Rendered Fat Content


"I could be that vector I've been watchful for …"

I secretly hoped that enlightenment, should it ever deign to visit me, might arrive wearing a diaphanous robe and an ethereal countenance. Certainly some of my insights have arrived like cuddly little angels, but I'm coming to a nigh-on-to certain conclusion that my enlightenment will most likely arrive with all the pomp and splendor of a horse's ass. Not to denigrate the velvety curves of the equine behind, but that particular bit of anatomy has long been more closely associated with utter foolishness than with great wisdom. I understand that Jesus, when not hoofing it himself, often rode into a new town astride an ass, a common conveyance in those times. In these more modern times, I seem to most often enter new territories as the ass itself, not astride one. A donkey's cleverness extends to almost invisibly traversing narrow trails and sometimes exhibiting serious stubbornness, but I'd never imagined that my greatest contribution to this world might be similarly cast. I prefer the narrow, rarely traveled routes and I'm coming to accept that I can be just as stubborn as any disgruntled pack animal. I exhibit what I'll label AssEptness.

For me, acceptance almost always follows a lengthy period of stubborn refusal, during the later parts of which, my heels too-well dug in, I demonstrate well enough for even me to catch just what an ass I've been.
I seem to show a certain flair for making an ass out of myself, though I'm growing ever more skilled at contrition, too, and showing a certain proclivity for feeling sorry for myself, for I can cut a sorry figure whenever I'm showcasing my AssEptness. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided just the latest backdrop for personal enlightenment. I said that I took this infection seriously, but then I hopped on a plane even though that gathering I'd planned to attend had been cancelled under a predominance of caution. Feeling fine myself, I stayed with friends, and we had a grand old time, though we refrained from our usual hugging. I drove a thousand miles back, potentially a vector every inch of the way, as The Muse pointed out yesterday when reporting that the day before I left for that trip, she'd taken a meeting with a guy who later started exhibiting tell-tale symptoms of the dreaded infection, though he could not pass muster to receive a confirming test, not seeming to be a member of any high risk class. I might have been spreading infection every inch of the way.

Returning home, I quickly stocked up the larder, explaining to myself that I'd just make quick stops, just as if I could outrun any risk I might pose to anyone around me or they to me. I sort of started thinking about hunkering in then, though I still tried to make a few last minute runs, as if the virus had a future activation date. The Muse was ordered to shelter in place for two weeks. We sent The GrandOtter into a couple of places to fetch supplies, as if her relative youth exempted her from vectorhood. We played emphatic fools for a couple of days before finally AssEmpting that we were the problem we dreaded encountering out there. If we had been exposed, we could do little but somehow survive and be certain that we infected nobody else. If we had not yet been exposed, though we'd risked a thousand opportunities, we had not escaped our responsibility to step off the freaking freeway. Acceptance came late and a little begrudgingly. If we were to be noble, we'd have to accomplish that in private, with no parades and no accolades. Our greatest contribution would have to be found in taking ourselves out of the swirling game. I'm eyeing the supermarket's delivery options.

The last week served as just the latest and potentially the greatest example of the peril I insist upon putting myself into. I'm learning, just slowly, like normal. Eight hundred and twenty-six unique page views peeked into my gyrations over the past week.

You saw me revel over
TheGreatLeveling without me really comprehending that not only kings and potentates would be brought lower.

I next moved without
Reservations through reservation country, a lovely, enlivening, and possibly foolhardy drive. I might have unwittingly infected that homeless tweaker who panhandled eight bucks and a peanut butter Cliff® bar off me in that hotel parking lot. She might have infected me. I might have put another couple of dozen at risk.

You witnessed me giving myself
AGoodTalkingWith, wherein I took good advantage of a solo drive to re-familiarize myself with the fellow who would soon enter the isolation chamber with me. No soap and also no towels again at that rural gas station where sand had fouled the gas pump's receipt printer, forcing me to stand in a slow line inside.

Returning home, I started speculating that I might have already been infected in
TheRhinoceros. I started seriously considering that this virus stuff might prove personal, but I was more focused upon FinishingUp my SmallThings Story series.

I finally seemed to start my turn toward AssEptness when I caught myself asking
NowWhat?, an exploration of where my tipping point often lies, in exasperation and rarely before.

I ended my writing week and began a fresh story series, The WhatNow? Series, with
AnotherBeginning, insisting that stories tend to end with another beginning. I live a circular existence, seemingly insisting upon endlessly repeating self-similar patterns. Here I am again. There you are again, too.

I also began a new side-gig by announcing
The First PureSchmaltz Friday video chat, which I scheduled for later this morning. We'll have to see how that goes, though I've deliberately tried to set a low bar. Let's think of it as an experiment. The historical me writing, you reading and sometimes liking and/or commenting, might hold the promise of us engaging in more two-way conversation, and I'm warmly anticipating this fresh connection into this community.

I probably should apologize for my enduring AssEptness. I could argue that at least I come by my stubborn refusals honestly, the old fashioned way. I'm semi-safely isolated now, freshly acknowledging that whenever I encounter a Big Hairy Problem, I'm usually simply encountering myself again. I am the other I fear. I have been the barriers I encountered. I could be that vector I've been watchful for, already through my door and sitting before the fire.

What Now?

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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