The holidaze

It’s time for people to act stoopit. It’s the winter holiday season, which is truly a holley daze. It’s different this year, though, what with COVID and all. Not sure how many people will be putting a pack of masks under the tree, though. When I was a kid, there was always the cadre of aunt and great-aunts who always gifted underwear or socks for Christmas. Except for that one great-aunt who gave me that medieval battle set with a working catapult; my favorite gift of all time.

Anyway, it’s a weird time for a lot of people, myself included. It’s been a little odd for me since my mother died. We had traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas, even before I had moved away from home. Until she died, I had never in my life missed spending a Thanksgiving or Christmas with my mother. Even when things were tense between us, even when I had a hangover and had to throw up in the restuarant bathroom, we were somehow together on those days. The loss is palpable more than three years after her death; it may always be.

Christmas was always my favorite, because my birthday was so close to it. Everyone was well trained to not attempt the “one big present for Christmas AND your birthday”. I did not play that for as long as I can remember. They were accustomed to my willfulness, from the beginning – I was supposed to come on or before Christmas, but I didn’t show up. The next logical estimate for delivery was January 1st, but I didn’t come then either. I came in between, on the 29th, and that’s the facts, Jack. I did it my way, and it was a rough ride, so don’t be tryin’ to combine gift events.

My sobriety anniversary is also in December, on the 7th, and that is certainly a day that shall live in infamy. For a few months I thought the day I last drank was January 6th, but friends who were in my orbit that night said it was the 7th 33 years ago, so there you have it. The free world thanks me.

This is going to be a holiday period of contemplation and reflection for me, I think. I have been on the job hunt again, and a friend in recovery helped me redesign my resume’. I put this new one out there in the online search engines, and it looks as though I had a little interest. I am waiting on a recruiter for a company to schedule an interview for me with the IT hiring manager. He said it would probably be after the first of the year, so I’m OK with that.

I’m OK with waiting on the interview, but of course that gives me a lot of time to go into the usual self-doubt territory. They will know I can’t do the job as soon as I open my mouth, I surmise. They will see me as being too old and want more details about why I departed my last job. I will stick my foot in my mouth. Specific technical questions will be asked that I cannot answer. And so on, and so on, and so fucking on. That makes me really tired.

Right now, I am taking self-doubt as just a part of how I roll, just a small piece of who I am. It seems that I need to accept that and drive on. That seems to be working reasonably well, until the sun goes down and the night is dark and I have solitary time on my hands. I’m not sleeping incredibly well, but more days than not I wake up feeling as though I actually slept. I think my average is five-six hours, and that’s much better than two or three hour naps in sequence.

I’ve been having odd dreams, some of which I don’t remember days later, but I know that I’ve had them. That leads me to believe that not only do I have some things going on in my sub-conscious mind, but I am sleeping deeply enough to allow the journey. One night I dreamed that I wrecked my truck not one, not two, not three but FOUR times in succession. It was very weird. I was told long ago that driving dreams or vehicular accident dreams signify issues with control. That would make sense, because right now I feel as though my life is mostly out of control. Go figure.

The whole planet is out of control, though. Kyle Rittenhouse is becoming a star of the conservative crowd since his acquittal for…I don’t even know exactly what. Suffice it to say he was not convicted for acts that resulted in the death of two people at a protest march in Kenosha WI. As with the OJ verdict many years ago, it seems there was a demographic split in folks’ reactions to the verdict. More Black/African-Americans and people of color seemed to land unequivocally on the side of doubting his innocence and convinced of his guilt. More whites seemed to land on the side of giving him the benefit of the doubt, or believing his self-defense trial strategy. And so it goes. The twain may never meet.

The trial of Kim Potter, the former police officer in Minneapolis who mistook her firearm for a taser and killed Daunte Wright, has ended. The jury is showing all indications that it may be deadlocked on a verdict. Any verdict has to be unanimous, apparently, and the jurors have been wrestling with the evidence and their options for conviction. Potter herself testified, and sobbed uncontrollably during parts of her testimony. Some I’ve spoken with believe her remorse to be sincere, and give her the benefit of the doubt that a veteran officer could have confused a taser with a firearm. Others, however, are convinced her tears are disingenuous, and an obvious attempt to influence the jury. They believe she was displaying a sincere sense of remorse. Once again, the dividing line for those opposite sentiments appears to be racial, with people of color more likely to believe that she’s full of the brown stuff, while dominant culture folks are more likely to believe that she made a horrible mistake for which she is genuinely remorseful. *sigh*

I don’t believe the Rittenhouse trial should have yielded no legal consequences for him. He shouldn’t have had the gun in the first place, since when it was purchased by his mommy it was illegal for him to have it because of his age. He shouldn’t have had the gun at a public event that was likely to have confrontations and unrest. He shouldn’t have thought he was the avenging angel for unnamed businesses that were going to be looted and demolished – that was a conspiracy myth perpetrated by white supremacy groups to throw shade on their mortal enemy Black Lives Matter supporters. I don’t understand why there was absolutely no consequence for this little twerp, and yeah I do believe that if he had been a Black kid he would never have made it to trial. He was openly carrying the assault rifle he came there with, and had it been a Black person the Kenosha police would most likely have shot him dead before finding out that he was “trying to protect businesses”.

In the case of Kim Potter, I don’t quite know what to think. I would hate to find out that she acted to purposefully kill Daunte Wright. I would hate to find out that her tears were simply a good acting job. I know police incidents are generally loud, and chaotic, and disorienting. Unfortunately, if you are carrying a lethal weapon I would hope your training allowed you to maintain your faculties enough to realize that a taser does not weigh the same as a firearm. It’s hard for me to fathom that such a thing, even in the fog of combat, could happen. But the story is almost too fantastic to be summarily disbelieved. As so it goes. Again.

The cases of Kyle Rittenhouse and Kim Potter are just the latest in the slew of police-involved killings in America over the past few years. That’s where the problem really emerges, because if it was not for COVID right now, we might be in full-on hostilities on our streets. Because of COVID, people are not willing to take on a physical battle over race; they are content to die on the hill of a piece of fabric that should cover the nose and mouth. The anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers are annoying, in my book. It’s about control, and “you can’t make me do something I don’t want to do because I have rights”. This is about “I’m not eating my vegetables and I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue”. So be it, but it seems awfully silly.

I don’t care if someone else doesn’t want to mask or get the vaccine. That’s fine, but just stay the hell away from me. No, you can’t come into this place of business without a mask and/or a vaccine. No, I don’t believe your claim of medical exemption that excuses you from wearing a mask. If you were really that sensitive to risks like COVID you wouldn’t be in a public place in the first place. You’d want to stay away from people without masks more than just about anyone else, on the outside chance that all the reports about risk ARE true.

So, I’m one of those people who figures that on the outside chance the information we have about COVID is all true I’m staying home as much as I can. No big crowds, in fact no indoor gatherings with more than 10 people (like at the beginning of all this). I have been poked in the arm three separate times with the Pfizer vaccine, and consider it a small price to pay for even a hint of prevention. I still mask when indoors. I limit my time in public areas as much as possible. I consider all of those mitigation measure a choice that I am more than willing to make. I’m certainly not going to be dredging up a cough to make other people uncomfortable if I can’t get my way about not wearing a mask in a public accommodation. Grow up, y’all.

Christmas Day for me will probably be spent like my other days have been spent lately, communing with the dog and watching multiple episodes of NCIS: New Orleans. If the weather is nice, I may go for a drive in the mountains or something. If I’m smart, I’ll clean up a bit because this place now has a decorating scheme that I call “Early Crack House”. *sigh*

We’ll go on, and some of us will sputter and raise hell about going on, but it will be what it’s going to be. I’ll wait and see. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised with a job offer in January, or at least with descending rates of COVID infection. Having a job would change a lot of things for me right now, and I am so overjoyed to even have the prospect of employment. Seriously.

Happy whatever you’re having. Or not.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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