So which dystopian post-apocalyptic movie do we choose as we all sit gazing out longingly as another beautiful sunny Spring day passes? One that we are on our best honor to remain inside and not make any attempt to enjoy? The view from on high stretching for miles far beyond the growing mental dinginess that we try to ignore within the diminutive confines of now intolerably little personal spaces. How much longer can this go on? In the long tradition of Chordata Amphibia Salienta slow boiling to perfect tenderness, each week passing beset by another official invocation that firmly demands compliance to another sacrifice from what was once recalled as a normal existence. The triviality of yet another element essential to our own lives now semi-permanently to be forestalled.
The accumulation of stern requests crossing over reason-ability to inhibit the basic requirements of one’s life. Is this some Hollywood epic where a post-WWII aircrew finds themselves now stranded in the desert after a miracle crash landing? One that has waylaid them all beyond any hope of rescue? Only their own belief in self-reliance aided by some boy genius hatched from a defeated enemy providing a one in a hundred long shot lifesaving solution that that expedience forces all to believe in? Hope dashed by the fact of his qualifications measuring up only in theoretical unproven truths foreign to the real world. How far is one willing to do without? Until, like the withholding of breath from one’s lungs in the ocean’s depths we are forced to the surface to fully fill our spirit’s up once again with all that we have been asked to abandon?
How beautiful that far off diaphanous veil of clinging haze lingering all day enveloping a dream-like landscape replete with a myrrh of tall towers at the center of town. It’s persistence almost like a celestial projection of fading memory. One that we wait for the Sun above to work its magic and dispel. Evaporating this mist and bringing back that same rugged view that in the past we have so blissfully ignorantly passed by without ever recognizing. We merely sit here at attention like dogs at the master’s table eyeing the roasts. The conclusion of the month sporting the extra restrictions of extra weeks of delay. All news being bad and taking a dim view of the paucity of youthful aire’s ready to defy them all.
A workmate of mine is reluctant to go and meet with us while visiting a COVID beset areas to inspect the distribution of food. A big debate ensues about different modes of distribution then being held between us. And of course, the best being method being an ‘in person’ distribution of resources which will eventually became the gold standard of how things should really be done.
In this final decade, past a decade or two of robust health, it is amazing how a thought, a simple desire, or an inclination, just immediately goes ‘poof’! And then disappears halfway through in the first few steps you have taken to enact it. And you wonder, “What the Hell did I come over here for?” Or, alternately having gone on to transact some form of promised fulfillment of that wish, you find yourself oblivious to its conclusion having walked back empty handed to your initial starting place where the notion needed to be completed had been initially issued. Realizing that you had simply lost that original thought somewhere along the way? How foolish you feel. An malade!
You contemplate several possibilities in terms of your current level of mental fitness. One being the onset of incremental but inevitable dissolution of your facilities. The physical embodiment of same way ahead of schedule. Two, an external causation set forth into motion by some unseen pernicious influence. One that has been brought into play to nag you like a gadfly. A form of scapegoat that now alleviates your fear in some way of the former possibility. A pat explanation that lets your body off the hook. Not on the verge of fast becoming a mindless, helpless, victim of a brain stem that no longer functions.
How we struggle on behalf of maintaining our own survival? Regular and dutiful additional measure incrementally added to our daily routine. And all the while ruing that point in the future when those routines will be cut short and never be enjoyed ever again. When all the joys and sorrows will be instantly erased and the physical remnants of your material being will be added to the temporal store of rotting lard to be rapidly consumed by the earth’s darkest least noticed creatures. And your dissipating personality will be commended without further ceremony to the nothingness of unavoidable oblivion.
The daily journey past mirror offering a Frankenstein’s monster modern Prometheus visage revealing a congealing of my father’s genes with those of my mother. Excluding, of course, the years of growing dissipation that I myself have added to this composite increasingly misshapen form. Where I gone wrong in this equation? That naive youthful innocent face that once seemed to be both eternal and uniquely my own now thoroughly erased. The same one once flatteringly mistaken for a popular actor of that long ago era. That same actor now inhabiting a furrow that I am also so soon to enjoy. My youth? Who knows where it has trailed off to?
All I am left to do is ruminate in the fashion that all old men are wont to do. An irritating nexus of what should be’s and dried up once was in terms of intractable hopes and impossible dreams. A glimmer of which, that had in the end, only seemingly come to pass. The challenge at this late date being to be content with what one still has rather than become obsessed with those things that one never could hope to possess. A tightrope, a high wire act, a balance increasingly unsteady and failing erring on one side or the other. The legacy of emptiness ceded to an empty room to the care less chaotic universe.
The accumulation of objects that accretes over time a warm overcoat covering the emotions. Items that to another eye seeming immediately useless and cumbersome. But to their owner afford a degree of sharpness to old recovered memories over a bridge of easy familiarity with past actions. Their placement in proximity around the room with each other weaving a biographic portrait by way of a roadmap to navigate the significant byways in a life’s history. Innocuous elements recalling definitions of one’s character perhaps as it once was or perhaps cumulatively in the form of a progression to where it finally ran out of gas. A silent journal that allows instantaneous reference to recall one’s self. A monument in part to the absence of those others past on, past away, or simply ceased to be of any mortal significance.
One is bound by nature to plot their existence within patterns set forth in proscribed repetitive cycles shared by the species at large. To initially rise up from helplessness to crawl forth to soon gain one’s footing and then climb high up higher and higher eventually up to the pinnacle of one’s abilities. But then from their stumble and descend down the other side of possibility till one lays crippled by the ultimate failure of their own mortality. A tortuous progression towards reaching the goal of a horizon that increasingly seems to recede slowly away before them. Old souls hopelessly pedantic in their endlessly repetitive self-narratives recounting their journey up to the peak. A contradictory knowledge to the times now fully in force.
Spouting their advice to the next generation being the worse gift that one can give? The young on a journey of their own and oblivious to any of it. A lonely gap over which only prolonged silence can travel. It is only after the accumulation of two many decades does their own persistent folly become crystal clear. The weighty irony of having known so much at the start but realizing at journey’s end how little that anyone is able to know. A causal connection with playing the fool, thus inescapable.