No School

They are closing down the schools again, and the world is in an uproar.

Parents worry about losing their jobs, kids are worrying about losing their minds, and with good reason, since isolation and unemployment can bury a future as quickly as a life-threatening disease without a cure and an unenforceable mask mandate can, I think we can all agree on that.

I mean, I’m a bitter, social democrat hermit without a family and even I agree kids and their families aren’t feeling safe and supported. But since we’re on the subject of schools closing, it’s pretty easy to remember my snow days when I was a kid

and how many tubs of black raspberry ice cream, bags of tortilla chips, and microwave pizzas I gorged myself with while I marathon-watched movies and spooned girlfriends in my friend’s basement beside a space heater in the television-lit dark,

the face of the miniature Cyberpunk heater glowing orange in the corner like a neon bar sign.

Songs written with a guitar and sung with friends come to mind,

as does the camaraderie of stuffing a diesel with people and scooting to the nearest ski mountain for an all-day slosh fest. The point is other really good things happened and educated me on days school was cancelled.

I think this is why the idea of kids missing days in school because of COVID doesn’t feel like such a big deal to me, and in fact, just one more educational opportunity for a youngster to enjoy Life’s unexpectedness, and develop some real resilience and imagination doing the same thing every day in school isn’t going to help with,

you know the kind of resilience that borders on superhuman kindness and that keeps walking down the hall with its head down in an effort to hide its watery eyes, but every once-in-a-while looks up and laughs overeagerly at terrible jokes made by strangers, and each time says shit that was stupid under its breath,

but just loud enough for everybody in the hallway to hear, while it imagines someone noticing and coming over to walk alongside it on the way to Language Arts, who playfully looks into its eyes and says I’m so glad you’re here, then offers an almighty fist bump before waving goodbye and bouncing through a doorway into the cave-like uncertainty of a different classroom.

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