Log: Nicotine and Fish

Worm Date: 30.10450

Wife and I went on a nicotine run yesterday and also popped by the market to buy some squid and mackerel. Busiest I’ve seen the city since late January. Part of this is probably because early voting has started for the upcoming elections. Part of this is probably because everyone else is probably just as plain exhausted as we are. The city seems dazed and fragile. We’re pressing elevator buttons with our elbows. Everyone has a mask.

As it stands, the instructions are pretty much pray online, avoid church (charmingly referred to as “field worship”) and avoid large indoor gatherings. It feels a lot like January. We all know that normal isn’t coming back and we’re all bracing for it again, ready to return home but the tracing seems solid, the numbers are good and, while we brace, we’re taking a moment to breathe, and to take care of some business. It’s sort of a drip-drip back to find the line separating this normal from the old normal. That line is there. But where?

One way to find out, I guess. And that’s probably to trip over it.

But, field trip aside, that’s about it for me and outdoors this week – though, depending on the numbers and the instructions, I may risk a haircut.

It’s so strange trying to reconcile what’s happening here with what’s going on in North America. A friend thanked me for these updates from ‘one possible future.’ Now, I’ve never been the easiest person to talk with –I know and I’m sorry– but I had to express my discomfort with this conception of time. I just don’t see time like that anymore.

Future and pasts? Dates?

The thing just doesn’t feel to me like it can be measured like this anymore. We switch places. Last week, we reached one day before Daegu. We’re back in a past, maybe doomed to repeat history. We don’t know yet. It’s the first time we’ve been back in this past. It’s both better and worse than before – there are more systems but everyone is much more exhausted, we’re surrounded by more epicenters, we know more but the situation is just generally more fucked up. It’s both better and worse. It’s the same but more so.

We’re about to learn if anyone can learn from history. From our angle, we’re not in your future, we’re back in our past. North America is now our possible future. Maybe the most likely one. If we get complacent, if we fuck up, that’s what waits. We’re a lot closer to being like North America than North America is to being like South Korea. Time as progression just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It never really did but now? Even less.

It’s not dates, it’s metrics. And, far as I can tell, North America hardly has those.

And considering how early and hard of a jump South Korea got on this thing, how incredible its systems of testing and tracing are, and how large and available its hospital capacity is, I think North America is horrendously misguided if it thinks it can get from where it is to here without making some really significant changes. Even making those changes, it might just be that too much time was wasted in January and February. We just don’t know.

I feel like . . . It’s like you have a house on a hill near a river and six buckets. The house is on fire. Figuring out how to put that fire out is, by itself, really fucking hard. And instead of concentrating on that problem, North America is still fighting about who holds the buckets, whether the house is really on fire, when they can move back in, and whether or not there is some secret hose. I mean, at least they finally got some people out of the burning house but the overall response is not exactly cheering. At this point, North America seems to have decided that the best approach is to give one bucket to a minority, shout at them and call that person a hero while they whip them into the flames, and wait for the fire to burn itself out. While they do that, they play with matches and gasoline, sell water, and argue over who owns the charred rubble. Like, never mind the 101, the fight is still over the kindergarten level shit. The basic ‘should you care about other people’ and ‘sharing is caring’ shit. That talking bag of orange piss is still allowed to appear on TV. It just seems bonkers.

So comparing the situations at this point? It just feels impossible.

And the people responsible for and profiteering from this catastrophe? They are all going to have to be held to account. Not just with elections. They’re criminals. They’re murderers.

But, aside from all that, my classes started up again. Stats and Meso-American Art.

I’m a bit rusty with the whole thinking thing but, so far, it’s really good to have these tasks.

I don’t know what that will mean for this blog. It is, traditionally, one of the first things I throw overboard. I guess we’ll just have to see.

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