A Hobo’s Fatalism

By David Glenn Cox

It’s the not knowing isn’t it? The suspense fueled anxiety magnified by social distancing. When we need each other the most we must be apart. Making the crisis individualized, attacking our senses through the lens of our basic needs and insecurities. It’s the not knowing, isn’t it? Never knowing what’s going to happen next. The empty streets and end of the world gasoline prices, empty shelves and augmented store hours. There’s no joy in Mudville only a determination to grit our teeth and get on with it because we have no other choice.

The shrinking political sphere of Cheeto and men. And now, put your hands together for Joe Biden, live from a room at his house! What’s a candidate to do? The Cheeto is immunized from political attack by patriotism’s restraint, but the Cheeto has shrunk as well, from howling orange Fuhrer to President Gilligan proved wrong by the professor at every turn. He’s made for the big stage and bright lights, roaring crowds and distance shots and doesn’t do well with details and up-close scrutiny. The more he talks the more he should shut up. Nonstop happy talk smothered in irrelevant facts and bullshit.

Did you know? The stock market’s recent rise is the fastest since 1931. A fact that says more about its time than its timing. The rules of gravity are suspended up is no longer good. A patient whose heart rate goes from seventy beats a minute to two hundred beats per minute isn’t a picture of health. The market is stunned by a pole ax to the forehead. They don’t know either. Their graphs and statistics are out the window the gears and mechanisms of the machine, all that they depended on lay cracked and broken  in the oil pan.

Like Apollo 13, no one could have predicted all these failures at once and during an during election year to boot. Not that the Cheetos failure wasn’t predicted, even Vegas wouldn’t take your money on that bet. For the better part of his term, his problems were all self-inflicted. He could have skated, if he could have learned to shut his yap. He could have been this century’s Calvin Coolidge. The business of America is business, the noble ambitions of plain paper Capitalism raising all boats silhouetted against the backdrop of the ghettos, coal mines and sharecroppers.  Silence is golden envy is green and lunacy is orange.

The Cheeto withdrew his offer to buy oil for the strategic reserve yesterday meaning oil prices will continue to stumble, adding a rook’s gambit to three-dimensional chess. Oil prices pressuring the market and the fall of the market pressuring the banks. They don’t let you lose money in this country for free you know. Anyone want to buy some oil futures at forty-eight dollars a barrel? They are out their ticking like a time bomb like Confederate bonds. The oil spicket runs filling every old tanker hull that will tread water until the oil Zombie apocalypse. When the tankers are full and the tank farms bulge in a worldwide financial crisis the oil will become literally worthless.

Becoming Reichsmarks from the Weimar Republic the reason Roosevelt ordered crops burned. The market had shrunk by half, the glut of commodities were not worth shipping. It gets expensive losing money on every order. From convenience stores to corporate board rooms, the reality is brutal but fluid. What will the world look like next month and now they’re talking waves of virus? Seasonal events like Mother’s Day. It’s the not knowing isn’t it?

My father told me, when Roosevelt said, “This generation has a rendezvous with destiny” That as a twenty-year-old man he knew what that meant. It meant uncertainty, it meant 1-A in the draft, it meant am I going to get killed here?  9-11 was one day, JFK’s assassination was just one man puncturing our sense of security. If someone can murder the President and get away with it? Who are you Bubba? If someone can fly airplanes into office buildings, where are you safe Bubba?

Our trauma is ongoing displacing any sense of normalcy. I’m working from home, but many of my customers are closed. How long will they remain closed? I don’t know. How long will the customers that are working continue to work? I don’t know. The questions that burn with time on our hands. Stir crazy in the world of nobody knows. Orange clown reality shows destined for replacement in the fall. Maybe, I hope, but I don’t know anything for sure anymore, not even the last time I rested comfortably in the presence of another person.

I wish I had a hobo’s fatalism of today is today and tomorrow can take care of itself. As long as they don’t kill you, you’ve won. The suns still warm on your back and the birds still sing outside your window. The sun only goes down to give you a new day and life each morning. A chance to put yesterday behind us and to start new lives. The conjoined twins of solitude and uncertainty conspire against us with mental weapons which we turn on ourselves.

“At two o’clock in the morning, if you open your window and listen,
You will hear the feet of the wind that is going to call the sun.
And the trees in the shadow rustle and the trees in the moonlight glisten,
And though it is deep, dark night, you feel that the night is done.”
― Rudyard Kipling

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