You can do it.
You were in jail, if just for a spell. If you’re reading this, you were probably in jail for at least one night. Maybe you even deserved it Toilets were made out of steel instead of porcelain in jail, and you had to share ’em with arsonists and fingerbangers. Or you were in the service. Maybe you believed the recruiter. Stuck in Omaha, or on a boat patrolling the Bering, or a Hummer on the outskirts of Baghdad.
You’ve been somewhere you couldn’t leave before; this is not as bad.
You slept in your own bed last night, and it is assured that you will tonight. Think of the millions over the years denied that glory, to be disconnected from one’s blankets and stink, to lay a frightened head on unfamiliar pillows under unforgiving stars. Not you. The clock is on the side-table with the glass of water, and nine steps to the bathroom, and back to try and sink under before you realize you’re awake. The safest place in the the world, where you are most vulnerable. You have not been chased from your bed, and this is something to be grateful for.
You got electric light. And blenders, and washing machines, and complicated toothbrushes, and oscillating fans. The exact temperature of your dwelling is up to you. Think about that. Homo Sapiens has been around for 200,000 years, and for 199, 950 years of that, the best we could do was “Oh, God, open a window; it’s stifling in here,” and “Somebody throw another log on the fire or I’m gonna fucking die. Not now, though. Not at your house. You got an up-to-code HVAC system, and you can keep your house whatever the fuck temperature you want, just like Jesus intended.
The clean water comes in, and the dirty water goes out. As a rule. You never think about it, except when it explodes–plumbing will explode occasionally–and it is a miracle. There’s no privy outside your digs, and no pump surrounded by bucket-wielding maidens on your street. Kings and sultans didn’t have the access to fresh water and sanitation you take for granted.
Teevee is available, and plentiful, and we are apparently in the Golden Age, or you can watch the same stupid British sitcom for the fifth time. Or the Marx Brothers. The old silent films, or you can goof on that Zack Snyder fellow’s offerings. Operas are being broadcast free of charge, which seems against the spirit of opera, and old ballgames are rerun endlessly on some channel, some channel, some channel. There’s something to watch.
Oh, just read Gravity’s Rainbow already.
There are no militias in the town square, and no one is being raped to death. That happens, sometimes. Everything breaks down and everyone starts getting ideas and you have to raise up your pant cuffs to keep the blood of ’em. There is still order. Anarchists, who are children, mock order because they do not know humanity’s true face. When order breaks down, you don’t wanna be there.
Could be plague. If it was 541, it’d be plague. Or 1351. Killed a third of Europe in 1351. You know what the flu did in 1918, and smallpox and tuberculosis did for the New World in 1421 and thereafter. Could be a lot more contagious; could be a lot more mortal. It could be worse. There is no shame in thanking The Lord for not making things worse.
The load is lighter than it seems, and your feet have so many more miles in them.
We’ll go on, we can’t go on, etc.