The Hat. Prepared to face coronavirus head-on by wearing mask atop head. (Not the best idea that ever popped out of the old noggin, my friend. See also The Chin-Strap, aka The Goiter, and The Pocket Protector.)
The Schnoz, aka The Nose-Ranger. Wears mask over mouth; however, proboscis is permitted to roam freely, potentially snuffling in and shooting out bits and blobs of coronavirus. (Would it kill you to put that big honker under wraps? Seems like leaving it out during a global pandemic’s not your best option…)
The Fussbucket, aka The Fussbudget. Compelled to adjust, re-adjust, and re-re-adjust mask—especially with no discernible improvements achieved. (Way to spread that virus around, buddy! See also The Gross Talker, aka The Spit-Talker, aka The Up-and-Downer)
The Pocket Protector. Protecting himself and others with his mask-y talisman tucked securely in shirt pocket. (May also hang mask from car rear-view mirror for extra, automotive protection. See also The Chin-Strap, aka The Goiter.)
The Peekaboo. Who’s to say whether she’s just making a statement or truly grabbing some shut-eye? (If it’s the Big Dirt Nap she’s after, she’s well on her way! See also The Chin-Strap, aka The Goiter, The Hat, and The Dangler.)
The Chin-Strap, aka The Goiter. Wears mask around neck, firmly believing that simple possession of this mask-y talisman and its close proximity to his face is suitable protection for both himself and others against coronavirus. (Spoiler: It isn’t.)
The Dangler. Rather than wear a mask around both ears, he must demonstrate the utility and strength of just one of his ears at a time. (Sadly, anything he may have heard about coronavirus went in one ear and out the other. See also The Chin-Strap, aka The Goiter, and The Hat.)
The Gross Talker, aka The Spit-Talker, aka The Up-and-Downer. Covers mouth and nose with mask—until she has something to say. Then she pulls the mask down, says her piece, and pulls the mask back up. (Your killer gossip is going to get us all killed. Could you please keep the pie hole covered?)
I just want you to know that this exists. Apparently, the Shutterstock universe is more happy, more diverse, and more interracial than ours.
I can’t get over this feeling that it’s like watching enslaved people work in a field (tell me if that’s wildly inappropriate). While we are fighting to recognize the legacy of slavery, we are all enslaved by the larger system that created it. We escape from one prison to find that we are in another larger one. A prison that gives us more choices, but fundamentally: We work to create wealth for others. Or we die.
These young people, because of where they happen to live, because of the options given to them, because they are young and beautiful humans are trapped in this moment, in this work, in this system. These young people are selling their bodies and their minds as certainly as any field worker or office drone or sex worker, feigning authenticity with no control or choice over their labor.
Afterward, they are discarded like used tissue. Will they later suffer poverty, addictions, struggle with homelessness, and say, “You know, I used to do some modeling? I think some of it is still out there.”
Does anything mean anything? Is it all a cycle of living death followed by plain old death death? An endless cycle of hopeless struggle repeated everywhere? Is the final prison just life itself?
Meanwhile, the dance of fake happiness lives on eternally, resurrected from the digital vaults periodically by low-rent ad agencies and regional chain marketing.
This flea carries the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It has been biting rodents in Mongolia. And people have been eating the rodents. There are now cases of bubonic plague in Mongolia. Now, back to your normally scheduled viral pandemic.
Based on some of the beautiful and Fierce events at Occupy City Hall in NYC in the wake of George Floyd and so many’s deaths and a month of the cops beating people up in the street the call for not just defunding but dismantling Abolishing the Police and so much more still amplify through the city street as the sirens at the height of covid hung in the air.
I’m a boxer brief sorta person and my undies stated loosing a little of their elastic after a couple of years. Time for a new pack of Fruit of the Looms. What swell colors! Teal! Burgundy! Stripes! So delightful. So under my skirt, I may just have a party going on.
Thank you for trying to defend my brother’s car from Santa Cruz police. I’m so sorry they hurt you and that you went to jail and are facing felony charges. Bwah. The cops really need to stop picking on houseless folks, especially during a pandemic. Sheesh.
Here’s to a better world,
P.S. To all you reading out there, support your local houseless folks in whatever way you can. Thanks
Grace floated in darkness. Phantasms of wispy blues and greens moved beyond her reach. If she concentrated hard enough, she saw shapes. She watched a green frog, but it rippled and she realized she was looking at a clam through green water.
A horse splashed in the water and she couldn’t delve beneath the surface. She’d have to tie that horse up. It shouldn’t be running around.
She was in a lift with a man in a lab coat like Raj. They stood for a moment, like strangers in a lift will do. She asked him, “Which floor?” and the man, vaguely familiar, began barking like a dog. Grace heard the barking, but there was no doubt, he was meant to be a man.
The floor disappeared and they fell into blackness. She held the man to her and he held her back, calling her Simone.
“I’m Grace,” she kept saying.
Every so often, Grace regained reality. Reality was dark: she saw nothing. Reality was pain in her torso and limbs. Constricted in a medical pod.
Between the realm of darkness and the sphere of pain, she knew that Tim talked to her. Sometimes she understood him. He told her that Maud had tried to cripple her. Reassured her that this medical pod would heal her.
But she still felt pain. If they were healing her, why wasn’t she getting a painkiller? She needed a doctor, not a dog.
But Raj was not there. Only the voice of the man who controlled the dog.
“There is no pain,” Tim said. “What you feel is the memory of pain.”
The memory? It was very real. She felt the spasms in her hands as they curled in on themselves.
“The pod reports one last procedure, Grace.” Tim’s voice flooded her mind. “I’ll see you after you wake.”
Maybe she fell asleep. The pain shrank upon itself. Her senses contracted.
She hoped the damn horse had left the puddle alone this time.