Coffee Conversations: To Live and Die in 2020
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Coffee Conversations is a segment that talks about things usually overheard in quieter moments; like when talking to a friend in a coffee shop. The subjects are loose, opinionated, and poorly researched. I promise nothing and will deliver less.
Don’t you hate it when you’re pouring the milk into the mug and you see a little blip in the smoothness of it coming out? Makes you think something weird fell out of it, but you never find anything. Ah well, it’s probably fine.
Anyway, how are you doing? Did you see what happened with the election? Madness. I can’t believe it was even that close! You would’ve thought after all that stuff from the last four years, people would wake up to Trump and how obviously clearly terrible he is as a human being, let alone a President. But at least now it’s over, fingers crossed.
I mean, it’s been stressful. Waking up everyday and checking the news to see whether Trump has decided he doesn’t like so-and-so because they didn’t sell him Greenland or calling people names like a man-child. Ugh. So it’s a relief, you know? I felt like this huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders that I didn’t even know was there, like I’d had this low-level anxiety for the last few years that was suddenly cured. It’s a great feeling.
But it also makes me rather annoyed, to tell the truth. Why do I care so much about an election in a country that isn’t even mine? Why does it have to affect my life any more than not at all? Why did I wake up in the morning and check to see what a foreign leader had planned for the day? Why do I now know the current and former members of the US Supreme Court better than I do my own? I can’t even name one judge! How many judges do we even have here?
It’s fine, it’s fine. The sun will still come up tomorrow. I can still have a cuppa in the morning and watch the trains go by my window. It just feels a little bittersweet, I suppose. To watch the rise and fall of this massive foreign drama; to have hammered home what an existential threat one man’s ego has been for the world; to have that all be over finally (please God finally); but aside from a virus that kind of buggered up everyone’s plans, nothing’s really changed for me. What about you?
I know, I know, I can only speak for myself. That’s OK. But it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Will something change for us this time? Am I going to have to keep paying attention to the American Senate to see who has a majority? Or can I go back to not paying attention to politics at all, because it’s so boring? God, I miss boring politics. I miss not working myself up over stuff I have no direct influence over. I miss getting on with my own stuff without this Sword of Damocles over my head. Or, I guess, one less sword. Climate change and coronavirus are still there. Unemployment. Debt. That ubiquitous Millennial cynicism and general exhaustion. When you lay it out like that it looks more like the Chandelier of Swords of Damocles over my head, except at least “imminent destruction at the hands of a sociopath” has had a few more strings supporting the hilt. Oh by the way, did you know 2020 is the year of the rat? How did we not see this pandemic coming?
Still, could be worse. At least now there’s some space to breathe before the next terrible thing happens. I think that’s something else that was a nice surprise: some good news. This year has been so rotten I almost forgot what it was like to hear some genuinely good news, un-soured (as of yet) by any caveats or asterisks. It’s not good* news, it’s just good news, and I think we could all use a little good news at the moment, regardless of where it comes from. Just for the sake of our sanity. What a depressing bloody year, right?
Anyway, enough doom and gloom. I think that’ll be what everyone says after they find a vaccine for coronavirus. You know, there’s so much shit going on at the moment it’s hard to look in any direction and not find something to be depressed about. It's like Alice in Wonderland except Alice just keeps encountering a series of increasingly more hopeless circumstances (I could actually totally see Trump as the Queen of Hearts now that I think about it). That’s why I haven’t been looking too far in any direction. This cup of tea and the sound of trains is the only constant in my life I can rely on to not be disappointing. Except this time because I put too much milk in. I guess you can never take your happiness for granted. All the more reason to enjoy things while you can.