The Apocalypse Diaries (Day Two: 3-14-2020)

There is a detached surrealism about these days, a zooming-in and out of a distant dream. On the surface, normalcy seems intact. The sun ascends the horizon. Oxygen flows in and out. Birds chirp and breezes dance in the trees. There are no alarms or smoke, no bombs or tanks, no screams of panic or blood in the streets. Nothing tangible to run from. But a cauldron of terror and ambiguity bubbles beneath the ether of existence.

When will we hug again? When will we cuddle and kiss again? And run our fingers through each other’s hair? And scratch our noses and rub our foreheads and fart into the eddies of the wind? And laugh and gather around the table trading cups and plates, locking gazes, greeting one another in the streets and aisleways “Good morning!” When will we be bored again?

Along this downward spiral, I’ve often stopped to ask myself, “How bad is this thing, really?” And the fact is this: nobody knows. We are back to infancy, in a freefall of blind uncertainty. No mind or creed can guarantee the hour. And so, whether the threat is real or not, the chaos becomes appropriate.

Even as early back as Thursday morning, I laughed and gagged in disgust at the panic and hysteria of this corona shit. But reality is less a matter of facts and figures and more what we make of them. If today we all grow terrified of gummy bears, then gummy bears are ultimately dangerous. If enough people think black is white, then no amount of facts, figures, reason, or scientific explanation will change the course of human events. Reality is less what we take in and more what we put out. Reality is projection. And so, by that logic, reality is this: For the moment, the world is coming down.

There will be time to process and understand. For now, settle into the parentheses of the present and leave the sorting and understanding to the future. This is our day. This is life now. But I do believe that there is going to be a future. And though it may well be that some of us won’t be around to see it—a reality much too terrible to ponder at the moment—a future is there. And even then, I don’t know that for sure. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my days, it’s that I don’t know shit. For so long, up has been down and right has been left and evil has been good and dogs have been cats and fuckall is all that’s left for us to juggle with. How could we have thought that all of this would not come to chaos? How could we have been so pompous? How could we have hoped for a return from these days, a way back to what had been so long composed? The world as we know it has died; we are reborn into a new one. And in our present infancy, we are brought back to that which is important.

NOTES

the eddies of the wind… “Song of Myself, 2” by Walt Whitman. There will be time… “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. back to what had been… “The Poems of Our Climate” by Wallace Stevens.

Back to Prose.

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