China, the brown-field industrial park of the world where vermilion red awnings turn grey within the hour as ministries stacked upon ministries suckle the concrete teats of utopium reactors that fuel the eternal leap forward has, perhaps unsurprisingly, added yet another aerosol to its airborne charge: a so-called ‘novel’ coronavirus.
Woke up feeling sick today.
Can’t remember the last time I felt sick.
Not to sound extravagant, but being sick when I can’t remember the last time I was sick has had the strange effect of making me feel a little more human, which I say ironically, of course. In the last month I’ve hardly left the apartment due to a prolonged detente in my work schedule, so I can’t figure out where I encountered this virus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting it was made in China. But, it is a cold of some kind, hailing from somewhere in this unrelenting world.
A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe, “the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”
Stephen Crane wrote that bit of dialogue. He also wrote the Red Badge of Courage which is all about the insignificance of human life. It has to be because throughout his ‘great american novel’ on the Civil War he keeps returning to the sun, describing it as it rises each day over corpse-strewn battlefields like nothing special has happened… “It was surprising that Nature had gone on with her golden process in the midst of so much devilment,” he writes at the end of chapter V.
I haven’t had the urge to write in quite a while but I took some Sudafed for the congestion and, well, here I am.
This morning while remembering the old bottle of Sudafed sitting on the top shelf of my kitchen cupboard, I found myself perking up merely at the thought of ingesting its active ingredient, psuedoephedrine, which is derived from the Ephedra plant–a plant that grows abundantly in the wilds of northern China.
Perhaps China has offered me both the sickness and the cure.
I hope they didn’t build any of their utopium reactors near any fault lines like the Americans did.
Not that it matters.