Here I am again staring at a blank computer screen and wondering what I’m going to write about. At times like this do I call on Stephen King or Fred Rogers for inspiration? Mr. King, when people ask him how to write, he answers, “One word at a time” which seems like he blowing them off but, really, he’s not. You can’t write if all you do is think about writing. He goes on to explain that the Great Wall of China was built one brick at a time and you can see it from space. So what’s a little blog post between friends? I can do this! The trick is to figure out the right words to use in the right order and Mr. King keeps that secret close to his vest.
I mentioned Fred Rogers as inspiration for blog fodder because too often since the pandemic started I’ve been thinking about of one of his songs, hoping it would conjure up a magical spell or fantasy that will set my world right again.
“What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong...
And nothing you do seems very right?
“What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?”
I’m obviously too old to bite or punch although some old people have been known to revert back to those childhood habits but I’m not going there if I can help it. “Pound some dough” though is thought-provoking considering that so many people have taken up baking during the pandemic that it’s caused a shortage of flour nation-wide. Did we learn that trick for coping with stress in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood so long ago that we’d forgotten why kneeing dough helps calm our minds? Or is it something more primal inside us? I always found baking bread to be meditative and it didn’t hurt that making artisan breads was one of the few things I was actually good at doing in a kitchen.
Speaking of kitchens I’ll tell you a secret; I kind of wish now that my husband and I tried sex in the kitchen. (It’s all those stupid romance books I’ve been reading that’s making me type this confession.) I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing that we never did it the kitchen or we just didn’t think of it but whatever the reason that ship has sailed without me. Even if I was still interested, there aren’t men in my peer age group who could lift me up to sit on the edge of countertop so we could---shall we say---line up our ‘baking equipment’ and that might be the least of an old dude’s problems. Egads, I need a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe to get that image out of my head! Funny thing about fantasies, though, I’m always young, fun and sassy in mine. And just in case you're wondering---and who doesn't---"wham-bam thank you ma’am" is literally defined as a sexual encounter conducted quickly. It's been around since the 1950s and it was made popular by Dean Martin.
Tip for the day: We can’t play tag with our friends during social distancing because being tagged “it” could cause us to get us sick and die, and if you’re black you also can’t run as fast as you can without chancing getting killed for #runningwhileblack. There’s a list of 100 Things Not to do While Black online with links back to stories of everyday things people of color have done that caused a white person to call the police---too many of which resulted in unjustified killings. Black kids as young as seven have been shot by the police for doing normal kid stuff. And it doesn’t matter what kind of neighborhood you’re in. A former White House aid under Obama was moving into an Upper West Side Manhattan apartment and someone called 911 to report he was burglarizing the place. Some people say that racism has gotten worse since Obama became president, that he somehow caused a wider divide and I used say, "No" his getting elected just brought the racism out in the open. Then I heard Will Smith squash both those ideas on the Stephen Colbert show when he said, “Racism Is Not Getting Worse. It's Getting Filmed." Yup, the popularly of cell phones is just documenting what’s been there all along.
I've gotta end this blog post someplace and if I was writing fiction I’d have a mass invasion of purple aliens coming to earth in peace with a Covid-19 vaccinate and a way to mindwipe bigotry out of existence. And while we wait for that to happen, let's all pledge to stay safe from the virus and to not rush to judgement regarding those who are protesting in the streets (before the White Supremacists and anarchists entered the fray and turn the protests into riots). Sure, it's bad, it's shocking, it's tragic, it's terrifying and the lawlessness needs to end, but try to remember that when activists like Colin Kaepernick took a silence knee at sporting events to draw attention to the types of things that sparked this recent violence, few people listened. Let's hope something or someone can find a middle ground in between these two extreme ways of reacting to the same social injustices so that more people will demand systemic changes. God help us if we can't. #blacklivesmatter! ©
Wham Bam...one of the things I didn't know when I was a teenager