Normal Is a Myth

I started writing this in March and put it down because at the time, I felt like it was a bit tone deaf. We were just getting started, and now we are in the midst with no relief in sight. – Dom

I don’t think we’re ever getting back to normal.

This COVID-19 pandemic (nicknamed The Corona Virus, The ‘Rona, That Shit and other epithets) has rocked the world to its core, and since I live in the United States, I can speak specifically to how it has affected this nation.

The short answer is that we’re in dire straits.

The long answer is that this crisis has further revelaed every single flaw, blemish, weakness and ugly truth that this nation has attempted to hide throughout it’s 200+ year history. This reveal has been going on since, hell, probably since 2008 if we’re keeping it a buck, but the reveal was ramped up in 2016 upon the campaign and eventual election of the most incompentent president this nation has ever seen.

Herbert Hoover breathes a sigh of relief.

Every single truth we’ve been told is being revealed as a lie. People can work from home and don’t have to subject themselves to an office environment and still be productive. Low skilled jobs are actually some of the most valuable positions out there. This country can turn around and actually help it’s fucking citizens. Teachers deserve to be some of the highest paid professionals in this country. Greed is not good.

The jig is up. Whenever this is all said and done, we cannot go back to normal. I know a lot of people want to. A lot of people are hoping that this will blow over before the summer so we can go back to work and going out and what it was before.

I don’t think we can go back to that. I don’t think that I want to go back to that.

For one thing, everybody’s normal is different. That’s something to look at.

For another thing, our previous normal has proven to be unsustainable. Our previous normal has put us into these dire straits, woefully unprepared, at the mercy of a narcissist who can’t even be bother to act like he gives a damn about anybody but himself and his own self interests and his merry gang of sycophantic oligarchs. Our previous normal gets people killed. Our previous normal keeps the nation in a contant state of fear; it doesn’t allow for us to live, it allows for us to survive, at the expense of whoever or whatever gets in our way. Our previous normal has put it into our minds that the elderly and those who are already sick and disabled and who don’t fit into certain segments are expendable. Our previous normal allows for billionaires to keep getting rich when they don’t fucking need it and for everyone else to constantly be one paycheck, medical bill, accident, stock crash, housing crash away from the poor house.

I get it, some of you want to go back to normal because normal was safe, normal made sense, normal was something that you had a bit of control over. Normal is a myth. It was never safe, it never made sense. Normal is a sedative, a balm over the festering wounds that this country has inflicted upon each and every last one of us (yes, even white people).

I hoped that people would see what’s been going on and would fight for a new normal, but a slate of protests have sprang up and I have given up on fighting. People want the soma. Normal is our soma. People want to go back to normal. Granted, these protests are plants backed by some bullshit, but even those who aren’t protesting want to go back to die at the alter of white supremacy (more on that in another post).

What these people don’t realize though is that even getting back to normal will not be normal. For a lot of people, they have lost loved ones, colleagues, associates. Some folks might breathe a sigh of relief that they get to go back to their favorite restaurant and then realize that the cook who fried their wings just right is dead. People will go back to work and realize that the gossip in the cubicle next to them, the one that had all the good tea, is dead. Their children will go back to school and find one of their peers with a shell shocked expression that will not go away for a long time because their parent was deemed an essential worker, or was on the front lines at a hospital and they died. People are dying alone, in a hospital, and they can’t even have a proper send off. People are dying in apartments and the fucking coroners won’t come pick them up.

But yes, let’s get back to normal so that you can get a fucking haircut.

Quarantine Thoughts

And as you can see, I am not dead.

I’m going to be real with you. Keeping up with everything that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown at us these past couple of months has been absolutey exhausting and not conducive for my particular brand of creativity. Work has had constant changes because they are pretty much doing a lot of things on the fly (this is what happens when you outsource much of your workforce to overseas partners ), and while I am thankful that I haven’t been fired or furloughed and that my job is already work from home, there is a level of mental exhaustion at work at trying to pretend things are even close to normal. I don’t want to tear myself away from my Twitter feed even though it is also an exhaust to my mental as well. Try to find relief and get the news at the same time isn’t really happening.

I am demoralized, I am depressed, I am more affected by this than what I want to believe I am. I worry that my fiance may have had it back in December (either that or the flu), and I could’ve been exposed. My smoker’s cough came back with a vengeance and I haven’t smoked since late December/early January. My fiance also ended up, months after being sick, being diagnosed with strep, and I went and got a strep test and didn’t have strep. I’m trying to figure out when to wear a mask, should I be wearing gloves even though I’m going to have to change them damn near every time I touch something, and also we just moved across the parking lot to a bigger unit and should we wipe everything down whenever it comes into the house and oh my God, I actually wish even more so now that I had somewhere to go because this routine of waking up, working, playing video games, going to sleep is fucking with me heavy.

(I hate routines but I keep routines.)

And like some of you, because my work has shifted from talking to people on a phone all day (thank God) to talking to people via email and chat (oh God), I have some time to sit with myself and it’s unpleasant. Man, a lot of unpleasant feelings have popped up again. I’m a terrible friend (because I don’t want to be vulnerable and appear needy), should I be living my best bad bitch life (have I ever even been a bad bitch?) and not coupled up and being subjected to such a subservient role as being a (future) wife for one of these unappreciative ass males; am I wasting what little potential I have left; oh my God, why do I feel so empty inside and keep trying to fill the space with buying shit and booze because I don’t have weed available and the booze isn’t doing it for me in the way I want; what can I do to get the approval of people that I will probably never meet (absolutely nothing); where did my life go?

I just keep feeling all this terrible shit and haven’t been coping with it because I don’t have the fight in me right now to really cope. I cope all the fucking time, I’m tired of coping. I want to go rage. I want to feel this shit and fight it and yell and strangle it and burn some shit down and fire off and release, can I please get a fucking release from this shit? And when I am done raging I want to go spend the rest of my days surrounded by water and earth so that all this fire and air can calm the fuck down, feel something and be at some fucking peace.

I let out a deep sigh and that wasn’t good enough. The stir crazy has sunk in.

Feature photo from Thiago Miranda, follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thfotodesign/