Hey, er’rybody. Today is my birthday. I’m 63, although I seem to recall from my birth certificate that fact won’t be precisely, scientifically true until around 5 this afternoon. No matter. I’m 63, and I just finished a Zoom boxing class, which is both silly and deeply appreciated. The other morning I was shadowboxing away in my basement and saw police lights flashing through the glass-block window. They’d come to confirm the death of one of my neighbors. I don’t really know these neighbors on anything other than a wave-while-walking-the-dog basis, so I’m not sure what the cause was. She had been sick, I know that much. Ultimately I guess she died of what gets us all: Time’s up.
Another neighbor, who I really don’t know because she doesn’t wave, lost her father to Covid a few weeks back. (How do I know this? How else? Facebook.) So when I say my Zoom class is both silly and appreciated, it’s because it feels dumb to punch at nothing alone in my basement with a trainer telling me to correct my head position, but I’m very glad to be able to do it because: Consider the alternative.
My birthday always falls around Thanksgiving, which meant pumpkin pie for birthday cake in the past and in recent years, considerations like the above.
This has been a hard year, easier for some (which includes us), much worse for many others, devastating for still others. It’s important to be grateful for what you have, to share if you can, to take a moment to consider the alternative. And we have a lot to be thankful for this year, both personal and on the wider stage. We’ve rid the country of Trump is the big one. Obviously, Trumpism will endure, but he’ll no longer be able to command — not just draw, but command — the attention of the world. Many will continue to do so, but it’s like the ending of “A Face in the Crowd.” And yeah, we’ll have his demon spawn to deal with, but their power will be similarly diminished. There’s some punishing chemo to follow, but the biggest tumor has been taken to the incinerator.
There’s a Covid vaccine coming, that’s even better news. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be more than we have now. Life will return to something that resembles normality. We’ll be able to travel again, eat in restaurants again, maybe even hug one another. That’s something.
You have something in your life to be grateful for, some blessing to count. Count it tomorrow. Or today. Your call.
Me, I’m taking the rest of the week off. I’ll wear my birthstone jewelry. And I’ll have a very small Thanksgiving, with two friends who’ve already had Covid and been medically cleared. Alan has to work. We’ll bring him a plate.
If you haven’t had your fill already, here’s the big Politico tick-tock on the Michigan election drama. At least one better-sourced political reporter is pointing out that a couple of bad guys are obvious sources for it, and that the underground river running through it is the split between crazy and non-crazy Michigan Republicans, so be advised.
I now will accept your birthday tributes. The line forms to the left, with appropriate social distancing.