Pandemic Redux

They say people don’t change. Today, in this lukewarm spring day where my life is currently taking place, I can honestly attest to that belief not being quite true.

One day, just as smoothly or as loudly as they once jumped into your lifeboat, people leave. Lines disconnect, lives take different turns, or people simply move on and stop loving, if they ever loved at all. Many of us insist on thinking that once we were loved, so that should count in an of itself. Others prefer to dwell in anger, in the wrong inflicted, in the lies told. Perhaps a good middle ground is to have a bit of both, knowing that life and love are both quite complicated. Somebody leaves you when you have already left them. Is the first one to speak the leaver or simply the faster party? Well, they are not the leaver, let me tell you. They simply need to feel they have had the last word.

2021 will be no different than 2020. A pandemic virus put the world on its knees in 2020, but the world will continue to be on its knees for a while longer, or even much longer. Humans have disconnected from one another to an unimaginable degree, walking back on much of the progress we had in the tail end of the 20th century. Was it the internet, with its promise of a protective screen that puts the world at your fingertips while taking out the worst in you? Or was it humanity itself, unable to be the best part of their souls even after centuries of war, famine and pandemics constantly reminding it of how feeble it is?

So here 2021 starts with a severe winter storm that leaves me, along with a high number of my fellow Houstonians, reeling in dismay and growing repair bills. My taxes go up, I decide to change house and there too my taxes go up, along with my expenses because I can’t quite move in yet — home repairs hit me on both fronts. And this is me, just little old me trying to emerge from the ashes of a bad breakup, a year of lockdown and the sense that things, like people, need to change.

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