EI EI oww…
It feels like it wasn’t even a week ago that I was saying that I didn’t understand what was going on and had no idea what was happening. I took a (strangely) soft-handed approach and touted my insular, no-news-reading lifestyle as something that kept my ignorant little brain free of trivial sound bytes to live in a kingdom made of my own thought bubbles. I also mentioned that things never really changed and that if I were to hibernate, I would creep out the hovel and things would be the same.
I’ll take an L on that one like a one.
I lost my job yesterday and my part-time job today. Both in the hospitality industry. I had, no more than a week before, agreed to sign a rather pricey deal with a new publicist for a lengthy 5-month launch to beef-up the interest and sales in my forthcoming novel, Becoming Buddha. I’d taken the advice of so many cohorts and cared-ones to leave for two weeks just over two weeks’ prior for a much-needed vacation.
I’ve succeeded past the initial numbness, mostly. I know this because I felt the anger rising today as I walked to enlist myself for the quitting-smoking program provided by the government and their sweet, sweet nicotine patches. Against my will, but necessary, I guess.
What do they say? You can’t keep a good addiction for long, or down long, I don’t know.
For anyone without the ability to work from home or a cushion of loot to fall back into and enjoy the repose, my advice is don’t get mad and don’t blame yourself.
An initial thought I had was that working in a cash-heavy industry, by choice, and not trying to gain a vocation with more stability, benefits and less vulnerability was my fault. Taking on an expensive launch which may’ve amounted to little, even before this uncertain time when it will promise to be even more of a crap-shoot, was my fault. Going away and having a great time and meeting people and returning without a scratch, was my fault.
The thing is, shit was all good just a week ago.
It’s not my style to tell you how to feel or how to act. We all know what we ought to do and how we ought to behave. Whether you do it or not is up to you.
I’m astounded my gym is still open, though I have long suspected the evil minds that run the Fitness World chain in my province as being sheisty and greedy, like an earls’, like anything. A friend that works there said they wouldn’t close it until they were forced to, which seems to be a telling vibe in my hood. That would seem to me, at least from a personal standpoint, to be the worst place for incubation and spreading. But: greed. She (the friend and employee) asked me not to go, that the staff is scared and wants to be closed. I didn’t. But I bet people did.
Additionally, when I went yesterday, people were side-eyeing any motherfuckers that coughed from swallowing his or her water down the wrong pipe. You can see someone crafting malice in their eyes at people walking more than two a group, trying to ignore or believing that they’re safe in the open air, not touching anything, no risk. I don’t know nothing about any of that, I’m not a doctor. If I was, I wouldn’t have the time to be writing this.
The paranoia will probably get worse as the numbers get fleshed out.
I had an idea for a story. It was a world where no one smiled, maybe the way Russia was painted during the Cold War, that was the mood of the setting at least. If someone so much as tooted and had themselves a chuckle they were shot on the spot or hauled off to a Gulag-like place for re-education or extermination. A world without jokesters, where class-clowns had to meet underground to do stand-up. If someone seemed happy walking with their lover, they were ratted on, 1984 style, and taken from their homes. Still might write it, I gots time.
That thing I said last time about not caring until it effects you or someone you care about, we’re there. And as the cranes operate noisily just outside my window to erect another apartment and the tanning salon around the corner is still welcoming orange motherfuckers into its bed, I am trying to fight getting this confusing rage-ball in my gut.
For some, the shutting of bars and restos will be inconvenient and off-putting. Sure. Friday night plans and concert tickets and sporting event cancellations are annoying. But the word ‘annoy’ and the words ‘possible destitution and poverty’ are the same thing by different groups. And, to be fair, so is ‘sickness and potentially fatal virus,’ but I’m not there yet.
I wasn’t shocked when the guy that runs my country enacted some measures to mitigate spread. I was a little surprised they weren’t harsher. My guess, is that they will funnel down, cascade and get more and more severe as the global fear and panic spreads, when they find out more people have it than we know as of this moment.
That’s how villains are bred. Having their livelihoods or family members taken from them swiftly and decisively, seeing the carefree gallivanting and jovial expressions on others, especially those who the measures were meant to fundamentally protect. You know who the fuck I’m talking about: Those motherfuckers covering their mouths and multiplying in the streets like fuck the younger people who will (probably) have their whole lives to pay back the credit this will ruin for them; I need to squeeze the few remaining years out of the life I’ve had about 70 years to enjoy without conscription or pandemics or inflation or environmental concern or…
But, my parents getting up there. I love them. So I don’t want to think like that. I’m fighting it. I don’t want to be resentful at people, even if they are going against exactly-what-the-fuck-they-are-telling-us-to-do-for-everyone’s-safety, because I don’t know how bad this is. I don’t know just how contagious it is. I don’t know nothing but the fact that I have my own views, which are severely damaged by an instinct to throw shade and get angry for the sole reason that I can’t do none about it.
It’s a position that I hand-picked and enjoyed until things got hard. Now it’s mostly about battling with the darkness of my own thoughts and how they manifest with even more alone time.
This is pure anomie, normlessness; no one knows how to act and react. It’s a feeling out process that were all going through together, speed wobbles and all. We’re all selfish creatures. My concerns are satellites that hover around planet Papa, with enough misinformation and lack of knowledge to set those bastards to spin for a while yet.
It’s like I always say: Nothing matters and nothing makes any sense for any reason other than the one you give it. Superstitions and destiny are bullshit. Things will happen based on preparedness, observance to what the actual medical professionals say and, ugh, probably some dice-rolling. Blow em.
If you feel like I do, that’s scary and you need help. But let me assure you that no one is spiting you, they’re just dicks. There are lots of dicks, always have and always will be. I bet we discover who is a dick and who isn’t real-fast in this time.
If your friend has more toilet paper or canned peaches than what should seem reasonable: dick. If you find yourself telling someone that they should’ve picked a better job because things like this happen: dick. If you are getting irrationally angry and even lashing at cats out doing what they are accustomed to because they can and there is no technical law or ban as of this writing: yeah, dick.
Does it mean that we should’ve had more in place for hospitality (and similar jobs) workers jobs in place? For sure, it’s a capricious reality without a pandemic. Does it mean that many of us will lose a lot of money, fuck up our credit, fight to cling to what little we have to pay rent and eat and eventually adopt a level of alienation that will seem like a lot of so-called dissociated Instagram pages wettest of dreams? Most definitely. Does it mean that anger will rise against people who are trying to live their lives, suffer mainly boredom, and make social media posts that will be an oversimplified, glib 2020 version of why the caged bird that sings? For sure.
People will try to make money off this. Some will rise to act or be put in a position where they have to sacrifice their own well-being. Thank you to the nurses, doctors, students and whoever else. For the latter, I guess that’s capitalism, babay.
Other’s will use the time to bizarrely admonish others while propping themselves up. I seen a series of one person’s stories that, in this order:
chucked pettish words at the people making fun of Italy, plead with people to wash their hands, a selfie with a face mask and a peace sign, bemoaned the closing of their spin studio, showed how to make protein cookies, told everyone to stay indoors, showed the fresh pack of toilet paper that they just purchased while getting a coffee because they were stir crazy, bath selfie with a cookie and the coffee, told people that if China got better than everyone can, got mad that people are leaving their houses, went for a stress run, showed some at-home exercises people can accomplish with giant cans of Ragu, and, to cap it off- another bath, this time with candles and wine.
What’s that mean? That I love to rile myself up with shit that I am aware annoys me but do it anyways. What it also means is that this cat is free to do whatever, just as we all are with the rules we are given. And, that shit is mega confusing right now.
I mean, it was all good just a week ago.