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Fireball, the Irish, and Poison

Friday 3/17/23

A lot of people dressed in green in the streets today and drinking their considerable asses off. I look at these people and think that many of them must have been people who lived in quaking-fear of COVID. Goddamn are people dumb. You can get so many of them to believe or do anything with ease, save, perhaps, think. You were terrified of that, but look how you live; look how you cram that face. Look at that body that clearly hasn't known exercise in years, decades, generations.

I've found a way to say this. You can't say you don't believe in COVID. People lost people. But the way I put it is that I don't, and never did, believe in it for me. Because I believe in fitness and stairs. So I never cared about it. Never thought about it, never did anything differently, except become more productive than ever. (I made sure I understood what it was. I informed myself.) Never worried about it. Didn't "mask up" unless I legally had to, and even then, only in stores.

I don't believe it's healthy--physically or mentally--to walk around outside in the fresh air with a mask on. I think it's bad for you. You're breathing what your body is meant to expend. And psychologically, I think it's a compromising, undercutting attitude. Compromising attitudes weaken body and mind. They are defeatist. They are definitely not Zulu. They set you up to be less well. The head gives the body an idea, and it's not a good one.

I got the vaccines because sure, what the hell, if I can take five minutes to go to the CVS to get something for free that may help me or it may not, I'll do that. I have to walk past it anyway. Also, I anticipated that places I'd want to go to, when they reopened, would require proof of vaccination status, and some did--like when I went to college football games or to the Brattle to watch films. I got the boosters because, again, I'm in that CVS a lot. Actually, I need to go today or tomorrow.

The reason I mention this now is because I am seeing all of these nostalgic kinds of postings and articles for the three-year anniversary of the "lockdown." You were never locked down. You were free to join me on the stairs at Government Center and tend to your health. Of course, no one did. People have empty lives, even when they have a family and a job and go here and go there. COVID gave them some chatty Kathy-style drama, something to talk about, an excuse to do even less than they already do, to think of themselves as heroes for sitting on a couch, another chance to get some attention, and a chance to be an officious, hectoring, control-freak, pedantic dick. They got to be an asshole in the name of justice. Bad people who want to be thought of as good people without having to put forth the effort of being a good person (minus reward and attention) love that. I'd see people take photos of children playing on playgrounds or in fields, and then post these photos on social media as some embittered scold. I would think, "What are you? Seven?" About the so-called adult, I mean.

I was happy for the children that they were finding ways to be children. That's a pretty important thing. Rarely do I see an adult worth rooting for. But I root for children, because I hope they'll be the kind of adults the world needs. I've come to see how much children mean in my work. Want to see something beautiful? It's from "Big Bob and Little Bob," which I was back in today. Now, quite a bit of this would be emotionally amplified all the more--to a near-overwhelming degree, I think--were one to read the whole story--which is still not done--and experience these words in context. They have additional levels of meaning, then. But all the same, even set apart, it's very beautiful. I hope you get to see the entire thing soon, and these evil people of publishing don't keep you from it, because it's a very special work.

Both Laura and Terry sent my parents photos, which I saw one year at Christmas when I was visiting my parents with my wife and kids.

There are some pictures we look at that make you turn and view your children a little bit differently. You see parts of them before they have happened. Parts that you want to see, that you hope will be there, that can be there in time, with the right choices, and with some help from the right people.

Maybe that’s really what hope is as a parent, beyond obvious stuff like health and getting in out of the cold. You want them to be good friends and have good friends as much as anything. Maybe more than anything. Be good friends to each other. To their own friends. To their families. Their spouses. To their neighbors. To you. To someone who needs one. To the block party committee for the annual summer shindig with a face-painting stand. Someone like you. Someone not like you. To the world.

Anyway. I think people miss COVID. Not the people who had their small businesses wrecked. Or people who lost their parent. And definitely not kids. But many people.

Today is one of Boston's trashier days. Perhaps the trashiest of the year. There's just a lot of street slop. Many people shaped like turnips who if anything are whiter than white (you have to wonder if they otherwise don't go out), with a Kevin McHale jersey on and flashing a Poison tattoo on one of the log-like calves they're electing to show as they swear every other word and spit and eat pastries and drink and massacre the English language. I feel like this is never a great way to be, but there's something so Boston about it in a depressing way when it's people who are fifty-seven and it's one in the afternoon. Also, I don't think the Irish invented Fireball.

Maybe some refreshing Irish tea? Pogues Peel sessions? A little bit of Synge? Journey with him to those Aran Islands? A Le Fanu ghost story? Yeah. Probably not.

I know my language is amusing, but I'm not trying to be harsh or mean. I don't think I've said anything untrue. I believe that people are supposed to try and be the best human they can be. To me, that's central to being human. It is a large part of the point of being alive. And I see people doing the opposite, as if with intention. Or no regard for what it means to be alive, to have the opportunity, which is what life and being human is. And yes, it angers me, depresses me, and it impacts me. Strange as this may sound, I think it's gallingly arrogant. I think it shows a complete lack of regard and respect for life, for that opportunity of being human. For others. For what the world could be. If people would just try a little. But they don't. And I find that that's often on brazen, sloppy, "I-don't-give-a-fuck-not-really-about-anything" display.

Did 100 push-ups, walked three miles, went to Charlestown to do the Monument, but there was a school group lined up before the joint opened. That means waiting at the bottom for enough people to go up and come down, because they have a limit now on how many people they'll let in at once--COVID--and I'm not going to stand there doing nothing. Yesterday when I went the ranger--because of course they know me--let me in early, to help me out, which he does sometimes. So: I'm known not just as the stair guy, but the guy known for different stairs be they in Boston, or across the harbor.

I ended up changing a few little things in "Rosa." Undetectable, pretty much, to even an eagle-eyed person. Went through and changed the Easter op-ed about prayer, fixing what needed fixing.

Bruins last night: Thought they were okay. Little better in the third. Swayman was good.

Need production and a brisk pace this weekend.


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