Jaimie thinks the anti-depressants I’m on might be depressing me.
She warned me they might. I don’t know whether or not to believe her, but I’ve never been on anti-depressants before, so what do I know.
It’s not just her. A friend and an avid reader of the blog sent me a note the other day. It was more than a note, it was a gift. It was a Visa Gift Card, along with a commissioned drawing of a favorite picture of Jaimie and I. She said that she was reading between the lines of the blogs to see how I really was.
I wouldn’t have known what to tell her because things have been really weird. But things are weird in the world right now. Epically weird! I’ve never lived though a pandemic before. I mean, when I grew up we wore Jamz as kids, but I didn’t think that counted as a a threat to the common welfare. All of this whilst trying to be a good newly wed and fight a disease all of my own that has happened to flare up over the past few weeks. I have to keep reminding myself that sometimes self care is simply reminding myself that yes, in fact, things are pretty jacked up right now. An irrational reaction to the irrational is, in fact, rational. If things are really insane in the world and you’re like, “fucking groovy” then maybe the problem is you. But if things are falling apart and because of that your own world seems a little sad and off kilter, then maybe you’re going to make it after all.
Because I soak up the world, my world, specifically, and I squeeze it out in an attempt to make art. And through my attempt to make art I hope to enlighten and entertain some of you. Have you purchase some books and by tickets to see some shows. I hope to connect with you, my people, and right now, people are the main thing this virus has taken away from us.
Also, and I don’t want diminish the importance of this—Jaimie and I just finished a huge binge of Friday Night Lights on Hulu last week and haven’t adequately dealt with the loss of it. We haven’t found anything to replace it with. I know that sounds like a small and ridiculous thing to be depressed about, but right now life feels small and ridiculous. Life has been reduced, and I’m sorry, Friday Night Lights is a really good show with an epic journey and you can’t just wave your hand around a replace something like that. And I have tried. Last night I watched part of Euro Song: The Story of Fire Saga. I say part because I couldn’t finish it. I watched five seasons of Friday Night Light and I couldn’t take 57 minutes of Euro Song: The Story of Fire Saga. I was shocked by how something could be so bad. I’m actually thinking about taking tomorrow afternoon and watching it again just to make sure it’s as bad as I thought it was. I mean, it got 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe the problem is me. I’d be happy to admit that. At least that would make sense. I’ve had a lot going on—cancer, pandemic, it makes sense that I alone, couldn’t enjoy Fire Saga. That I, alone was cofounded that someone would take the worst parts of Dodgeball and the worst parts of Pitch Perfect would somehow think it would make a good movie. It made me long for Tiger Dude. Tiger Mate. Guy with Tiger. What ever that Tiger shit was we all watched at the beginning of this pandemic, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven years ago. Back when we were all so happy and full of joy.
I suppose all this is to say that Jaimie, and my friend trying to read between the lines, that I am in fact sad and depressed. But I’m not saying this for attention. Or for people to tall me to hang in there. I promise you that I will hang in there, make some jokes about Fire Saga and get to the other side. I know that this too shall pass.
I think what’s happened is that I’ve had some much needed clarification. The thing that has become crystal clear right now, in the midst of everything, is how much everything I love to do in my life requires people. I love being with people. It’s a need I have. Theatre, performing, hell even the promoting and the planning and trying to find the right venues. All of that connects me with people. The older I get the more I realize I need them. The harder the cancer has gotten this summer, the more it makes me realize how desperately I want them.
And people have never felt so far away. That’s the real sadness.When I’m desperate to be around people, I happen to living in the center of Covid Denial. I think the president of Brazil believes in Covid more than some of my neighbors. Walmart has a stricter mask policy than the state of South Carolina.
So I’m hitting a wall. But I feel like it’s my job not to hit a wall. I feel like my job is to come close to the wall, freak out, and then comment on it, bringing us all back from the brink. That just feels extra hard right now because this thing feels like walls closing in on all sides. All the questions feel so pressing and I have no idea which way they will turn out. That’s scary too. I have no idea which way the ball is going to bounce on any of this stuff. I always kind of assume that eventually our leaders will make the right decision. Or at least close enough to a right decision that an easier decision will present itself in the not so distant future. How can any of us be convinced at that right now? We could very well do the wrong thing. What does that mean?
What am I supposed to teach these students when I go back to school in a month? I actually think I have it easy because on the one hand, how do we make art in the face of these uncertainties, yet at the same time how on God Green’s earth do we do anything else? I don’t want silence or meditation or learning. I want loud and confusing art. Art that says I don’t know what sense to make of anything or any of it because we are being confounded on all sides and all we can do is write what we see and try as we might to make some sense of it.
Other wise I’ll just give up. And I’ve never given up. Not even on Euro Song Fire Saga. And why should I? That movie never gave up on itself. I should have. But it didn’t. What right do I? Maybe tomorrow afternoon I’ll end up watching it after all.