Yesterday Moxie woke me up at 4 am, with indications he had to go outside. I whined for a second, but he wouldn’t let it go. So, being the good papa that I am, I got up and went into the other room to put on my sweatshirt and slippers. Moxie didn’t follow.
In the other room, next to Mrs C, Moxie was lying on my pillow. I swear he grinned at me in the dark and mouthed “sucker.”
I flipped on the coffee and fired up the PC.
Dog 1 Tom 0.
I intended to do some writing, but I did some reading instead. I finished Suzanne Craig-Whytock’s magnificent coming-of-age dystopian science fiction novel The Dome. I started a worn paperback handed to me by a neighbor titled Ecotopia. I read a few chapters of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. I even rifled through a book I read 15 years ago, by Bill Bryson, to find the section where he talks (more briefly than I had recalled) about viruses.
Viruses. I’m suddenly remembering, or trying to remember, everything I’ve ever read about viruses.
Reading is a fascination I lost somewhere last year, about the time Marvel was old enough to never sit still. I found it again last month, about the time Marvel was finally old enough to want to go back to bed with Mrs C, Moxie, and Ludo after his morning pee. Time. I have undisturbed time in the mornings again. I don’t remember ever loving any unliving thing as much as undisturbed time in the morning.
Me. Coffee. Books. Computer.
By some estimations there may be a lot more of that kind of time in the near-to-distant future.
I read yesterday that one rather panicked Wall Streeter said this will be the end of America as we know it. That seemed extreme. Just in the last 25 years we have survived the election of a buffoon president (2016), the Great Recession (2008), 9/11 (2001), Y2K (2000), and Pauly Shore. And that’s just the big ones off the top of my head. America prevails.
Besides, what does that mean “as we know it”? The America as we know it has produced rampant economic inequality, an unsustainable ecological footprint, apocalyptic-level nuclear stockpiles, and Donald Trump. America “as we know it” could use a makeover.
Of course, the current disaster we face isn’t like any of the others that I can remember. It isn’t just hitting America either, whose population is less than 5% of the world’s total, it’s everywhere. Entire nations are shut down. Iran is getting massacred. Close to 10,000 people have died in 176 countries and, if we are to believe the experts, this is just the beginning.
The experts can be wrong, want to be wrong. Donald Trump was made fun of for saying this thing could just magically vanish in the Spring and everyone laughed. Only Bill Bryson said it, too. It happens. We don’t know why but sometimes these viruses pop up, attack, do some serious harm, and then vanish as if they never came. Or maybe they pop up again later, mad as hell. It’s not the most likely scenario, but it is certainly possible. Sometimes, most of the time, things don’t end up as bad as we think.
But sometimes they do.
You know my philosophy, by now. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That describes it as well as any. Be cautious and sensible. Don’t panic. Continue to delight in life but be wary. Practice social distancing and even shelter in place when you can.
Read some books.
Scoot the dog over and go back to bed.
But don’t dwell on it. Don’t monitor the newswires all day or wake up in the night wondering if you have enough food, enough money, enough wipes, or ammunition. Don’t overthink the sudden, mild sore throat. Don’t stress.
Take your coffee and go outside. It’s fine.
Enjoy the morning view.