Yesterday, I turned 36. I spent much of the day eating good food and playing Magic the Gathering: Arena. My partner and toddler made my day special. They usually do. We spent time in the backyard and went for a brief walk.
My partner got me a heavy bag so I could practice what limited kickboxing strikes I know and stay in shape. My mother-in-law sent me a $50 Amazon gift card. I also received a bunch of nice messages.
Aside from this blog, I didn’t do any writing.
Progress was slow on Spider God this week, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it this week.
It’s been a time for reflection and pause.
Outside, the apocalypse continues. I can’t imagine doing this without an internet connection or alcohol. Supposedly, we’re going to reopen America, but the America we knew is gone. The world we knew is gone. I’m under no delusion things will be the same. My partner says the world is always changing, which is true, but this feels bigger and much scarier.
I’m tired and not okay, but at least I’m not alone.
It’s 9 am, day I don’t even know of COVID-19 social distancing. I’m listening to my son play. My partner’s in the bedroom having virtual work meetings.
Last night, my buddy Nate Southard and I were interviewed for an episode of the Austin Outsiders podcast. We discussed favorite reads, weird Austin stories, and embarrassing moments from our pasts. Keep an ear out for the episode soon. I’ll probably post a link here when it goes up.
Afterward, I did a virtual watch-along of SLUGS with Austin Outsiders co-host Emily. She’d never seen it before, so it was fun to see her reactions. It’s a very silly movie and one of my favorites.
My kid woke up scared and crawled into bed with us. To make things easier on my partner, I moved upstairs to the couch.
I’m telling you all this, because they’re all things that would’ve happened regardless of the current situation in which we’ve found ourselves. Oh, sure, maybe we would’ve recorded the podcast and done the watch-along in-person under different circumstances. Otherwise though, I feel a sense of routine returning to my life. I’m adapting to this new normal, however horrifying.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still anxious as hell. I’m still frustrated and sad. Scared.
But people are resilient. I am resilient.
This may be the end of the world. If it is, I’m going down swinging.
So, multiple states decided to exempt churches from shelter-in-place orders enacted as a result of the Coronavirus.
I’m not a religious person. “Spiritual” is probably a more apt descriptor of me, but that word’s been cheapened in recent years. That said, I’m not going to go on a tirade about how religion is poison and the Bible is a fairy tale. I’m not sure I feel that way. In fact, when I stayed in a psychiatric hospital for a long weekend, I saw how religion really gives hope to addicts and the mentally ill. Attempting to take that away from them like most militant atheists try to do seems needlessly cruel.
What bothers me almost as much as how attending religious services in person puts the most vulnerable among us in danger is the defense used by some of these religious types.
Their logic stems from the belief that the blood of Jesus will protect them. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like a case of putting God to the test, which Matthew 4:7 explicitly warns against.
So, I dunno, maybe listen to your own scripture and stop endangering people, ya jerks!
As the world hides behind closed doors, I’ve returned to the world of one of my bleaker works. GODS OF THE DARK WEB now has a sequel in progress. It’s called SPIDERGOD.
It is not directly about our current pandemic.
It’s not about the political shitshow in which we’ve found ourselves in the past decade.
It’s not about incels or mass shootings or shifting identities.
Yet, it’s about all of these things.
I don’t fancy myself a genius or a prophet, but I do think a lot and I listen.
God is always speaking. Sometimes, she whispers. Other times, she screams.
I believe right now, she is doing both.
Here is what she’s saying:
We’re all trapped inside ourselves.
Life has turned into a metaphor for itself.
We’re scared and we’re not alone.
Currently reading: DEAD INSIDE by Chandler Morrison & LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL by Christine Morgan. Both books are excellent efforts from two authors I’m proud to call contemporaries.
Currently watching: THE SECT (dir. Michele Soavi)