Friday, July 31, 2020

The Way We Were


It seems like a year or maybe more since this dang Covid stuff started.  It hasn't even been six months.  My partner said it was a little like Ground Hog Day.  I said Ground Hog Day is good.  That's what we want.  We're alive, relatively content, and we are even beginning to see a few people in the flesh instead of on Zoom.  We've convinced ourselves that we can eat outdoors with another couple that's as insular as we are.  We run a fan across the table between us.  We toast with arms fully outstretched.

Almost always we cook outside too.  We've honed our skills to start cooking the corn or the sweet potatoes early, then we add the meat and the other vegetables the last 15 minutes or so.  Only rarely do folks even come into the house. We drink good wine, sip good tequila, and enjoy a $500.00 meal for about $100.00.

I've written two songs over the last few months.  One is "Corona Virus".

Corona Virus
It wants to eat you
Corona Virus
It wants to teach you
Corona Virus
it wants to bring your town down.

The bridge goes,

We have got to learn to live together
We have got to see that all is one
We have got to  be and grieve together
Till the killings done
and the Earth is one.  

There are several verses but you get the idea.

The other song is "And Time it rolls On"
It's a love song with a very melancholy chorus.
Corona is guttural and scraping... Sounds like a Tom Waits song.
"Time it rolls on" is actually very pretty.

Several months ago, instead of just looking at the ceiling dealing with all the uncertainty in my head, I started writing another book. When I finish it, it will be my fifth.  Now, I get up 3 to 4 nights a week and work on it.  Much of it is written at Four in the Morning.

Meanwhile, we've started converting our carport into a nice screened in porch that connects with the outdoor dining room.  I think it's reasonable to say that we will be seeing our friends outside for quite a while longer and it will be nice to have a large screened in area with nice couches and even an outdoor fireplace.  We are also converting some outdoor closets into sleeping lofts just in case someone needs to spend the night.

Later this week, Dana will once again be on the hospital service.  This is the scary part of her job. Here, she is on the front line.  Her picture with all her garb on looks just like all the other pictures we see of health care workers risking their lives and families during this time we thought would never come.

She comes home, tosses her clothes into the washer, detoxes her shoes, and takes an outdoor shower down at the guest house on the creek.  Only then does she come into the house. Last week, I bought a $45.00 UVC bulb for the return air of our air-conditioning system.  I called around looking for one and only found one.  The guy at the AC supply store told me that as soon as he gets a pallet of them, they fly out the door in a day.

Texas surpassed New York just this weekend in total cases.  Most of last week, Texas had the most deaths of any state.  Here in Austin, where R's are outnumbered 2 to 1, we wear mask without mumbling mind numbing inanities about our rights.  Still the governor says they are optional.  Why don't we just go ahead and make stop signs optional too?

My purpose here is not some version of Tammy Wynette, where I feel like crap and I just want to share it with you.  Actually, it's just the opposite.  It's to point out that we are changing.  You are changing.  "Corona Virusit wants to break you, it wants to bake you, it wants to bring you to ground."

We are changing our thoughts on justice.  And Black lives must Matter!

We are changing the way we work.  How much we go out.  How much we drive.  Where and how we eat. The way we conduct business.  The way we go to the Doctor.  The way we shop.  The way we buy what we want.  The way we have it delivered.

As the poet says, The Times they are a changing:

Come gather 'round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
And you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

About 46 years ago, I woke up and came to the conclusion that humankind was on a collision course with itself.  For whatever reason, I got myself together and made a life of trying to stop it. And somehow I divined that the big year would be 2020.  When it came, I was in San Francisco with my family. I hoped I would be wrong.

I'm not.

Noam Chomsky said it well on "Democracy Today" yesterday.

I mean, at every level, we are racing madly towards total catastrophe under the leadership of sociopathic fanatics. It’s as if some evil demon decided to take over the human species and drive them to self-destruction.

We can't return to the way we were.

We must evolve to the way we will be.

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