I can’t stop watching this video. It is multiple layers of meta deep, but if you have played Half-life a lot, it is kind of perfect. Also, if you were unaware of the Dunkaccino commercial, you are now aware of it.
The New York Discourse
Right now there’s the worst discourse going on, in that it’s about living in New York and being proud of living in or being from New York. It all started with this tweet:
Depending on how you read it, this is either the classic New Yorker trope of “this very normal thing that happens everywhere only happens here,” or it’s a joke about impulse purchases, neither of which are funny or astute. The defense squadron in her mentions crystallized immediately into “you just don’t get it,” and started a horrendous war between people who are smug because they know the rest of the world exists, and people who are smug because they live in New York.
When I lived there, there was a genuine hostility from people who were “native New Yorkers,” as in born there or grew up there, or those that had lived there for a while. The idea that you’d maybe leave one day was a hanging guillotine - that you would simply use New York and then leave it, as if you owed the city something (other than rent and taxes, apparently). This also brought up the Bodega discourse - the mystical allure of these specific owner-operated convenience stores that, I dunno, they were fine and they have a lot of different stuff and sometimes they’re weird. Apparently if you do not romanticize bodegas you are not a real New Yorker, because they are special.
Then this tweet popped up, which is very funny, because it sucks.
The idea that you “subsidize” anyone’s lifestyle paying taxes is a hostile approach to how an ideal democratic system should work. You should subsidize people’s lifestyles with taxes - in the sense that you pay taxes from your income to pay your part of the overall country’s bills. That is how taxes work. Furthermore, it’s not as if you control how that money is spent (unless you’re claiming you do through votes, which is specious at best), so the financial acumen of New York City and State is not anything to do with your ability to say that you went to a Bodega.
It is also very funny to talk about people not paying their fair share of taxes when New York staples like Sothebys love to avoid doing so.
I love New York, and I loved living there. I love visiting. I really enjoy it. I also think that there are some people there that are constantly trying to remind themselves why they stay because of how expensive and exhausting it can be. I have never seen any other city house as many defensive weirdos - people who on one hand say that New York doesn’t give a fuuuuuck about where you’re from but also constantly have to parade around talking about how good New York is. It’s weird! It’s super weird! The city will be fine! It’s like defending a Marvel Universe Movie!
Stuff like this infuriates me because who is “y’all” in this situation? It’s not as if there was a referendum throughout the other states on whether New York City should get relief funding!
Then people say stuff like this, and you begin to wonder if, perhaps, their resentment and nativism is rooted in something a little bit darker and meaner.
Either way, I love New York, and it’ll be fine if I don’t tell you that every 3 minutes.
I am oscillating between feeling like there’s improvement to random moments of fear. I’m superstitious about writing whether I feel good, or bad, or somewhere in the middle, for fear that day 10 will come and punch me through a plate glass window. Last night was an incredibly choppy night’s sleep, where I went to bed physically shivering and woke up burning, while having a crazy dream about a videogame where you chase a guy across time as he slowly teaches modern weaponry in olden times. It sounds like a cool game, but nevertheless I didn’t sleep well.
My clients have been wonderful - very understanding of the fact that I have COVID, that it sucks, and that I may need to cancel calls for a few days. It’s not that this shocked me, but I think as someone who doesn’t generally take days off, especially when I’m sick (I know, I know…), you grow this expectation that people paying you money are going to be mad at you for a lost day or two. If you’re a client reading this, thank you for being lovely, I sincerely did not mean to get COVID-19.
I am definitely progressing. It oscillates - sometimes you’ll feel a good bit better, then you randomly start coughing and your lungs feel tight, and your next thought is “down I go…" and the feeling before bed is always, always “what do I wake up feeling like?”
Thankfully I am fully isolated and quarantined, so I’m not in danger of infecting anyone, and I am also guilty of being a burden on anyone, even informationally - I can only imagine it is a bit annoying to read about this every day, but if it isn’t, that makes me happy, because the act of writing all of this down is therapeutic.
The problem with a relatively young virus is that nobody really knows what happens from person to person. My case may be similar to my sister’s, or completely different. I may get better tomorrow, or I may get even worse, according to several friends who have had family members get sick. I am not sure if being relatively active before getting sick helped me, or if it didn’t matter. I don’t know if I’m cognitively declining, because it’s hard to tell that when you’re thinking with the brain that might be declining.
Unlike most times you’re sick, you can’t actually find any information that will tell you what your next day is, and know, deep down, that if shit goes sideways you’ve not got any treatment that…works. The treatment that our big, wet president got isn’t even FDA-approved, and I don’t think they’ve even got Emergency Use Authorization. Remdesivir does not work. So on top of not knowing whether you’re improving or getting worse, there is no clear window into what happens if you do get worse beyond “call the doctor.”
But…I have to think positive. Right? I could be worse. Not being worse may mean I’m getting better. Is it because I am regularly on a regiment of Tylenol Sinus and antibiotics? Maybe. I shouldn’t even complain, I don’t have it anywhere near as bad as some people. I feel like a big whiner.
I really do look forward to when they understand this whole thing. I hope the apocalyptic conditions that most have had to live through somehow mean that we won’t have to again, though that’s unfounded optimism at best. Right now I’m just grateful to be able to do some work, and to have great people who work for me who are able to keep the wheels turning.
A bit that’s made me laugh, that I would not actually do in real life, is the idea of someone who goes to places and yells I’VE GOT COVID! to scare people out of there, kind of like Shrek. My good friend Drew Toothpaste and I have batted around the idea of bursting into a Planet Fitness and blaring the lunk alarm before yelling “AH HAVE COVID!” as people run away screaming, like a disaster movie, or like this scene from Shrek: Forever After:
It’s a good laugh. And definitely makes me think - what am I gonna do when I’m not positive anymore? Will I feel invincible? I’m probably not going to do anything different and will still wear a mask. I admit there is some temptation to go to a casino, or walk around outside like Vince McMahon giving people the finger guns and laughing to myself. But I also don’t want to by proxy endorse the very actions that are spreading the virus, so I’ll probably just stay home.
I actually don’t know how I’m gonna be allowed back into my own home, though. I have to clear a negative COVID check, as there can’t be any chance I’ll infect grandma and grandpa. So who knows, maybe I get to isolate even longer.