guy walks into a psychiatrist’s officePosted: September 13, 2021
He says Doc, you gotta help me. I’m in a funk. I was shaken by witnessing the compounding drought and fire catastrophe across California. The very forest is unhealthy, the trees are shriveled and dead, there is fire on an almost unfathomable scale and there’s more to come. The streets of the hollowed out towns are full of twitchy, upsetting people in distress, scary to encounter and no doubt themselves caught up in a living nightmare. In my own home town, there are ragged tent encampments all over the place, it makes your heart sink to see them, things are not going in the right direction.
Doc says go on.
Not only that, the guy says, but my wonderful mom just died. She was brave about it but she had so much more living to do. Now the voice that meant love to me since I was born is gone forever, it’s a hole, a rip in the fabric that will never be repaired.
Doc says uh-huh.
Human relations seem warped, the guy says, maybe permanently. Everyone’s beaten down and disoriented by interacting through screens. I hear defeat in the voices of people I once knew to be great boosters and enthusiasts. “Meetings” feel like some elaborate form of pretend no one has the energy for anymore. “What are we even doing?” is like a mantra, I keep hearing it. There’s alienation and directionless anger everywhere.
Right, says the Doc, I see.
I don’t want to be a Whiny Winston, Doc. In many ways I’m absurdly blessed, returning to gratitude is always a good idea. It’s not my nature to be a downer. Ever since I was a kid the people I love have relied on me for cheer and laughter and uplift. But honesty is important too. I look around, and what I see everywhere is dis-ease. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to turn.
Doc says, you’re in luck. I’ve got the solution. There’s this great blog called Helytimes. The guy who runs it wrote all these funny books and worked on these funny TV shows, he has a couple funny podcasts, he’s terrific. On the blog he finds wonderful art and interesting stories, the funny, the strange, the curious, just the other day he had one about Sienese painting, it was great. You’re gonna love it. It’ll cheer you right up to know there’s a guy like this out there.
Guy says, ok, thanks Doc, I’ll check it out.