My county of Nassau on Long Island is in Phase One of re-opening. New York City is also in Phase One, meaning that construction and curb-side retail is open, and people can go out to eat in restaurants if there is outdoor seating, or indoor seating for no more than 25 ppl / 6 feet apart.
The most immediate consequence of Phase One is traffic. Suddenly, the roads are jammed again. I had forgotten the noise — I’d forgotten that in my backyard, you can hear trucks roaring on the Long Island Expressway (Exit 37 is one mile away). I am a little depressed that life is getting back to normal, as far as the everyday cacophony is concerned.
I’ve heard that literary agents are getting pitched all kinds of pandemic novels these days, but it’s not going to happen as a literary genre because everyone is weary of the subject. However, I predict that there will be all kinds of feel-good quarantine memoirs coming out next year, about spiritual epiphanies or precious family bonding experiences, personal insights or home renewal projects that transformed inner and outer realities.
I won’t be writing one of those books. Nope. Not for me. For I have learned nothing, I still hate most people, and my house still looks like two grad students on scholarship live here.
Top Cat had one pandemic project that matters. He has finally sorted out the several hundred vinyl records he’s been storing in the basement for 20 years. He’s actually thrown out some, has given most of them away to collectors, and saved about 50 for his own archives. We have a turntable, in fact we have two, but if he wants to play old Moody Blues or Quicksilver Messenger Service, I got to be waaaaaaay far away.
I have zero nostalgia for the music of my youth.
I know there is one Dear Reader here (*cough* Steve) who still listens to disco from the ’70s, and I am here to drag you into the post-pandemic 21st century. Consider it Phase One of Vivian Swift’s Return to the New Normal, in that I am back to bossing people around.
Dua Lipa has a whole new album called Future Nostalgia, which is all about her re-creating that disco sound with an update.
If you like old 1970s disco, you need to hear Physical. It’s my jam when I’m starting the fifth mile of my daily run, when I’m tired and I want a nap and I need something to keep me moving for those final 5,280 feet.
This has nothing to do with Olivia Newton John’s Physical.
If I can get one person to trade Doico Duck for Dua Lipa, I will be happy for about a minute, then I’ll revert to my normal pissant self because bitching about life is my main jam.
Today, the Tennessee legislature is debating whether to remove a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, from the capital, which, much to my surprise, is Nashville. Republicans are voting against the statue’s removal for “historical” reasons, and the usual bullshit about Southern culture. But here’s the thing: the statue was erected in…*checks notes*…1978.
So, yeah, there’s still room for “debate” on whether symbols of white supremacy have a place in public spaces in this country. Well for fuck’s sake, do I have to go down to Nashville to march?
And if I do, I’ll have Dear Reader Maryanne‘s phone number written on my arm. Good to her word, she did email me her contact #s, and an open offer to bail me out on my next social justice outing because she knows that if I called home, none of the cats would bother to pick up the phone. Thank you, Maryanne. Knowing I have bail makes me want to go out and be a little more ornery next time.
And that brings you all up-to-date on Phase One of the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning, Whatever.
I hope you all are getting a peek at what your new “normal” is, and that you all like what you see.
And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.
Hang in there, Dear Ones. See you Friday.