Times of Crisis

Some people thrive in crisis situations. I am one of those people. I’ve developed an immunity.

It’s not that we are cruel, or hardhearted, or apathetic to the suffering of humanity, although this could be true in varying degrees. Don’t you see? It’s just all relative. That which we choose to suffer over is always going to be nothing in the infinite scheme of the universe.

I take pleasure in when anything false or fake or illusory is stripped away. This society, this illusion of normalcy, of civilization, of orderly patterns and algorithms of our meaningless days — sitting in traffic, going to an unfulfilling job to be treated like you are less than human for less than just enough return to survive, sitting in traffic again, paying bills, ignoring your family while they ignore you — this is the illusion that everything is running smoothly. But, by God, we have toilet paper. A man is providing for his family as long as there is toilet paper. Have you never had to go without? I ask. I used to enjoy picking which celebrity’s face I could use for that particular purpose, chosen from the newspaper of the stars.

My ex, Will, used to say that the most confirmed atheist will cry out “God save me!” in his dying moments. I disagree. But, despite being a raving lunatic, he was right about a lot of things.

During a crisis, all the superfluous, stupid things of this world fall away. It is there that you find truth. You see things for what they really are, a sleeping beast of chaos, and it is in that moment that you know what truly matters. Maybe it IS God. Maybe it is your kids, your friends, your love… and you will do anything to protect those things. It’s not about the money. 

My long-time friend came into the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth. Leslie is more of a messy domestic goddess, while I am the neurotic cleaner and organizer.

“I may have made a terrible mistake,” she says.

There were no eggs left in the deserted grocery store. So she offered, online, to trade her fresh baked bread for eggs. There were more responses than she could handle.

“I’ll never use that many eggs!”

This could go one of two ways. I’m so happy that the family has established some kind of barter system with the neighborhood. It’s a start. But, with the shelves being wiped clean of bread, I told her now we will have to fortify before there is a run on her bread.

These kinds of things are the true test of humanity. And if it turns out beautiful or ugly (both, I imagine) at least it will be real.

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