Through a varied but grindingly routine pattern of consume-then-earn, consume-then-earn, read a worrisome article about the current state of the world, anxiety-eat a loaf of brownie, then back to earning (or trying to), most respondents to a recent survey expressed satisfaction that they were doing enough to distract themselves from the stunning and exceptionally brief glimpse of the greater universe that chance (and/or powers well beyond our collective ken) have allotted to their mortal forms.
“Between bitching about the provincial government on Twitter, crunching the numbers on leasing versus buying a rideable lawn mower, and wandering IKEA in a lost daze trying to find the meatballs, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on not punching too high on the old ‘meaningful scale’,” says Jeff Rhodes, resident of a southern Ontario town currently embroiled in a divisive debate on whether the garbage should be picked up every two weeks or thirteen days.
Wilma Duncan, of Nanaimo BC, agrees. “For the last few years worrying about my rose bush and monitoring the movements of all cars on my street have proved to be nearly endless sources of diversion from thinking too much about the coming darkness. Sure I enjoy the odd sunset, and a really clear night still takes my breath away, and makes me miss my dad who used to get down on the dewy ground with me to point out constellations when I was a kid.” She tapers off for a moment, quietly running a finger over the curved handle of her mug before forcing a chuckle and finishing the thought, “But for the most part I just try to make sure my refrigerated items are still in date, and wonder if my daughter is going to call. And if that gets hard I try to focus on Alex Trebek’s moustache.”
Illustration: Kim Dong-kyu’s adaptation of ‘Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog,’ by Caspar David Friedrich