God is like a creep with his arm slung around my neck, pulling me closer than I want. God is like the handsomest man in the room, absorbed in his responsibilities, never looking up from his laptop. God is like the star of the revue, heading toward the stage door at the end of another raucous night. He catches sight of me. “One of my non-starters,” he says, with a grin, to his flock of admirers, before sweeping through the door.
Old age is looming ever closer, but it’s not here quite yet. When does it arrive for real? When the skin on the back of my hands becomes thin, and ropey blue veins pop up, even if I am still fully employed in a shiny corporate office? Or does it begin only when my hands declare that I am old and I retire for good?
A phone call comes; it is my oldest friend telling me his wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her condition is hopeful in terms of the type of cancer and the earliness of detection. They are keeping the most encouraging information in the forefront of their minds, and she says she is not getting upset until there’s definitely something to get upset about. A diagnosis of cancer no longer qualifies; how quickly the goal posts move. I cheer her on.
I can’t visit them. I can’t hug them. I can’t hug their grown daughter who lives near them. She can’t hug them, either. My friend can’t go to appointments with his wife. If she wants breast reconstruction, it involves that many more consultations alone, hospital visits alone, and recovery alone, with him participating through the screen of a smart phone.
I love them for real, and that’s a point in my favor, in Your estimation I mean, at least according to how I was taught about You. I don’t know what You’re like when You’re wearing Your Conservative hat, but when You’re hanging out with Progressives, You’re all about connection. Screw up any other way, but care for real about something, extend yourself for real – the bigger and messier your life, the better – and you’re basically on an OK footing with Progressive God. So if you’re not so good at connecting, well … Progressive God probably thinks you’re a loser even more than people who are world travelers think you’re a loser if you don’t travel. And man do they think you’re a loser.
Please look up from Your laptop and focus on me. Ask me how I am.
July 8, 2020 COVID-19 Infections and Deaths