Sunset: 4:29pm. Cloudy skies and temperatures holding steady in the forties. The United States detected its first case of the Omicron variant today. Christ, the cadence of that sentence is dystopian. Omicron. Like some sinister corporate project that serves as the centerpiece of a lazy 1990s thriller, back when the prospect of an interconnected virtual world still felt like a productive fantasy.

But the planet keeps turning while we go through motions that were once alarming but are now familiar. Finger-pointing and flight restrictions. An outsized concern about stock market performance. Frightening diagrams of mutated spike proteins. All soundtracked by the usual chorus of outragers, grifters, and opinion-mongers. Maybe it’s becoming too familiar, this absurd culture we’ve made.

There’s nothing sane to do except remain vigilant and uncertain. And that’s the hardest thing, isn’t it? Remaining uncertain until the shape of a thing becomes clear.

Tonight I remember my father. He was the tidiest man I knew. Every surface in his apartment gleamed. Everything in his refrigerator was lined up: armies of little water bottles, perfectly squared stacks of cheese. He carefully folded his bags of potato chips like an origami project, and he would cut down the plastic trays of cookies with each serving. These rituals became more pronounced as his lungs declined, and only later did I realize this was his way of controlling the few things he could.

Meanwhile, I blunder through life like a child, always patting down my pockets in search of a pen, never knowing where I’ve put anything.

Ensemble Economique – We Come Spinning Out of Control

Fever Logic | Not Not Fun, 2013 | Bandcamp