Havent written in a while. What with all thats happened since my last entry, I frankly didnt know where to even begin. Its been quite the deluge. No sooner do I feel I can distill something into words then 9,000 other things emerge shark teeth style to take its place. Between fires, riots, political smug, rampaging idiocy of covid deniers, and the disease itself- 2020 is a year that wont quit, for better or stupefyingly worse
Alot has taken place in our sphere of existence such I rhapsodized about the poetics of Timothee Chalamet. Increasing pandemic numbers, masks, racial tensions hitting a zenith, and masks, black squares , and masks, a chest beating bore in the office with the empathy and emotional intelligence of a 9 year old frying insects under a magnifying glass- and masks. When the virus began, I hated the idea of “masking up”. I felt confined, suspicious and rebellious. Now, its basically assimilated itself into my existence. I mean, its not the great oppressor I felt it would once be. You can get all kinds of them. Pink ones, red one, mickey mouse masks, ninja turtle masks, a mask of your favorite sports team and a mask with a picture of your newborn. Now when I do step out, its second nature to pick it up. The new normal.
I can think of alot of different terms to describe this year, and they continuously grow. Many can brush of 2020. I certainly know that’s what I was ready to do not long ago. A twisted caricature of a year whos mascot was a a rat, a mask and a black fist. As of this writing, its 30th of August. Soon September. Soon October. Soon November. Many will be elevated or shaken. One thing is for certain, many will be unhappy no matter what the outcome. What can and will be said of such a year?
Only having recently returned to work, I spent months simply coasting. Like many, a stick had been shoved in my personal spokes. No outings, no friends and little interaction outside a facetime or a text message. My big outing was my weekly walks to the Walgreens up the street to get wine and necessary sundries and then haul up old west mountain man style on my precipice. I watched the world unfold. Watched the youth of the nation bust into uproar over a police brutality. Graffiti and riots tearing through streets blocks from my home. Watched the arrogant peacocking of self proclaimed patriots wave their flags and cry wolf in defiance of those selflessly working without tire. Watched the innumerable occurances of the world around me, a juxtaposition of people singing from balconies, people rioting in streets. Saw a tension, thick and potent, form like a repugnant fog over society. No sooner had Mother Earth healed decades of wounds then we all began to take up whatever banner we saw fit and fight again. I didn’t want to champion anyone. I felt a mixture of isolation, confusion and revulsion at the world around me.
The year past its halfway point, many have come to accept this. Blissfully hoping and thinking the normalcy will come back soon. I frankly, dont feel that. In a way, I don’t wish to. Much has come from 2020. Not exactly bad, but still, things powerful, provocative and not easily brushed off with time. I have a saying about 2020 that I feel basically encapsulated the year entirely. “In putting on masks, we took our masks off”. This has been a year of brutal truths. How can we simply return to “normalcy” after our year was dominated by a mixture of masks, sanitizer, black squares and some of the most vile politics that ever witnessed? How does a society simply pick and move on from that? At best, we will forever be looking over our shoulders, awaiting the dropping of the next steel toed shoe.
I wish I could tie up this musuing just a bit better, but sadly, I can’t. One of the most deflating aspects of this year is the removal of any kind of certainty. What is it we want from this year, or any year for that matter I ask? How is peacocking from our group of chosen people and hurling insults at the other helping anything?How many times is that actually achieved, even? I mean, is it so bad that we sacrifice one year to- reflect? Shake off the dust? Get it all out? Have conversations we always put off having? Don a mask and heal? Sometimes, the best balm is for things to simply hang in the air and be uncomfortable for a while.
I get it. We want to travel. We want to be social. We want to have peace with our fellow man. We want to have trust in our elected officials. We want to have a sense of security and know that everything will be alright. This has so far been a year when all of that has been shaken. Only now are people starting to emerge into the world, socialize, go back to some semblance of life. Whether or not that ultimately proves foolish, well only time will tell.
Who know what will come to pass. What with perhaps the most heated and vitriolic elections this country has ever faced a mere 2 months away, a virus that continues on, in spite of our obvious denial and a societal tension that’s been unsheathed like earwigs under a rock, gone to scatter, I don’t know what will happen one day to the next. I can only offer this suggestion. Be cautious, be alert, be mentally open but physically careful and more than anything..
-wear your damn mask.