It’s Sunday, writing accountability day. It’s only two weeks, and I already like this routine. The protagonist in the story I’m working on talks a lot about routines. The story I’m working on — the story I’m always working on– is about a pandemic, but not the one you know.
Yes. You all are pros at pandemics and exhausted by the topic and the reality, but bear with me (or don’t). I started writing this before the whole big C-19 happened, and as it becomes endemic, I realize that this is the exact right story for me to write right now. It isn’t about being stubborn; it’s about processing, my selfish f*cking processing. So get f*cked if you don’t like it because you don’t have to read it. (This week I learned my protagonist, who is me or a thinly veiled version of me (It’s me y’all), swears an awful lot. )
When I woke up this morning, I (me, the real me) was in a deeply bitter mood. A relative, from back home, who knows next to nothing about me (the real me) texted me to say that California was full of floods and fires and earthquakes and shootings and I should find a different place to live. The real me and protagonist me would like to say: Get Fully F*cked. Life is hard. The world is a dangerous place. And us human types do very little but give lip service to making it less dangerous. Find your happiness where you want. I’ve found it here.
You don’t like California? Okay. This story is going to be a love letter to this beautiful f*cking place, which by the way, is not falling into the ocean, on fire perpetually more than any other place else these days, or any less touched by senseless gun violence. Also, although it is a little cold today, winter is basically nonexistent here. The sun shines all the time, and the trees are f*cking huge. And also, our eggs are cheap and tasty (Note to future humans, we are apparently living through an egg shortage, but I wouldn’t know because I live in the beautiful free state of California where eggs are abundant, and I’m doing just okay! Thank you very much).
So this week, I’m working a bit on meditation for the beginning of my story, and my protagonist is thinking through a lot of these things. Why people might be okay with disruption and death, why a pandemic in one timeline might be different in another, why the God or gods we look to keep destroying us and threatening to take the car away only to hand back keys again and again:
If it was Hope that the pandemic brought to you on any side of the political spectrum, why would you want to be moved by an inhuman killer, a brainless disease that seemed somehow more humane: at least it didn’t take babies. It stuck to old people, sick people, fat people. Who needs them anyway? They’re more of a drag on us than anything. You didn’t say it out loud, but you thought it. There are too many people in the world. Why not let nature take out the weak ones so the rest of us can carry on? Better than a mass shooting or a civil war?
Amirite, or amirite?
No matter when we are, the human mind is still the human mind, a mind that wants so badly at the end of the day to get back to comfort, to a good meal, to a safe bed, and one more minute or day in warm security. The human mind is a mind that will ignore all reality in search of its zero state when it is primed and tired enough.
It doesn’t care, not really, no matter how many online quizzes your ego forces it to take about what Meijers-Brigg type you are or which crystals you can energize your water with or which direction is most auspicious to point your bed in for productive sleep. No matter how much its human mouth rambles on about being an HSP or super sensitive to soy and gluten and violence on the screens in front of its eyeballs—as long as the one human body carrying it around keeps it nice and safe and clean and fed, then everyone else can get fucked while it watches on. That’s the god’s honest truth.
And no matter when we are, there are plenty of people who think a perfect God created that human mind, so that mind is right, even if that mind has a will of its own, even if that perfect God came to grow frustrated with it, again and again and again.
No matter who the God or gods were, they never got us right. And it pissed them off, and they were violent with us, as we are with each other now. They grew angry; they played with us; they smited us and put sores all over our little human bodies; they banished us; they killed us by flood and by fire and by disease and starvation, by curses big and small.
And we were like: cool, we love you—because they wired us to love the people who want to destroy us the most.
Maybe they loved this thing about us more than everything they hated, because they let us start over again, and again and never tried to improve on the original. They just desimated us and handed the earth back.
What’s that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? Maybe our deities couldn’t question the perfection we reflected back at them? After all, we made our gods as perfectly in our image as they made us. How could they ever falter?
They did. We did, because, I don’t know, because we are? I don’t know.Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountains_of_Wadi_Shawka_denoised.jpg
I really like your style. Sounds corny of me, but I do. I read a lot of opinion pages in the NY Times and your tone and style remind of that level of writing. Especially on god. But personifying the human mind (or is it third person) in that “It doesn’t care, not really….” in an appeal to any reader’s consciousness has me curious about the speaker, or is there a protagonist who is speaking (the possibilities are open). I love the pace of your writing, no matter what topic you discuss the timing is the same. That speaks to me of you having great control.
I love this!