Song #67: Joy Cleaner – “Life Is A Service Road”

October 31, 2020
Song #67: Joy Cleaner – “Life is a Service Road”

I don’t know what life is.

Sometimes I think there’s no way it’s real; in what reality would 63 million people vote for an idiot like donald trump to be President of the United States? This is a country where, just 20 years ago, the republicans ran a candidate on the platforms of compassionate conservatism and restoring dignity to a White House wrecked by the scandals of Bill Clinton. Today, those scandals seem tame by comparison; new lies and new scandals break weekly while those same republicans look the other way. This can’t be happening.

Other times I find myself sitting next to Sandy around a campfire with our friends Nick and Lysa, people we knew tangentially a year and a half ago but who have become close friends due to our shared interests, values, geography (and pandemic anxiety). We’re sitting, half-shivering and half-warmed by the fire, telling stories and looking up at the stars, the smell of wood smoke and crisp, fall air filling my brain, the warmth of friendship and familiarity relaxing me and it seems so real.

Mostly I teeter in the middle somewhere, the manmade construct of time ticking off intervals between events that are coming down the road, some anticipated, others dreaded, some significant, others minor. A record album on its way in the mail. A professional accomplishment. A son moving away. An important election. The end of a pandemic. Baseball season. A concert. A meal indoors with friends. A cross-country drive. Hugging and shaking hands.

A few weeks ago I thought of a person I used to work with; someone who was generally pleasant but had a bitter streak, and lived with the nagging feeling that someone was always out to get her. It colored her outlook on everything; it wasn’t in her personality to accept anything at face value because she was so skeptical of everything. I remember thinking it must be so hard to constantly find a reason to be skeptical. She complained about being marginalized at work, but refused to take on more responsibility because it wasn’t in her job description. She refused a promotion because it meant she might be asked to do more work, but then complained about her poor salary increases. She told me once “Everyone will screw you if they get the chance.” I looked her up on the internet recently and found she had died. I guess she was right.

~ by Al on October 31, 2020.

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