As previously mentioned, I recently started a new ‘toon in Stardew Valley in order to redeem myself and actually do the daunting work of rebuilding the town Community Center instead of immediately selling out to the Big Corporation. Well that’s done, and it was all very satisfying and morally uplifting and then I was bored again. So now I am going to make a huge mistake and court Elliot for marriage, because things are too dull and I need some trouble. Elliot is the town “novelist” who lives in a cabin on the beach and has hair that looks exactly like Fabio’s. His hair is pretty much his defining feature. There’s nothing else going on with Elliot. He stands on the shore a lot and stares into space, his thick mane blowing in the wind. And he’s very withholding. I bought him four really nice gifts before I even scored one heart, and when I complained to Mr. Typist about it, he just shrugged and said, “Now you know how guys feel.” Then when I tried to make small talk with Elliot in the town pub, he had the nerve to humble-brag about his hair: “It’s so long and thick that it’s always getting in my eyes. I should just cut it all off.” On top of that, apparently in order to get a proposal, I have to attend one of his book readings. He is poor marriage material and I am on the highway to hell, folks. I’ll keep you posted on how this impending fiasco plays out.
I had a validating experience the other day. I was walking to the gym when I saw out the of the corner of my eye someone who looked familiar heading towards me in the opposite direction. As he got closer, I recognized him as a guy from my gym who is always back in the weight area doing heavy lifting. He saw me and nodded and I nodded at him, and this respectful but brief interaction made me feel like I was in a secret club. He wouldn’t have recognized me if I too, wasn’t also in the weight area a lot lifting, albeit not super-heavily or skillfully. It solidified in my possibly deluded mind that I belong in the weight room and that I’ve earned respect and that I’m not seen as a cardio bunny (not to disparage cardio.) When I described this interaction to Mr. Typist, he explained that it was a bro-nod and was indeed, a sign of respect. For a moment, I was privy to the secret world of guys. It was cool.
I don’t know if it’s because of all of the masking and the COVID and the general insanity of 2020, but I cannot believe that it’s Fall already and we are solidly in the middle of October. October is my favorite month and I usually look forward to it greatly and perk up quite a bit as it approaches. This month I barely noticed. We didn’t have much of a summer in Seattle and seems like the whole year has just been one long, gray blur with a few warm days mixed in. Maybe it’s because the mask is blunting my sense of smell, but Fall does not feel crisp and clean and sharp like it always does to me. The leaves are not their usual vivid selves; they are just sort of a dull, soggy brown, and the air feels mushy and the whole atmosphere is decidedly un-Fall-like. I want a do-over. In fact, I want a do-over of the entirety of 2020, starting with the strike at my hospital in January followed immediately by the onset of the pandemic and all of the madness that followed. I feel like I am just now starting to come out of long period of shock. Maybe that’s why I’m not seeing the Fall glory. Perhaps my lenses are dulled. Perhaps my soul is blunted from the numerous blows to my psyche over the last ten months. Maybe I will go outside today without a mask and take a walk and pay close attention. Maybe then I will find my Fall.
Enjoy this little ditty as we play out the last few months of 2020, and may God help us all.