Observations From Isolation: Ch.15 – The Times Are Over. Fuck The Times…


These are king-hell-ass odd Times. They’re different, no less real, more confronting and a cold and somewhat harsh reality that we’ll all need to embrace or be forever damned.

I’ve always been someone to keep to himself, and the curtailing of social possibility has only heightened this. Working at the bottle shop is a sharp reminder of the fact that the behaviour of others is something I don’t trust, and so I feel I’ve been personally slighted if someone doesn’t follow the rules.

But truthfully, what do I care? As was written in a column in The Paris Review recently, the bread is over. Fuck the bread. Indeed, but where does that leave us? Wallowing in yet more self-induced isolation, the vacuum becoming so intense for many that any screams are snuffed out before they even spew more than a nanometre.

Someone asked me recently if I’d noticed a change in the behaviour of people frequenting places like the bottleo and I returned with a lengthy par on how it’d changed in the preceding weeks so many times I could barely count. Someone else, writing somewhere else, summed it up perfectly – “People are still being people.” Yes, they are, and in many cases, this rubs the wrong way.

In others though, it brings odd shaped acts of kindness and light, sometimes so obscure and, indeed, surprising, as to be viewed with veiled suspicion. Don’t you know the situation is potentially dire? What is driving this act of benevolence?

Oh, ye of little faith (as I remonstrated to someone at work earlier this week), people are, at heart, a kind and considerate species. You, are the one who is all doom, a little bit of gloom, no one cares what you think and so you should return that favour, with extra, and put a smile on your face and carry on doing whatever it is you’re doing, and to hell with it all. The bread is over. Fuck the bread.

This phrase is ringing true, and I’m using it more and more.

I need to learn how to translate good news to my own advantage. Sometimes, knowing a lot doesn’t help. You become tied to graphs and infographics, analysing the resulting information in your head until it leaks from your ears and dribbles down the side of your neck. This is no good, stop it at once.

In the age of Bad News, there’s plenty of Good News, and in truth, it’s not too hard to find. In adapting life as we know it now to that Good News, therein lies the challenge. Nothing incites as silent and unearthly a rage as someone telling you to smile. But then again, I think to myself, what’s the harm because these are fucking odd Times.

The Times are over. Fuck the Times.

The Times are different. For some the Times are bad, others good. Some in between. Occasionally, I think of a schooner of beer off the wood at the local pub. I think of a room full of people watching a band. I think of catching a plane and buses and trains to libraries and people’s homes to ask them questions about their lives and walking cobbled alleyways in the dark on the way back to digs from meetings with people who know about things. I think of shaking someone’s hand when I meet them for the first time.

Outside the window, it is heavily overcast and a slow and lethargic drizzle is falling. It’s not a depressing scene though, more one of quiet contemplation for what is and was, and what will surely be. Stop for a while and think about it. Maybe write a few things down.

These are fucking odd Times. We might yearn for Times gone by but that’s the ubiquitous fevered dream of mad men, and indeed, someone without an eye on the future, for these are the Times we now need to keep that eye on.

The Times are over. Fuck the Times.