Apologies for my long absence! I know you’ve all been pacing the floor, checking the blog, gamely trying to put on a brave face when you see week after week of stale posts and complete digital silence.
However, It’s not just the current plague which has filled me with inertia and allowed my CBS overlords to take an additional $4.99 a month so I can stream “Picard” on demand. I had another, more personal accident. You see, I broke my arm.
The best place in the world to break your arm is New York City before a pandemic, which is when and where I broke it. For starters, you don’t have to hallucinate about soft drinks, and you don’t have to chew your own arm off to make it back to civilization and medical help. Medical help is right there, just waiting for you to screw up your life for the better part of the year.
I wish I could say I had been doing something noteworthy, fun, or important when I had my accident. I wish I could say I was bungee jumping off Trump Tower to protest global climate change, or perhaps parasailing out of a helicopter in Times Square to highlight how far our standards of amusement have fallen in recent years. But I wasn’t. I was just walking, fast, uptown on 8th Avenue. My toe caught a metal plate and down I went, breaking my arm near the shoulder.
It’s good to remember how helpful people are in New York, at least when they’re not emptying the local bodegas of hand wipes. As soon as you fall, lots of people stop to help. Good Samaritans come out of the woodwork. Complete strangers helped me off with my backpack, called 911, and stopped to keep an eye on the situation. Even a homeless guy offered me his crutch, which was very kind of him.
Now, of course, the pandemic has shut the city down, and people are braining each other to buy $6 toilet paper from some guy on the corner. Broadway is dark, which I suppose counts as a tragedy. The tourists are thin on the ground, and if I were brave enough to wander the city, this would be the time to do it. Fortunately, the local Dominican restaurant is serving take-out rice, beans, and pollo. The grocery stores are open, and Capsule is delivering.
In these strange and uncertain times, I’ve learned some powerful lessons.
First lesson: Don’t Break Your Bones
Have any of you ever broken a bone? Well, don’t. It hurts, a lot. I’m sure Covid 19 is horrible, but it can’t have the same level of pain as breaking a bone. Of course, with broken bones (and not, I think, with Covid), you get morphine. Morphine is great. You stop feeling pain, angst, or any sort of human emotion beyond total bliss. Once you have glimpsed Nirvana, they stop giving you the morphine because, you know, Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Second Lesson: Take the meds
After the morphine wears off, you’ll need the oxycontin, the oxycodone, the codeine you smuggled out of Canada, and whatever other drugs you can get your hands on if you broke your bone. If you’re coughing with a fever, get the over-the-counter stuff. If you’re the worried well, try some Valium or Xanax. Take the meds and rest. In New York, you can still get anything delivered to your door (note to self – is that still true about toilet paper?). Take advantage of that.
Lesson 3: Whine
For any sort of ailment, you’ll be very very unhappy. With a broken arm, you’ll be wearing a sling, sleeping in a chair, and eyeing the “sock-assist-deluxe” like you’re 92. With Covid, you’ll be miserable and coughing and your neighbors will hear you and ring your bell bearing pitchforks and torches. Even if it’s just allergies.
Now is the time to call in your chips and whine. Whinging, crying, whining, and a hefty dose of self-pity are all in order. Don’t let other people tell you to buck up because you’re not the only one who ever broke a bone or got sick or had a problem or felt pain. They’re wrong…you are! Show it.
Lesson 4: Abandon the Niceties
Do you enjoy wearing a bra? I know I don’t. And who needs to in these times? The growth of bodily hair is a phenomenon natural to all genders, and do you really want to experience razor burn on top of everything else? Why are you doing weight-watcher points and standing on a scale? This is the end of the world, folks! Wear your underwear inside out and eat that chocolate dipped in mayo!
Lesson 5: Bob makes it better
Once you’re on meds and relaxing bra-less in your comfy chair, you can’t just stare at the wall. Well, you can if you’re still on morphine, but not on the over-the-counter stuff. Now’s the time to stream Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting. You’ll forget you’re in New York or anywhere else on Planet Earth except in Bob’s Happy Place. Towering mountains with trees growing in friendly pairs, the sunlight gleaming on every other branch. Snow-capped peaks and rugged cliffs with a cascading waterfall that flows gently beside a green meadow dotted with flowers. No mud, no mosquitos, no ants, no rabid bats, no broken bones, no pandemic killing 2 percent of the population, no grammar, no reality. It’s perfect.
Lesson 6: Let’s look at the facts
Yes, I know this is no joke. But at least it’s not tuberculosis. Take a look at my new favorite stats page, Information is Beautiful.
Scroll down to “average disease deaths per day worldwide” at the bottom, updated daily. And remember that car accidents kill on average 100 people per day in the US, and 3000 people per day worldwide.
If that doesn’t cheer you up, nothing will.