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?
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?
How’s your vet-tech pursuit coming along? Save any hamsters or poodles yet? My son and his girlfriend have an African hedgehog as a pet they named “Kitty” (what?). Strange creature. Didn’t the Red Queen play croquet using hedgehogs as balls? Will you be specializing in a subset of species? Curious minds…
I see you’re back at your quantum existential possibility questions. As I mentioned in comments, I prefer simplicity. What’s the most likely scenario as to what we are, why we’re here, is my existence part of a larger whole or a singular occurrence where my so called consciousness manifests all that I see around me? In my mind the simplest answer applies: we’re animated bags of chemicals being the result of emergent behavior stemming from both the vast chaos and fundamental atomic rules that govern the cosmos; that is, happy/traumatic accidents. But, such an answer seems a let down, so humanity contrives more complicated scenarios that provide an elevated basis for existence. Bah! DNA and its core raison d’etre—that of persistence—emerged from chaos, the result being us.
This morning I awoke thinking of her. But after she melted away from my subconscious I considered my formative years and how different they were from those of today’s youth. In this letter I’m talking about portable technology. At age 10, I walked out the door, on a warm summer’s morning and didn’t return until hunger or darkness insisted, a pocketknife and a bicycle my only accoutrements. Even up into my 20’s a set of keys, a pocketknife, and a wallet was all I carried. The only technology available at that time being a radio in a car or truck. During those years I was engaged with the world. It filled my senses. And if the world proved dull, my own mind entertained me. I’m certain my best thinking time was had riding a motorcycle hellbent along meandering coastal roads.
Will today’s youth lament that which they never had?
All their thinking is done for them—in the cloud, by strangers.
I consider that society won’t truly know what happens to folks, constantly plugged in, until the ’00’s generation is in their 40’s. Those children, raised with an “i”… in their hands, their eyes and ears immersed in virtual worlds, what will have become of their minds by age forty? Is there any way back from this conversion to a digital consciousness?
I only use a phone as an occasional information tool and annoying alarm system: “Honey, are you coming home yet?” But my kids, I’m certain they would become inconsolably distraught at the loss of their phones. I suspect they would survive, but they enjoyed their early years sans-technology, catching lizards, picking berries, beach combing and whatnot—no insidious technology around.
When the CME finally strikes triggering the End of Electricity, what of the ’00’s who know nothing but the net? Will they descend into catatonic digital-detox?
What endearing youthful stories do you have that personify who you’ve become today?
Oy, indeed. Drawing the curtain on unanswerable existential questions is just what the doctor ordered. But I wouldn’t know where to fish for the monkey-faced eel and despite my former status as a hallucinogenic connoisseur, I’ve never been able to get my hands on peyote.
Tuition is paid and I’m enrolled in the Santa Fe Community College veterinary tech program. However, the online curriculum is rather useless until I receive my textbooks in the mail, so I have another day or two of exquisite inactivity to enjoy.
Yesterday, I filled some of that time by watching a few episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program. This is what I learned:
Aside from a deeper understanding of canine and feline anatomy, this might represent the sum total of acquired knowledge needed to see me through the rest of my life.
I’m also hoping that it may serve to compensate for my lack of substantive commentary about food in my last post.
Only years later did I understand my mother’s words when she told me—all throughout my childhood, “You’d cut off your nose to spite your face.”
Oh, you mean I’m a self-righteous fool who would rather fall on his sword than give you the benefit of a false victory over this obvious injustice? Well, yeah, pretty much.
I mentioned a while back about certain challenging circumstances at work. Let’s just say there’s this person, we’ll call him Prick, who was hired about the same time as I, but, for whatever reason, (certainly not his technical skills) hired two company levels above me. Prick and I never got along, still don’t; we never say good morning; never even allow our eyes to meet during uncomfortable juxtaposing hallway encounters. Prick gets twice my salary, and can’t even deign to acknowledge one of the company’s critical software developers? Maybe it’s my strong opinions contradicting his own? Maybe its the fact that he forced a number of good people to leave, people with whom I worked and valued.
So, in the secrecy of night I… No, no that’s not what I meant to tell you.
Last week the whole IT department was rearranged, by Prick and others, regarding seating. You know the drill: this cube vs that one, that office vs this one, who has to sit close to to the noisy printer, who gets a view out the windows into the attractive grounds around the building—petty shit like that that represents the pecking order of a corporate office. The software team was reorganized as well, all except me. The other six programmers were nested together in a cube row while I, who has maintained the same Amsterdam whore-on-display seat since I started, gets to remain where I am. (I’ve petitioned to be moved and have been quashed at every attempt.)
So be it, Prick.
I’m not sure where this capacity to endure discomfort came from. I will say that I tend to gravitate toward isolation, attracting scorn and self-deprecation. Why? I truly don’t know. My mother recognized it early on. It may be hubris but I’m certain I can identify injustice more often than most. But to intentionally endure an injustice, perhaps in an attempt to call it out, hoping *someone* might acknowledge the situation and correct it? That’s one strange behavior.
Regarding the attempt to leximize “leximize” and the recent realized recognition of your bizarre feat of digital flagellation, aka Notes from the Avalon, I have to point out that both seem to be indications of the need to leave a mark on the world.
I Exist and Here is Evidence.
I submit that such endeavors are ever more evidence that DNA controls our destiny. For in such a world as ours, social notoriety is culture cash. This admission chaffs at my purposefully distant and haughty sensibilities, but you have to agree, receiving those NFTA emails and notifications felt pretty good, no?
The more we delve into this Absurd Universe the more absurd it becomes.
Chin held firmly up, nose directed into the shit-smelling breeze,