Covid Metamorphoses #42 – What Kind of Spider Understands Arachnophobia?

I think I’ll just keep listening to Robert Wyatt and existing like this forever–a day-to-day existence where there is no such thing as anything, and no such thing as nothing. To be alive in the spring of 2020 is to be confronted everywhere you turn by two opposites that can not be reconciled. Every day is a matter of potential of life & death, but nothing seems to matter and everything stays the same. Many people are deeply committed to the idea of necessary sacrifice–of their peace of mind, of their safety, or their sanity–for the sake of others. Some people don’t give a shit at all.

I read the news, filtered through news organizations, and filtered through my twitter feed. I absorb it all like a sponge, even as I have my defenses up the entire time.

I feel numb; I am on fire.
I feel occasional moments of elation & peace; Everything in my brain is screaming depression.
I adore our son; I wouldn’t mind a few days to myself, thanks very much.
I am holding it together; I am falling apart.
This food is delicious; I am tired of eating.
This is the kind of upheaval that makes dramatic change possible; it will almost certainly be for the worst.

I have no faith in anything, not even myself. I do have faith in people–that’s why I say anything, instead of anyone–but I don’t have faith in institutions, American institutions anyway. Yesterday, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, two Democrat senators whose names will be forgotten within months of their deaths, co-sponsored legislation designed to help people through these challenging/exceptional/unprecedented/difficult times. They called for a $4,000 tax credit for anyone who enrolled in a skills-training course. I don’t know where these places are–technical colleges maybe? But a tax credit during a pandemic is considered reasonable. I, with my views on universal health care & extensive social safety nets to protect against the indiscriminate cruelty of life under capitalism, am considered unreasonable. Booker and Klobuchar were recently considered serious candidates for President. I was once compared to a psychopathic murderer by the editor of a prestigious music website because I didn’t like the music of Savages.

There used to be a band called Savages. A handful of people cared about them, but nobody seemed to care more about them than people who get (“got” probably more accurate by now) paid to write about music. I wrote for free.

I am getting off the track. That’s how you know I’m not a serious thinker. A serious thinker is always coherent. A serious thinker always maintains the persona.

Nothing makes sense; I see everything around me too clearly.

It’s easy to write about the simple part of being alive–the polarities of joy & sadness, love & unlove. The complicated stuff is harder to pin down. Life starts to take on too many dimensions. Feelings can become so intense, and peaceful, and terrifying, and magnificent that it becomes impossible to move, impossible to speak. Words or actions can seem inadequate when confronted with the full experience of being alive.

And yet all Robert Wyatt ever had to do was open his mouth and out comes the human condition.

I can go months without listening to him. I may have, on occasion, gone over a year. It can be too much sometimes. Too much feeling. Too close to the abyss, and sometimes life feels simple enough that you just want the simple pleasures, even the simple disappointments.

But sometimes it’s too much. And it can feel so lonely in the moments of deepest feelings of loss, of self-immobilization, and it can feel so hard to understand it, let alone communicate it.

In those moments, I listen to Robert Wyatt, though it always takes me too long to remember that I should.

Had I been free, I could have chosen not to be me.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Let me off please, I am so tired.
Let me off please, I am so very tired.

About ScottCreney

Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. He is the author of "Dear Al-Qaeda: Letters to the World’s Most Notorious Terror Organiztion".
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