Waiting for our biopsy results

Opinion: Columns

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By Alan Brouilette

We've finally arrived at the part of 2020 that everyone thought was going to be the horrendous part of 2020, and early signs are that it is not going to disappoint. This election is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Not the kind of biopsy where you're waiting on "Is It Cancer?" or "How Long Do I Have?" or "Is It Maybe Just Fatty Tissue?" but more like the kind of biopsy where we are waiting to learn if there is either 1) nothing to be done but wait to die, or 2) "Well, it's going to be a long, painful treatment with no guarantees."

On the bright side, I still don't have television or Facebook or Twitter, and I pay a couple bucks a month for a wonderful program called "AdBlock" that keeps me from seeing the kind of ads that I glimpse while throwing away all my mail, so I'm not marinating in this sewage like those of you who insist on participating.

I really don't know how y'all keep up. I don't care, mind you, but I'm still amazed. I'm ready to rent a house in the woods and stay there until Nov. 4, when whoever has replaced Tom Brokaw in the media ecosystem announces that one of the candidates saw his shadow so now there will be six more weeks of lawyering and stunts. 

Clearly, I need to think more cheerful thoughts. I occasionally feel a little bad when folks say they're having a rough time of it in the pandemic. I'm doing OK, save for having added a modest amount of home-cooked weight. (Which, if we're being honest, is really more about welcoming that extra flesh back from wherever weight goes when you lose it.) I know some folks who're really struggling, though, and I feel bad when they ask me how I'm doing with all the isolation and distancing, because the answer is, "Pretty good."

I mean, this hasn't changed my day-to-day that much. I'm not super social. My bar days are largely behind me. Cutting back on restaurants was a needed choice. The pot vaporizer needs to be replaced a little more often, maybe, and I'm not traveling at all, but those are some pretty low-grade "problems" given what some folks are coping with. 

I don't feel sorry for those who have lost the state-sponsored daycare called "school," be the mourner child or parent. I would have had such a better childhood if "school" had been an hour a day from home that the improvement defies metaphor. I would have traded years of my life to do fifth- through eighth-grade from home, instead of being tucked in that particular correctional institution on Lathrop. If your kids are elated that school is gone, I implore you to listen to them and see if you can't learn something.

I dunno. I think I'm more exhausted than I think I am. I think maybe we all are. I think we all hit a tired wall a few weeks ago. The kind where, were America a tired toddler, you'd know you had maybe 10 minutes to get us into a carseat and asleep if you wanted to avoid the meltdown. There's so little that isn't at least tinged with COVID (bad) or politics (worse) to write about, and it's so easy to just slap down 600 words of breezy, complaining douchebaggery and discharge the obligation for the month.

I'm not afraid to admit it, though: I'm wiped. So are you. So is everybody. This is enormously unpleasant. I'd say I need a break, but there's no break. It'll all be over eventually, but not soon. One foot in front of the other. No way out but through. I hope you and yours are well. We'll be OK, but we're not OK now, and that's understandable.

Hang in there. See you next month. Peace.

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