleed.
Deployed, sons and daughters,
babble and banter at bugs,
expecting success and excellence,
ignorant of the cost, the time.
Disabled, shrink wrapped shelves of dreams,
of visions unseen, unbought, unused,
now sit in dusty chests, glossy
memorabilia, enquizzling toddlers.
Is the Drive-In phenomena set to return?
We all feel safe in our cars right? Shuffle from the house or apartment, touch nothing along the way, open the door with gloves or steri-wipes and snuggle into your coronavirus free automobile. Then “Where to tonight kids?”
“To the movies!”
Or to the drive-thru eatery, the drive-thru bank, pharmacy or daiquiri fill-em-up station.
Are we about to experience a resurgence in service-by-auto establishments? Drive-in doctors? Drive-in dentists? We’ve got drive-by grocery pickup, dry-cleaning (though why anyone would dry-clean stay-at-home bathrobes?), and drive-by postal exchange.
Will there be sterilization services? Guys with hazmat suits spraying bleach from power-washers to destroy all contagions from the outside of your car before you attempt to drive it into your garage?
What else can we access from the safety of our wheeled bio-capsules?
How I love it when shit happens.
Despite anyone’s valiant attempts to strive for their personal goals, the world comes along and fucks shit up. Everyone’s shit.
And the realization that nothing you do will amount to anything, or, in Willy Wonka reverse notation, everything you do will amount to nothing, is first and foremost in everyone’s mind as the world comes apart in this /barely/ registered blip of illness called COVID-19.
Holy Hell Folks. 150,000 people die EVERY DAY on this planet. and that 15,000 “extra” dead folks after 2 months of illness is somehow a God-Enacted-Disaster is just so much bunk.
When the stock market tanks I stand up and cheer: screw you, you arrogant Wall Street fucks! (I worked writing trading software for eight years and know how it really works… Traders are assholes and corporations are the scourge of the Earth.)
So, to watch the market plummet TEN PERCENT in one day, Hallelujah, absolution is at hand. Of course, the economy is in good shape: banks, employment, oil prices, interest rates, lack of a war or agricultural calamity — good shape. When this brouhaha bleeds into the history books, the general markets will come screaming back.
But in the interim, gottdamn I love to watch the world squirm, dangling on its own false hooks.
It seems only yesterday we were dueling on the net, our repartee sizzling the CAT-5, irreverent comments paying no heed to sensitive sensibilities. Alas, a break was called for. Perhaps a slower, indolent pace could be reinstated. We’ll see. I know that you’re feverishly penning your NotesFromTheAvalon screen-narrative “Fifty” for eventual sale to Netflix or HBO so I won’t keep you.
I’ve found a pleasant background noise and visual diversion on, of all places, my TV. Through Xfinity (part of the Comcast monopoly) I can hook into YouTube. There, we have access to an amazing assortment of hours-long video. Below is a photo of one of them, some beach scene from some lonely tropical location. The waves murmur, the water lures your eyes, which blur allowing your mind to drift…
There are fireplace loops, mountain stream loops, even live feeds, all of them soothing and perfect white noise generators for a living room or bedroom. The “YuleLog” key word will find a bevvy of crackling birchwood videos, perfect for a cold evening. “Deserted beach” will find you a list of exotic locations that will lull you to sleep with their sussurations. Instead of allowing talking-head idiots or stale reruns to dominate one’s TV experience, this option is an excellent stand-in for a peaceful accompaniment to other in-home activities.
I must say, regarding your Fifteen to Fifty posts, you’ve got a knack at creating excellent tension and perfect scene length. Your narrative is, as one would expect coming from you, somewhat cultivated, more so than television patrons are apt to even comprehend. But it fits with your history. We’re going to have to figure out how to broadcast your coverage. Others need to experience this developing mini-series.
I can’t wait to read of Rosie Marie’s baby and how it sucked the souls from that third-grade class, leaving mindless husks where eight year-olds used to dream of Pokemon. That and the body discovered in the 1990’s GeoStorm found beneath the Columbus Street bridge and how it still had that pistol in the victim’s hand. What will Danielson do with all that cocaine found in the backseat? And those vials? What the hell is in those vials?
On pins and syringe needles,