Attention Span Therapy

Recovering from the traumatic brain injury of social media

Make America Shit its Pants at all the Immigrants while simultaneously creating a strong populist movement driving an economic windfall so Great it will sweep us up in a renewed golden age to be enjoyed by all and easily forgotten again by many (particularly white folks and rich folks) when it comes time for us return to the xenophobic fever dream we can’t ever seem to quit Again.

…You see, bumper sticker slogans really aren’t my thing.

Yeah, I can see that…

Forgot how in Cincinnati everyone looks like they’re dressed to play a quick round of golf should the opportunity come up.

The guitarist’s fingers moved over the fretboard like a dancing leprechaun; in an inverse relationship with his jaw which was set, though not clenched, in concentration. And the music, oh was it grand, and it washed over us all like fairie bells, transporting us to the eternal moonlit grove where the epochal memory of having danced to songs like these is buried so deep it’s nearly evolutionary at this point. We exhibit a shared joyfulness of being alive with every animal twitching as if stung by the sudden bite of a shock of electricity, every multicellular organism whipping its flagella to a rhythm its own and not its own at the same time.

I didn’t realize until this year that Rudolph the red nose reindeer’s girlfriend’s name is Clarice, and now I just can’t get that out of my head.

I’m out of ideas, he said, After coming up with one genuinely good one, ten years back, And not remembering that it had been proceeded by so many Far worse Than the one that he was right now looking at in front of him on a napkin, and considering throwing away.

A stray, blue balloon drifts stealthily by, passing the door to my neighbor’s garage, a gash in the otherwise undifferentiated suburban landscape.

It moves fast as if seeking its target, and I do not see it for some seconds afterwards.

Then, it drifts slowly back into view, bobbing listlessly in front of the garage, as if it has forgotten the task with which it crossed with such bravado only moments before, and it is ashamed.

I wish the balloon well, as I know it’s days are numbered.

An alternate present, where the timing on stoplights is driven by a platform much like Google's targeted advertising platform, allowing the rich to auto-pay for priority. And so commuting becomes a game of following behind a rich person, slip-streaming the whale through the intersection.

In response, the rich start traveling in caravans, both because they feel unsafe, and because if they are going to be paying for 30 seconds of priority traffic time then they are going to damn well use all 30 seconds of priority traffic time.

You can tell it's a caravan because they're usually all using the same vehicle. Rows and rows of black SUVs.

In due time these, too, are compromised by traveling bands of rogue commuters, a loose coalition of Uber Eats runners, Task Rabbiteers, and the occasional person who still has to physically commute into the office. The caravan admins are won over with offers of food or bills or sex. What's a small wagon here or there in a train of 18+ vehicles? So long as the train keeps rolling.

After the big snowfall the other day, I didn't get a chance to get outside until late at night, after the kids were in bed. I bundled up with the thick mittens and wool hat and the big fleece neck gaiter I had just bought, and smoked a bit of weed in the garage on my way out. I had no destination in mind, I just needed to walk, to hear the snow crunch beneath my feet and not much else. That's the fine thing about the nights after a snowfall; everything is muffled, and far-off, while you yourself are socked away behind layers of clothing. Sometimes it feels like walking on the moon.

A man in his sweatpants steps out of one of the houses with a shovel and starts to dig his way from his front door to the sidewalk. I know him by sight, but we've never spoken. It is cold enough that I have to bury my nose in the fleece of the neck gaiter to keep it from freezing. I remark to myself how long away San Francisco feels, but I am glad to be out tonight and there is no love lost on my new frozen home. I do wish there was more density, and more places to walk to, a bar I could easily stumble in for a round, or a pizza shop selling slices, while the warm doughy scent would be enough for me tonight. I do wish it was easier to escape the rows and rows of houses. I yearn for the warm nights and my bicycle. I settle for this and crunch away to cut through the park before I turn home.

Me (gesticulating wildly at the TV): What the fuck is a forensic gynecologist? Her (drily): That says genealogist. Her: But, yeah, weird…

That point in the night when the spooky sounds dot mp3 is superseded by my two children fighting before bedtime.