Saturday, July 4, 2020

Overheard at Booth 1: Fourth of July

So the firecrackers are going off in the street in front of my house, echoed by deeper works somewhere in the distance.  I feel somewhat like I am sitting inside "Fever Dream" - a novella by Wallace Shawn told from the point of view of a man with a fever, holed up in a hotel room while a revolution explodes in the streets below.

To be honest, this seems a bit surreal.  We seem to be celebrating for no other reason than we can buy firecrackers and it's what we've always done.  It's like eating when you're not hungry, or having sex with someone just because you're living together and you're bored with nothing else to do.

We are going through the motions this year.  This Fourth of July, even the flags hanging in front of the neighbours' houses seem sad, as though they really have lost the spirit as well.  Maybe it's just because it's already hot as August in Houston, these miasmic summer days that make you wonder why the hell do we even go out in this?  Who can live in this?

And the heat is just a reflection of the sullen apathy that is gripping us all about the state of our country and the state of this miserable year.  Racist spouting White Nationalist hate in front of Mount Rushmore, while we are all wearing masks and my son has locked himself in his room because he thinks he has COVID.

This is how we live in 2020, this foetid, miserable year, that will be so much better in the past.

Another explosion.  Then another.  Now the smell of gunpowder seeps into the house.  The wife thinks that something has hit the roof.  Better run outside to check and make sure that our house is not on fire.

Which ... as we all know, it is.

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