Friday, April 24, 2020

Even Lincoln's Dissolving

Part 24 of 30

We know from the news on the current virus that there’s apparently no one wholly immune to it. But of course that doesn’t mean all is quite lost yet. You can get it and hope with all your might that someone just now -- preferably in your town, preferably on your block -- has come up with the antidote or cure.

The way my life goes, that never happens, but anyone else could be the first. You might remember, it seems like I blogged about it last year about this time, how I had a flat tire on the interstate. I felt the tire going rickety split and next thing I was on a particularly unforgiving narrow strip of blacktop about a mile from the next exit. I’m often afraid that’s how it’d be if I caught the virus; just my luck I'd be sidelined only to be passed by and nearly run over in the wild commotion.

Of course I have friends. And they were all very sympathetic to me when they heard what had happened. One especially helpful person said she had me in her prayers, even though the incident was past when I wrote about it from home. Still, it’s the thought that counts, and there’s no reason to open new wounds by scolding her for her callous misplacement of timing. I clearly indicated it was a past tense situation. So she’s still a good friend. But friends can’t be everywhere at once. And in that case, sidelined as I was on the interstate without notice, naturally none of them were there to help. I just don’t want that to happen with the virus.

The virus doesn’t care if you’re me, you, the last Nobel winner, the last Pulitzer Prize winner, or Moe, Larry, or Curly Joe. The virus is like the plagues of Israel, except it’s not looking for blood on your door before turning away. The virus doesn’t take breaks, coffee breaks, doesn’t stretch out in the bathtub in a hot bath, isn’t blackmailed or influenced by payoffs or bribery. It’s a steamroller, baby, guaranteed to blow your mind. Then when your mind’s blown, and you’re daydreaming all kinds of colors, visions, with such reality that you’re reaching out to them like treats from your kindly grandpa on your birthday, only to be clawed across the face by a rude viral swipe and left on the floor steaming, foaming at the mouth, and spinning in circles. Finally, you’re able to stand one last time, writhing against the wall, until you collapse and turn into a puddle of psychedelic foam, everything once straight and normal now seething and apparently distended.

Our illustration of Abraham Lincoln -- born solely to become my personal spirit animal -- is to portray this sad truth. You can be the best person in the world, or you can be half-ass, or you can be whomever-the-current president is, the virus doesn’t care. Check out his arms, the molecules are crazy, although the colors have a certain beauty; regardless, none of it bodes well for his health or future. And I might need a new spirit animal.

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