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

Wherefore, sobeit

As I walked to the park, coat pocket full of Frolic brand mini-dog treats (i.e. small versions of the normal dog treats, although I suppose small dogs would eat them, too) the asphalt before me warmed and grew hot and bubbled and melted and an asphalt man rose up, like someone in a straight-to-video futuristic action movie with cheap CGI effects, and said, to me: wherefore we shall close the universities and all outdoor gatherings with more than 500 persons and indoor gatherings of more than 100 persons, but leave the schools open and let airlines operate normally and most of all, give extra money to rich people and companies, who suffer most from this Covid19 pandemic which we’re not officially calling a pandemic yet, sobeit.”
And I said, how do you do that, with the asphalt? That’s cool.
And he said, so you got what I said? Is that cool, can I go?
And I said, grabbing his asphalt coat sleeve, no hang on a sec.
But his asphalt coat sleeve tore off in my hand, sort of separated from the rest of the asphalt and I saw underneath was not a genuine asphalt vision guy, it was just a guy in a suit, and the guy was none other than the president of the chamber of commerce.
It was worth a try, he said. Just doing my job, advocating for my clientele, you know?
You know what I find most interesting about this whole covid19 pandemic thing, I said? It’s the way we are accidentally on the verge of a general strike, something we’ve needed for ages.
Now just a doggone minute, he said.
People have now seen everything can come to a stop and the world doesn’t end. Our existence is not predicated on the rich getting richer non-stop.
That’s not what this is about, he said.
Sure it is, I said. It’s even better than when Eyjafjallaj√∂kull erupted and there were no airplanes in the sky over Europe for a week. So peaceful. And this is, or will be, an even broader general strike you can’t fire anyone for.
We’ll find a way, he said.
Meanwhile, they’ll be home keeping themselves busy taking guillotine-building workshops. As long as recovery programs start at the bottom, not at the top.
That’ll be the day, he said. And melted back into the asphalt, leaving just a little of that tarry smell in the air.
I fed a few crows and went back to the office, feeling a little tired.