South City Confessions: Find your own good time in a Covid-stricken world

I never was a big fan of going out.

Why use all that effort, I thought? Pay for overpriced drinks, dance until you stink, and then eat B-grade food to avoid a hangover. The superficial idea of it all always alluded me, so I would do my partying at home or some friend’s house. That way, you aren’t driving or putting your life and others’ futures in danger.

Now, Covid has simply altered people’s plans, both long term and short. It has made them rethink the whole club scene. Is it worth partying for all that energy and money, and then getting the virus in the end? It’s not exactly a toss-up question. This thing is very fucking real. Please park your “wrong diagnosis” in the moronic section of your cerebellum. It’s killing people. Just because it didn’t kill as many (yet) people as the Spanish Flu, the regular flu, or drunk driving accidents doesn’t lessen its effect. It’s not a buffet parlor of outcomes to choose from. Covid is kicking 2020’s ass all around the room.

Covid is John Wick and we are a thug who doesn’t know Ju Jitsu and can’t shoot as well. Covid is Jason Bourne and we are the regular joe walking up to him to ask him for some ID. Covid is a lead actor in a shark film and we are the tenth lead who says, “I’ll be right back.” Covid is Bruce Willis in “Pulp Fiction:” seemingly unkillable and super-confident. Covid is Sigourney Weaver in any “Alien” film, and we are the creature every time.

Here’s where I am at. I don’t need to go out to have a good time. I can hang at home with my family and friends, and find the good times. Making plans to go out and run the gauntlet is always on my mind, but it’s never first. The truth is I’ve been asked by at least five friends in the past few weeks to go get a drink out somewhere. I politely respond with, “sure, I’d like that.” I would like that, but I am not doing it right now. I am not sure when I will do it. It’s not you, it’s me. More importantly, it’s Covid. What an asshole!

What I’ve figured out this summer is that one can enjoy solitude if they let it in. I don’t always need people around me to feel energized and full of life. I can exist on my own for a little while. I don’t need to go out in order to feel alive or validated. That’s right at home for me.

I have a son at home who may be more susceptible to Covid. No one truly knows. Doctors are still learning how to tame this devil. My wife’s job depends on her health. She works in home improvement and remodeling. She can’t work from home. I am close with both of my parents, who are each in their 60’s and higher risk than others. So, is it worth it to sacrifice their long-term health so I can go meet a friend at a bar, sit on the patio and try not to get bit by mosquitoes a hundred times? Is that night out worth it? Don’t think being outside protects you. It doesn’t at all. Come on, just read a little.

My answer to those questions is a resounding fuck no! Your answer may be different. All good. Everybody’s life is different and runs on a different set of rules. That’s how the world is set up. We can work as one in a task (such as voting in a new President during a pandemic), but we operate on our own.

If you choose to go out, that’s your move. I’m not judging. No one truly can or should. Choice is what it’s all about. If your life is improved by going out to socialize, that’s your way. I’m writing this to let people know where I am at. Why I tell a friend on Twitter that meeting up for a drink would be nice, but quietly understanding it’s not the right time.

Part of me would like to go to Bomber O’Brien’s and grab a late night drink and appetizer to calm the nerves after a shitty day, but I can do that at home. I’d like to go back to a big theater like AMC when they open back up, but I know it’s not safe, so I’ll keep going to my own underground theater playhouse in Galleria 6 Cinemas. 2020 is about making plans that never get fulfilled. I’m tired of feeling bad about not going out.

The truth is I really don’t want to right now. The only time I’ve spent in a restaurant is picking up takeout for myself or for strangers with a mask on. Maybe next year, I’ll sit down at a table. If we play 2020-21 right, going out and sucking in fresh outside air at a random spot will be common again. When a vaccine is made and WIDELY (not just you, rich elites) available, normalcy may return. Or perhaps it won’t. Right now, those answers aren’t out there.

I do know that my answer to the next invitation to go out, for the time being, will be no. If that loses me friends (followers even), then they were never true allies to begin with. These are the kind of years where you can find a few things out about yourself and those around your orbit. That only occurs in harsh times, and few years in my lifetime have been harsher than 2020.

I’ve used 2020 to reaffirm that I don’t need the nightlife. I never really did. It’s not useful for me. For some, it certainly is. I’ll just be over here sipping whiskey and pondering my next move, which is probably very boring, but also very safe.

Thanks for reading and not judging (yet at least),

DLB

 

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