“Apparently, it starts with a tickle in your throat!”
I yell this to my wife on March 7, mere hours before we are to go out on our final date of the year, apparently. We have small children, and we don’t much alone time, which is code for The Sex, but IDK what that means, according to our 8-year-old.
“You start with a tickle with a tickle in my throat,” she says, right behind me, “and you finish the same way,” she adds, and she kisses the back of my neck.
“I married a goddamn 12-year-old,” I say.
“And I just married old,” she says, and she kisses me again.
We finish getting ready by a little after 6 P.M. We are headed to a class on rope-tying in a town about 35 miles away from our home in a small-ish town on the Colorado Front Range. Colorado Springs, which is where we are headed, contains half-a-million evangelical Christians, the “Mecca of Christianity,” according to my own pastor, a woman who knows as much about irony as Alanis Morrisette.
Well, half-a-million conservative Christians and about 50 kinksters (not including the Ted Haggard types, obviously). We talk about this on the way to The Springs.
“I wonder how many people are into this rope stuff in Springs,” my wife says. I roll my eyes. She sees me. “THE Springs,” she corrects. On the radio, unnoticed by us, which is a definite metaphor for the entire viral outbreak, a reporter speaks:
Colorado health officials announced the state had its first two presumptive positive cases of the new coronavirus Thursday…From “Two Cases Of New Coronavirus Found In Colorado, found at https://www.cpr.org/2020/03/05/colorado-coronavirus-case-is-states-first-positive-health-officials-say/
We are silent for a moment. “What do you think about this beer-virus thing?” one of us asks, and in all honesty, it’s probably me.
“Nothing. It’s not even an issue,” the other says.
Like millions of Americans and billions around the world (and dumb-ass Spring Breakers, even now), we talk about how this is no worse than the flu, and that two cases are way too few to be worried about. But by the middle of the following week, the day after the Govenor declares a state of emergency, we will be out of toilet paper and scared shitless, and as dark combinations go, it could be worse. But today, we are still foolish enough to sound just like these folx:
Expectation vs. Reality
For many years, zombie and disaster narratives have been a sort of metaphor for the ways in which we are in danger of killing ourselves — and the ways in which we can survive the effects of our behaviors with just a little bit of gumption, according to Javier Zarracina, one that is “predicated on rugged individualism and the art of survival.”
Deal with climate change? Nah! Fuck that! Let’s watch The Walking Dead!
Eliminate poverty? Care for others? Give a shit about people escaping war and hunger? NO! We are being infiltrated by *illegals!*
Admittedly, this is nothing like we expected, you know? Today is March 23, a couple weeks after our trip to Colorado Springs, and about 3.5 years after we have seen another human being besides our own family. We expected zombies, adventure, and 5-o’clock-shadowed He-Men, with sweaty torsos and, presumably, sweatier testes.
Instead, we got old folx plowed over at WalMart and an exasperated Dr. Fauci almost unable to keep his composure whilst an orange-faced buffoon attempts to discredit him:
What Happens Now?
We may not have zombies breaking down our doors, but life will never be the same again. I wouldn’t say that we are overly scared, but both of us have seen enough shit in our lives to know that this is no fucking joke. So what happens now?
We keep living, albeit within some fairly strict limitations. Schools have been canceled, we bought the last freezer in town, and no shit, a biker blasting 80s glam rock just passed my house and gave my kids a post-apocalyptic nod.
As for us, we have adjusted our schedules in order to 1. Keep the kids alive; 2. Keep ourselves alive; 3. Have The Sex once in a while. It is now noon, and our new normal began a couple days ago. We will write more about that tomorrow. For now, I am going to lie down, as I have just a little tickle in my throat, and I am praying on my soul that it is nothing beer-related.