As I’m writing this, word has come down that there is a wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. People near the fire are being asked to evacuate. Smoke from the fire is descending into Silicon Valley and making the air quality bad. The bad air hasn’t reached me in the East Bay yet, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time.
I don’t know how I’m going to muster the energy to deal with all this stuff all at once. And I’m not even, you know, actually doing anything. I’m not an essential worker. I’m not a firefighter. I’m basically just an ordinary citizen, hiding away at home, trying not to make things worse for anybody else. But it’s like a literal siege. We’re trapped inside the walls of our house, and everything on the outside of those walls is hostile and wants to kill us.
For some people, who live in dangerous parts of the world, every day of their life is like that. Not that I didn’t understand that intellectually before, but on an emotional level, I’ve lived a fortunate life. I’ve had bad days, and bad situations, but they’ve always been temporary, and I’ve never thought of them as anything other than temporary. I’ve never before experienced the exhaustion of life being one bad thing after another, constantly, with no end in sight. Even with the pandemic, I’ve sort of been able to hang on to the optimistic idea that it is temporary, that we will get over this at some point. But this fire thing, the air quality thing, again, it’s pushing me to the edge. I don’t know how much longer I can cling to these cliffs of optimism. I can feel myself letting go, contemplating the idea of letting the despair swallow me.
There’s really only one thought that’s keeping me hanging on, that makes me determined to hang on to my optimism, to not give in to despair and cynicism: the idea that becoming too exhausted to fight back is exactly what the damn fascists want, because their opponents giving up is the only way, in the end, they can win, and I will not let that motherfucker Donald Trump beat me.
I don’t care how much bullshit is thrown at me, I don’t care how many battles I lose, I don’t care how beaten down I feel, they only way they win in the end is if we give up, and I will not let that asshole win.
Speaking of being beaten down, the A’s lost to the Diamondbacks 10-1. Frankie Montas was coming back from his back strain, and although he claimed he felt good physically, for whatever the reason, he couldn’t locate any of his pitches, and he got pounded: 1 2/3 innings pitched, 9 runs allowed.
It just wasn’t his day, or the A’s day. Some days, you just get your butt kicked. It happens. Don’t give up, come back tomorrow and try again.
That is, if you’re allowed to even play tomorrow. There may be a big giant fire blowing smoke into the Oakland Coliseum making the air quality too harsh to play in. You never know. It’s been that kind of year. But you can either let it beat you down so you give up and quit, or you can choose to deal with it the best you can, and keep going until you win.