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It’s Hard Being Lonely in a Pandemic
I am very good at being alone. This is not the same as enjoying it but I hold my own. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid who couldn’t make friends. The tricky thing about it is you become so good that you act reclusive in ways you don’t mean to, since you’re the only one who’s ever taken care of you, it’s easy to just keep doing it and never ask for help or love or company.
When the pandemic hit, I was back in my mom’s house; wanting a place to ride through the ordeal where I wouldn’t owe anyone rent. In those halcyon days of “March,” I figured things might pick back up mid-summer and I just hunkered down, looking for a job. 7 months later, I’m still hoping for a job in a dying industry will pop up, I’ve struggled with intense writer’s block, and I’ve spent most of this period cripplingly, achingly alone. My mom—when she’s around—has been mostly nice company but because she works alone and can still function during Covid, I’ve been left to my own devices—plus she’s my mom and as much as I love her there’s just a certain divide that will always exist.
This kind of loneliness has been more specific, targeting my vulnerability and fears of dying alone because I’m not good in partnerships. It’s a loneliness I’ve known many times before, one that would cause me to be more social for awhile and occasionally go to bars hoping to get into bad but fun situations. Obviously covid has killed both of those options, and has left me to stew into my dread and anxieties. Maybe I’d feel better if I could be working again or if I had more chances to be around friends. I know that I have played a major role in being alone today. Whether due to familiarity or fears, I’ve clung to independence at every opportunity mostly because it’s a comfort zone that I understand well. This would be a fine lifestyle for anyone if I didn’t go through periods where I desperately yearn for the things you need another person for: affection, to be touched or held, to feel wanted. Without it, on top of every other problem, I’ve felt severely depressed and have certainly been ornery to talk to. Although it’s not exactly been as though there have been people clamoring to talk to me anyways. Whether true or not, I feel completely neglected by everyone in my life and it hurts. It’s as though I don’t deserve any sort of support or validation and it’s enough to drive you crazy.
Bob Fosse was so good at capturing self destruction. He was as good at that as he was at choreography. Both Lenny and All That Jazz are extraordinary portraits of self-destructive men who used work to fill in for everything missing and disappointing in life. They are certainly problematic but most of life is, to me what’s most engaging here is the lengths we go to in order to escape. There’s nothing more I’d rather do than escape myself right now.
Eventually I will have to express my feelings on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. A bloated, exasperating record made to impress music critics and people who believe in things like “serious rap music” or serious music in general. An album that kickstarted an era of Prestige Rap Music, where songs were overproduced and outstretched and the artists demanded to be taken seriously. It’s an album that has only done more bad than good and I am tired of pretending it is a masterwork.
I just don’t “get” Lovecraft Country, and I don’t mean literally. It’s a nice show at times and I certainly appreciate all the effort but man is it trying too hard. It’s weird for the sake of it and very in love with itself. It’s ambitious and earns respect, the acting is lovely, but nothing quite connects to anything deeper. It’s just a very fancy shallow pool.