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It’s not an obsession, it’s a leitmotif

Dark bar
Man (walks in, squints, looks around, sits on a stool next to a shaggy dog, sighs): This free?
Dog (sets glass on bar, slowly looks over shoulder at man): You just sat on a stool.
Man (jumps to feet): Jesus! What?
Dog: Hurhurhur. (sips drink)
Man (sighs again, sits back down): Don’t, dude. It’s been a rough time, stool-wise.
Dog: Burst pipe?
Man (nods, signals to bartender “I’ll have what he’s having and bring another one for him, too”): That was just the start of the iceberg.
(Drinks arrive, dog nods, raises glass to man)
Man: I was sick all week. 38 degrees C, terrible stomach cramps. Felt like appendicitis, but right, if I know what appendicitis feels like, it can’t be appendicitis again, right. So, I’m not sure. Ate something bad, or a stomach bug, dunno. Maybe diverticulitis. Luckily I already have an initial appointment with my colonoscopy doctor, because my urologist recommended I see her after I told him the water in the toilet bowl was very often bright red, if you know what I mean.
Dog (shrugs): Huh.
Man: So, I asked my urologist, probably hemmorhoids right and he said, maybe, or it could be malignant too, maybe go have them take a look under the hood.
Man: So I called and made an appointment. Then, like, next day I notice the water in the toilet bowl is purple now.
Dog: Purple.
Man: Only then did I notice that my wife had hung a purple toilet bowl freshener thing from the rim.
Dog: Hur hur.
Man: So I asked her, honey, were you using a red one last time and she said yeah.
Dog (smirks, sips drink): Red toilet bowl fresheners are sponsored by the colonoscopy industry, I betcha.
Man: Never got around to canceling. But after my thing this week now I’m glad I didn’t.
Dog: Cheers.
Man: Cheers.

Life Hack/No Life Hack

It is November and the weather is dark and depressing. My city just underwent a terrorist attack. Currently, as I write this, Trump is doing “better than expected” (=cheating is going well) in initial counts. My tooth broke off day before yesterday and I spent yesterday morning at the dentist getting the rest ground off and a temporary crown applied and it was, of course, not in my budget. And, finally (?) we are not only in the middle of a pandemic, still, and our second lockdown (so far) — we are quarantined for the second time, waiting for someone to come test us, bc we were exposed to someone who tested positive.

You may ask yourself, why is Mig in such a good mood?
Well, strictly speaking, not a good mood, but maybe, why isn’t Mig in a worse mood?
Why isn’t Mig depressed?
Or, more accurately, why isn’t Mig more depressed? 2020 is being 2020 with a vengeance, he can’t see his friends in person, etc.

Ok you know what, when I started this post that was going to be the joke – there is no life hack, right? Things are terrible and I’m depressed. Except right now it occurs to me I am not really depressed. I am sad, but that’s different. My opinion – and I am not a psychologist – is that if you have a reason it’s sadness, not depression. I am sad bc a young man felt compelled to shoot random strangers. I am sad bc of seasonal grayness. I am sad bc I can’t see my friends who *are* depressed and try to cheer them up. I am sad bc I have to figure out how to pay for a crown on my molar (I have the money don’t worry).

I don’t know. My tent wisdom comes to mind – when I started this post, it sucked that it was raining when I was in a tent. But before I finished the second paragraph, it was great to have a tent when it was raining.

Maybe it’s just my brain’s last desperate attempt to cheer me up before I plunge into despair, but right now I am thinking about everything, and everyone, I love. My family. My friends. Random people I follow without knowing on social media saying decent, or indecent but funny, or kind, things right now. The city of Vienna. The country of Austria. The person who hollered “Schleich di du Oaschloch” at the terrorist. The Viennese personality that phrase is so typical of. The Americans who voted against Trump.

And so on.

I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t enough. We’ll see I guess. Maybe absentee ballots will be so overwhelmingly against Trump something good will come of 2020 after all. Maybe the feeling of unity and kindness in Vienna will last. Maybe my friends and I will cheer up. I am already thankful for a lot of things – my breadbox is full of bread, my wife and I are getting along, my small cats like me and the big one doesn’t bite me much. My transmission is making a funny noise but I only have to drive to the train station, usually. My children and my wife and I are all safe and healthy, except maybe for coronavirus. I don’t know, it’s a balancing act.

It always is, for someone, I guess right now we’re getting a taste of it, in case we didn’t realize before.

Now excuse me, I have to go into the cellar and write, Gamma is my new writing partner and we’re doing Nanowrimo this year. <3

Made for walking

As an experiment (to determine the effects, if any, on my health, weight and mind), I am maximizing my daily walking and using two different apps to monitor my steps and am battling someone named Inga for first place among the (10) commuters to Vienna using one of the apps. I generally now get off the subway a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way, depending on weather. Or eschew public transport entirely and just walk, depending on available time and distance.

Also, this morning, in order to save the environment, I got dressed in the dark and put on my squeaky shoes by accident.