kRIS Krankle / guest columnist
founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women
I’m not sure I can survive this. Not the fact that I’m turning sixty in three months, because I’ve already come to terms with my joints aching, my eyesight failing, and my skin taking on a Mother Teresa look. That’s not the problem.
It’s the pandemic, and the fact that almost my entire family – two of my three kids, a minor bird, my wife, her mother, her mother’s sister, and some freaking aunt I never met who showed up for our one-week family reunion – the fact that the whole lot of them is living with me instead of at a Motel Six where they belong. It’s making me crazy.
I’m exhausted … it’s now been a day and a half. We’re all quarantined in our house, sort of like Netflix except you’re the plot. The aunt is too old to fly home. Same for my mother-in-law and her sister. Apparently, our hipster son brought home the virus in his beard.
Meanwhile, the wife is telling me – “It’s up to you – you can look at this as either a comedy or a drama”. She’s smarter than I am, so I usually don’t get what she’s saying.
For me, the only good thing about being quarantined among seven people and only three bedrooms is that with my hearing having gone south, I can’t understand half of what’s being said.
And if I want my kids to leave the room, I just start talking about my own childhood and having to walk two miles to school with no feet.
It’s nothing personal. I love my family, I do. Sometimes I even like them. But let me make this clear – as far as living with seven people goes – any seven people – I don’t care if you’re Jesus with six strippers, I need my space.
I think I’m going to kill myself.
The falling stock market, the sleepless nights, not being able to eat out, watching politicians pontificating their way through the funny house of their self-serving quest to be reelected … and then this self-quarantine with my family for two weeks! No way.
And on top of all that, as if someone stole the clothes off my body and then came back for my underwear, there’s no freaking sports on television!
- No sports. Freaking anywhere.
- What am I supposed to do? That part is cruel.
I try to get out of the house, but when I walk down the street, I feel like I’m in this parallel world of people inside their separate transparent bubbles practicing social distance, an odd existence at best. But my M.I.L.D.E.W. therapist reminds me, who am I kidding? I’ve been practicing social distancing for years now. Almost a decade actually.
I’ve never had a cellphone … since my early fifties I’ve eliminated anyone in my life who doesn’t ask questions about me after talking about themselves … and when I go to The Brewhouse, I sit wherever I can be alone.
So, does life allow me to be alone or socially distant in this pandemic? Of course not. I have to spend two weeks with half of the known gossiping world camped in my living room.
The historical meaning of asylum is a refuge or sanctuary … like the hunchback of Notre Dame who was granted asylum within the walls of the church.
In many ways, my garage has been my asylum – I have my tools and my cable in there, and I watch ESPN until I’m ready to go to bed. But now, two of my kids are sleeping in the garage and all they do is binge on Amazon Prime movies, drink diet soda, and eat potato chips.
- I think they have a skunk in there too.
- One who apparently smokes.
When I take into account how many women are roaming throughout my house, there’s no doubt that the concept of asylum and its original lure has evolved into a matter of being quarantined in a mental institution
… isn’t that what an asylum used to mean? You know, like major bin material? Which brings up a point – why do immigrants want asylum in the asylum our president has created?
Not that I’m anti-immigration, but why the hell would they want to come here and kiss ass to a two-class society?
So look, I have this sense there are plenty of other men out there who feel the same way that I do. We’re not pretty boys. We don’t flirt with the economy. We don’t have money to invest.
And besides, duh, 99% of the world’s population are bottom-feeders in an ongoing global economic puppet show doing its dance on some ice float of survival. The picture ain’t pretty, my friends.
Have a good day.