I Never Thought I’d Live to See the End of the World

Feb 5, 2024

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older.  You grow older because you stop laughing.”

I’m 72 years old (almost 73).  In teenage years that means I’m just between being less ticklish and snoring much more often).  I can walk a dog, take a nap and skip a rock on a pond (although not necessarily in that order or, not all at the same time). I can write and paint (not houses, mind you) but, don’t ask me to sing (unless you want my wife to burst out into laughter).

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain (thanks, James Taylor) but, I never thought I’d see my world come to a near complete stop … especially by a genome that is just 27 kilobasera wide (yeah, go look that one up).

This lethal little thing has brought us to our proverbial knees.  To date, we can’t go to concerts, theater, movies, beaches, restaurants, parks or anything else that’s fun to do.  So, we stay cooped up in our little hovels.  The morning routines are pretty much the same .. brush your teeth, take a shower, eat breakfast and, then come the questions born of tight quarters;  Is that your pencil on the table?  Does it really need to be there?  Do you mind if I move that piece of paper to the other side of the house? Did you really leave your belly button lint on your napkin?  Do you need the spaghetti sauce you put into the refrigerator yesterday?

And, then the fun begins .. “so, what do you want to do today?”  “I dunno”  “Want to learn pinochles? “Wanna take the dog for a walk?” “Wanna help me turn the mattress?” “Isn’t it time to clean under the house?” “Or, get the cobwebs out of the chandelier?” “Wanna watch the news?”  Oh, God .. just shoot me!

“Governor Cuomo, how long do you think the Corona Virus will be with us?”  “Months… months… MONTHS.”  Well, that sure calls for a plan.  But, you know what Mike Tyson said about a plan?  “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”  Hmmm.. maybe a plan is not what’s in the cards. Maybe .. just maybe .. we need to be more zen .. more existential about our day to day existence?  Maybe we all need to become pinball machines.  Pull the lever and keep bouncing around while fighting to stay alive for just a few more precious moments.  But, wait .. there’s another ball, and another ball.  Maybe Joni Mitchell was right?  “The seasons go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down.  We’re captivated on the carousel of time.”

Where we go from here is just a question of time.  Will we return to the same place?  Or, will we take the fork in the road to wherever it might lead us?

“Nothing puzzles me more than the time and space; and yet nothing troubles me less.”
Charles Lamb