Let’s check in with the world. Does Europe think we’re a failed state? Yes. Are people dying? Yes. Are we just like, “f-it, let’s let them die?” Yes. Is there any halfway decent central response or plans for a halfway decent central response yet? No. Is the broad media/health care/economic consensus that the only choices are 1) Die alone at home without job or purpose, during indefinite quarantine, having never seen a friend/family member/joy again or 2) Die more painfully alone in ICU, having broken indefinite quarantine, probably killing off friends/family/hundreds of innocent strangers? (And even if you recover, you’ll probably never really recover, but just suffer indefinitely until you get it again and it kills you and your loved ones) Why yes, glad you asked.
I had a lovely weekend. Thanks for asking. Long walks! Flowers! Beautiful food! A general sense of all-rightness with the world, which, according to three or four articles served up to me by social media this morning, must not be fostered or allowed to thrive because “you have to be emotionally prepared for things to get much worse,” because “the best you can hope for is defensive pessimism.” Which is cool because defensive pessimism was pretty much my brand for the whole of the 90s, so I’m on it, dude, and I’ve been looking for a clever way to describe how I’m going to snark about the pandemic in my entirely hypoethical throwback new ‘zine (either Expecto Coronum or Ouchy Fauci, depending on twee I’m feeling at the time).
Is it even okay to snark about the pandemic?
I honestly don’t even care anymore.
I’ll tell you something true: it is awfully hard for me not to shop during this thing. Jobs are precarious and I get that no one expects bankruptcy (or pandemics, or the Spanish Inquisition). And it’s not like I have any extra money at all (like, at all). But I find myself looking at pictures of elaborate dresses and impractical shoes. I look at fancy flowers and plants. I look at art and jewelry and housewares. I think, “Why not? Nothing matters. I’m going to die alone and bankrupt and miserable anyway (see above). Why not do so in this ballgown and these extremely overpriced glittery sneakers?” I think, “Can I justify this t-shirt? These fancy snake earrings? This chaise lounge (why are the only chaise lounges available for delivery the expensive ones)? Certainly this chaise lounge because summer is coming and my only option for outside will be the deck and squirting myself with the hose and trying to pretend the pond smells like salt? I could plant the garden. I can order plants. But is that not wasteful? What happens down the line in _____ months/year when I’m forced to sell a kidney to an inappropriately social distanced, masked stranger in a probably-not sanitary alleyway in exchange for a handful of rice kernels and a single square of single-ply. Then I’ll be like, “Oh you had to go an order that oakleaf hydrangea, didn’t you, you selfish, entitled, a-hole.” And then I’m like, “I’ll probably never kiss another human and may never get to see my family again in real life. So why not the hydrangea and maybe a new sunhat to boot? Maybe I should throw in palm trees, an above-ground pool, and pina colada mix? Would that get me to the delivery minimum? (Maybe) Would my neighbors hate me? (Yes) Is Quarantine slowing turning me from a ‘we’re all in this together’ to a ‘ew, what is she thinking paring that mask with those shoes’ catty a-hole? (Oh yeah) Would having all that shit in the card and calling it “Tiny Miami” just to annoy people make me happy? (Maybe)”
You know what would make me happy? A Monday news round-up that wasn’t objectively worse than the preceding week. And to that end, maybe the old line is right, happiness is really only something you remember. Sounds like exactly the kind of thing a defensive pessimist would say. So I’m ordering the plants. And the snake earrings. Can’t justify the sneakers yet. Yet.
Picture today is of these rather spectacular roses I encountered on a walk this weekend.
As of this writing, 895,668 people have recovered from COVID-19.