*A stream of consciousness*
Normally, I can sleep soundly and comfortably on a nightly basis, free of the anxieties and worries of the things outside my control. However, last Tuesday night, I faced a sleepless night. It was my first sleepless night since the riots over a month ago.
It was as if the wall that contains and orders my thoughts cracked and released an unconscious flood into my conscious mind. Noises that I usually sleep through jostled me awake. My wife had to move to the guest room because I was awake, rolling around in bed, walking around, checking my phone and generally disturbing her. Memories, imaginings, slogans and worries bubbled over me like warm popcorn popping and lifting me out of my slumber.
I thought of my childhood. I thought of people that I knew. I thought of when I knew them, how they are doing now, and if they are different people now from when I saw them last. I pondered the nature of time. I thought of the difference between now and other key years of my life like 2017, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1997, 1993, 1991, 1989, 1988 and on back through time. What can I carry with me from the years of the Trump presidency that I never had before? What is the true nature of the country I live in?
Now that I am several days removed from this event, what I recall is how much I live inside of my own head. Is this why I am relatively untroubled by this era of mass isolation? Does living in our own heads help explain the mass hysteria that is happening right now?
I’ve been doing more cooking in 2020 then I have in the previous 15 years. I’ve made some personal culinary discoveries, like making fried chicken. It has been a tasty imprisonment, but the cost of cooking for myself is not much cheaper than the fast food I used to eat. My wife and I have not eaten fast food since March.
Half the year was spent unemployed, clambering up through the masses to await a job offer which was never given. It is a dating game for money stakes; a slow starvation of skills wasting away. I may be working now, but in fundamental way, I don’t understand what work needs to be done anymore for anyone.
These are what I think are the great revelations of 2020 – we can live without inane busywork. Universal income works in the short-term. Ample credit does not work without satisfactory income. The disenfranchised have a right to be angry, but as a species, we continue to struggle to find constructive uses for our anger.
I’m interested in seeing what happens to the structure of the United States in the second half of this year. We have an election, but will the transition of power go smoothly? How will employer-sponsored healthcare survive when millions do not have a job? Will there be a tsunami of homelessness once enhanced unemployment ends? What music will come from this era?