Diary of a Plague Year

A. and I listen to an old Italian movie soundtrack; her roommates are gone — so it feels right to crank up the hi-fi. I decide not to drink the fancy beer I impulse bought the other night when we had a little party here; for whatever reason, buying the beer was the important thing — not drinking it.

Many New Yorkers I know or observe: condemned to fatuous and compulsive self-satisfaction, trapped in glassy new condos, walled off from everything natural and intuitive and truly alive, going out only via Uber to do a quick, heavily-masked canvas of the Whole Foods snack aisle. Scared. Bored. Trapped.

I don’t think we can be pessimistic enough about the current sterilization, monetization, and banality of urban life.

Why were no fail safes built into the information system? Why can a wave of panic spread and spread and spread unchecked?

Overheard at an outdoor cafe:

“It’s so fun to just play on Street Easy. But I think I’m going to get a broker — it’s so overwhelming.”

“I got this $400 gift certificate for this match making service. But the whole package is like $4,000.”

“My partner and I are not going to see anyone for two weeks.”

“I’m still going to go running but I’m not gonna do indoor hangs.”

Christmas Dinner Grace. Lord (or someone — anyone): give me the strength to live a vital life with risk-taking and -without all this repressive and oppressive bullshit. Give me the strength to accept the Reality Principle and to accept that death cannot be excised from life without a loss of meaning and meaningfulness. Lord, give me the courage to refuse testing, to show my face in public — to be willing to make others uncomfortable.

Photo by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash

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