Day 37 – It has been decided

It has been decided that time will be suspended this year.

You will be set adrift in the week.

Days will operate on their own internal logic. Some days will not happen at all.

A spring break that won’t end. An anxiety attack in slow motion.

To fully embrace this phenomena you must become like a child.

On the screens the politicians have turned a virus into a partisan issue. Marching people want the right to die and kill others in the name of freedom. If it wan’t a virus it would be big guns or fast food or another incarnation of the Great American Poison, which is the avarice of our own self-determined pigheaded arrogance. Let us wallow in our poison. Let us take the fool’s road ahead to our own demise.

I saw a documentary once that followed a man who had a traumatic experience. He lost his mind, his job, his family. He turned to helping people in the woods — complete strangers — on their paths across the Eastern Seaboard on the Appalachian Trail.

This man, a trail angel, was nothing to behold. He was a grizzled man in an old kitchen.

He said, “All I pray for anymore is peace.”

I know what he means.

In the mornings I ride my bicycle to the edges of town where the industrial wreckage is, the agrarian places carved out of a swampy slough. It is a nowhere place — a wetland drained for an agricultural vision that has lapsed. Now it is dilapidated barns and rusting chainlink fences and trailers. It’s piles of scrap wood and burn barrels. I saw a dead beaver next to the road. I didn’t know beavers were so large. Just large river rats.

It has been decided that the businesses on Broadway and Colby Avenue will have plywood in the windows for an indefinite period of time.

It has been decided that the parks will be overgrown and cordoned off with warning tape.

It has been decided that the epidemic models of experts will contradict each other and that we will spend our time in Zoom chat rooms speculating on all of the possible outcomes and end dates, as though there would be just one day that the virus is over and tired and calls it quits. As if it will stop before it’s burned through the population and we have herd immunity or a vaccine.

And me?

All I pray for anymore is peace.

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