WHY IS THIS YEAR DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER YEARS?
It’s either March or April.
Do you know where your children are?
I know exactly where my children are.
And that’s precisely the problem.
They’ve been in the same spot for weeks.
And I hope they’re still breathing.
To be honest, I’m still under the covers.
I sleep until whenever.
I stopped shaving.
I stopped meditating.
I eat Tic Tacs for breakfast.
I forgot what religion I belong to.
And I think I may be on birth control.
The schools are doing what schools do best: trying to make things better by making things worse. I’ve become a full time IT guy, a classroom assistant, and a former member of my son’s class chat. That membership was terminated over creative differences (I changed the group icon to a swastika in a particularly ferocious fit of boredom).
Honestly, I think it’s time for schools to just throw in the towel. If corporate America can call it quits, Morah Shelly and Morah Gila can presumably follow suit.
There are lots of unknowns.
When will this end?
Who gets mom’s jewelry?
Did I take my medicine?
Should I try taking my neighbor’s?
For a species so adept at manipulation and control, the chaos of uncertainty is rather unsettling. But all my nerves are immediately put to ease when Verizon lets me know that they’re here for me during these turbulent times.
And that my bill is overdue.
You know that part in Cool Runnings where the bobsled flips over and one of the Jamaican guys moans:
“Sanka… ya dead mon?”
That’s kinda how I feel at the end of each day.
Life is a bobsled.
It was gliding somewhat smoothly.
It got completely derailed.
And now I call my wife Sanka.
I will admit, there’ve been a few heartwarming family moments. But they’re more like broken-clocks-being-right-for-a-minute moments than divinely inspired oases of domestic bliss.
People think I’m antisocial.
So they falsely assume I‘m loving all this.
Antisocials are sociopaths.
They befriend snakes and shoot clowns.
I’m not antisocial.
I’m socially awkward.
I still crave human connection.
I just haven’t figured out how to work it.
There is something nice about this momentary pause from an otherwise hyper-competitive culture of oneupmanship.
Like, finally we can relax.
Stop looking pretty.
Stop saving face.
And admit things are shitty.
French sociologist, Émile Dürkheim profoundly observed that societal vulnerability can provide an unexpected slew of mental health benefits. Collective struggle is the ultimate equalizer — for better, or worse.
Strange as it may sound, a pathetically stripped down Passover sounds far more appealing than a pathetically over the top one. Not because I’m such a spiritual dude. I just need a break from all the BS of communal optics.
Why is this year different from all other years?
For many reasons.
Mostly sad ones.
But a few not so bad ones.
Homebound in lockdown is hardly ideal.
But maybe it’s time for something slightly more real.