The PVP Diaries #30

You’ve been benched.

…when suddenly from out the very heart of this plague, there stole a faint stream of perfume, which flowed through the tide of bad smells without being absorbed by it…”

— Melville, speaking (I think somewhat obviously) about me and my blog. In Moby Dick. In 1851.



Update 4-24

Gettin’ harder to die out there. I really don’t even have the energy to be glib about this right now. The numbers are reaching that disorienting point in their evolution when they won’t matter anymore. We’ll be asked not to get lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that nobody’s getting sick or dying, and before long you’ll hear things like “we can’t get too caught up in the numbers.”



Can't sit here

Aaaaaaand…tipping point officially reached:

No Seats
Alki Beach

I’ll try to get out there for my own picture tomorrow. Until then, I’ve stolen that one from the story at the West Seattle Blog, where the overwhelming majority of the comments are decidedly not in favor of this latest move. The broken bridge is doing a good deal to accelerate the anti-government gestalt here in town, as people are growing increasingly concerned about the post-lockdown transportation outlook. It isn’t universal, but there’s a probable majority of citizens in the camp that believes the bridge’s woes are the direct result of negligence and incompetence on the part of public officials. For this camp, people must lose their jobs ASAP, and the city government is the white whale that has taken the community’s collective leg. We’ll see how the hunt culminates in the next round of elections.

Meanwhile, the government doesn’t seem to realize how effectively they’re shortening the lifespan of the lockdown with moves like sabotaged park benches. This kind of crap is going to force a necessary capitulation and a far less graceful “easing” of restrictions than the government envisions (if they envision it at all). I actually kind of appreciate this – life will be back to normal sooner this way.


it is now Friday morning, and I woke to realize that I failed to prep the coffee. I did clean the equipment last night, but then I falsely assumed that there was ground coffee remaining in the pantry. I was wrong, and at 6:00 AM I was not about to fire up the grinder. I ran my trembling hands through the tea section of the pantry instead, willing to go that less favorable route in an emergency like this, when lo! but I beheld a jar of Trader Joe’s instant coffee. Like the Pequod’s mate Stubb, who knew that in the absence of spermaceti, an ancient whale may still be mined for its fragrant ambergris, I, too, settled for and yet savored the less golden nectar. And I didn’t have to fool a Frenchman to do it.

A while back, before all this madness, I read The Pearl alongside my daughter, as she had to do it for her 6th grade English class. I was able to discuss it with her (those BIG METAPHORS, haha), and help her with the assignments she was given. These interactions were often met with a frustrated sigh, as she loves me but is happy to demonstrate how annoying I can be to her. Yesterday she came downstairs carrying a copy of Animal Farm, set it on the table next to the chair where I spend 90% of my quaran-time, and said “I only have to read the first two chapters by Monday.” By this I am to understand that I have received my orders.

For posterity, notes about me: My hair is the longest it’s been in any recent memory. Possibly since before the Army. That isn’t saying much with this wispy nimbus that barely claims my scalp. These are no Samsonian locks! I can cut my own hair, and my wife could do it as well, but I figure that now’s as good a time as any to see what happens if I let it go, so there’s that. Also, I exercised yesterday for the first time since early January. Oh, there’s been yardwork and occasional walks, but my laziness has been monumental for months now, the ensuing lassitude has become oppressive, and I know that I have become someone about who(m? I never could get that one. Subject/object, etc.) people will look at and say “the lockdown has been hard on him.” Perhaps it has, and I’m just too stubborn to know it.


There is no “Homeless in Coronafornia” update today. Be thou not concerned! Honestly, these weeks of regular communication between me and my brother are the anomaly in the data. Over the years we’ve talked very sporadically. In part, I am contacting him more often than I normally would have. One reason is genuine concern – though he flat refuses to engage in any conversation about it, he is in a high risk population – poor diet, poor hygiene, and a body besieged by substance abuse for decades, living without decent shelter. I want to keep tabs on him now more than ever. He bristles, understandably, at any suggestion that he might be a member of a different population than the rest of us – a form of denial that insulates him from attempts at recovery, and therefore failure. It’s been such a long, exhausting series of ups that are only ups because they end in such crippling downs. I can’t even imagine.

Look before you sit, Comrade Citizen!

6 thoughts on “The PVP Diaries #30”

  1. “and I know that I have become someone about who(m? I never could get that one. Subject/object, etc.)”

    Whom. Objective. I consulted the original Habrace, Strunk&White, Little Brown, and most authoritatively the team of Cooper-Landreth-Cooper. When Cooper #2 texted “Whom” that clinched it. May you, too, be blessed with children who care deeply about such things.


  2. “Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.”


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