I keep telling my kid we have plenty of time. If there’s one thing we have in abundance, it’s time. Then I explain to him what the word abundance means.
There was another thing I told him we have in abundance, but I can’t remember now what it was. It might have been soup, or maybe bread, or maybe coffee.
The title of my Covid memoir, the one I will never write, should be titled: Coffee, Why Even Bother At This Point?
I’m wrong of course. We don’t have time. There’s never enough time. I don’t know why. It’s one of the many mysteries of this pandemic/quarantine that I’m incapable of understanding. Every day, it seems like I’m explaining to our son–who is the main cause of this not-enough-timeness if I’m being honest–that he has 11 hours every single goddamn day from the time he wakes up until the time he gets in the bathtub (most days I manage to leave out the “goddamn” part). It doesn’t matter. I still spend the whole day being pulled and pushed–to play, to pay attention, to pay more attention, to play differently, to make food, to make a different kind of food. And while I’m able to say yes to reasonable requests and no to unreasonable requests, the whole thing feels draining. So even as I’m doing the dishes, I’m being asked to do something as soon as I finish. If I’m cleaning out the cat box, he’s interrupting me to tell me what he wants me to do next, or ask politely. Most of the time he asks politely.
Earlier in the week, it occurred to me that a five-year-old’s resting personality is the place where alcohol poisoning and crystal meth abuse intersect.
It’s gotten worse since school got out. I don’t know why. Probably something about the lack of structure. During our daily morning debate: “Reasons why you need to take off your pajamas and put on your clothes,” I often find myself flailing, with no good answer. No convincing answer, anyway.
The title of my Covid memoir, the one I will never write, should be titled: The XBox One We Had Delivered Doesn’t Work And Now It’s 11pm And I Can’t Stop Crying
I understand why he isn’t convinced. I have my own responsibilities to attend to, and I’m not always able to convince myself why, say, today is the day I need to work on securing photo permissions for the book I’m involved in, or work on the final edit. I’ve been assured the book is still coming out, only instead of late this year, it will probably be late next year. Possibly early the year after that, like say, spring. It wasn’t easy finding the worst year in the past 100 to have a book scheduled for publication by a university press, but I somehow managed to do it. And even though our editor is optimistic & hopeful, I’m still having a hard time getting myself to believe in anything further than ‘tomorrow is going to be a lot like today–bad.’
The title of my Covid memoir, the one I will never write, should be titled: I Still Can’t Believe That I’m Actually One of the Lucky Ones In All This, Given How Shitty It Is To Be Alive in This Moment
If you’ve been paying attention the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that governments aren’t going to have nearly as much money to spend as usual. And if you’ve been paying attention for the last 40 years, you can guess that’s going to mean less money for schools, food, medicare, etc. Sorry about your bad luck, poor people. Next time, maybe try to pick wealthier parents. The good news is you’re going to die early, so you’ll probably get to try again real soon.
There have been so many things I intended to write about on here, in the context of all this: white supremacy, austerity, the Democrats, Joe Biden, Jared Fucking Kushner, and probably some stuff I forgot. Every afternoon lunch comes and goes, and suddenly it’s 1pm and the window closes. How did that happen? I have wanted to write about masks, and I’ve wanted to write about empathy. I still might. Somewhere in my bitter, cynical brain, there’s an optimistic liberal who can’t stop shouting, certain that people can be converted by facts, even though if I’m being honest, knowing what’s going on just makes you one of the frogs who knows they’re being boiled alive.
The title of my Covid memoir, the one I will never write, should be titled: “2020 Hindsight” because I’m a hack who longs for mainstream acceptance, and good reviews in the New York Times.
There is little solace to be found these days in being right. About anything. Not when you know with almost 100% certainty that the future holds material suffering and death for the poor, and an internal suffering and death of the soul for the rich. It’s been like that for a while, but the cruelty screams where it used to whisper, and it feels triumphant where it used to feel slightly ashamed of itself. The only question now is far will it go. There is no bottom. The road map for turning the US into an uber-fascist police state has been established, and the road leads to hell. There is nothing the government can’t get away with, and the only thing keeping journalists out of prison and political opponents from being murdered is a failure of nerve.
It took me 45 minutes to write this, time I could have spent riding my bike, or maybe reading a book. For my birthday last week, my wife got me Yur Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World. As titles go, it’s a lot better than anything I’ll ever come up with for my Covid memoir, the one I’ll never write. I finished it in a week, and it was every bit as good as it was supposed to be. Probably better, And it’s only 100 pages, which makes it the perfect length book to read when you’re awake for 16 hours a day, but somehow can’t find time to do anything. Today, I started Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, because obviously I am someone who loves happy stories. I made it two chapters in, but only after laying down the law with our son that I was going to read uninterrupted for a half hour. He only interrupted me three times, and somehow even that felt like a victory of sorts, albeit a muted one. But then everything feels muted these days except for the sociopaths.
You don’t need no silicon to calculate poverty.
(the greatest song with ‘Time’ in the title, at least the greatest one I can think of in less than five minutes, is Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’)