covid-19 sci-fi: back to the land

it was exactly 4 years ago that trump’s adminstration fell to a coup. he had so incensed his base by botching the coronavirus pandemic that they overthrew him. it was actually kind of funny to watch.

well, funny minus all the death.

covid-19 was the straw that broke the back of the american camel… or experiment… or something. america has been pretty fucked from day one so it was only a matter of time.

i remember being on video calls and the phone for SO many hours that spring and summer of 2020. zoom stock skyrocketed then plummeted. we tried to do everything online and then we wanted to do nothing online (which was great timing because all the fighting of big oil we’d done was really taking a toll on the energy grid - which makes sense because we had been using completely unrealistic amounts of energy for centuries).

i remember one week, somewhere around the middle of may that i’d had three pretty unreal conversations. one about land acknowledgements on video calls and two others that surfaced the same insight: one of the pandemic gifts was an immediate relocalization of almost everyone’s attention. because we were all grounded (well, except for the airlines that had to keep flying empty planes to get their trump bailout money), everyone got WAY more familiar with their physical contexts.

of course, some folks stayed inside (including the ones who had to). other folks, myself included, got real intimate with our surroundings. i watched the spring unfold, morning coffee walk after morning coffee walk.

as i got to know the land, i realized how little i had known all other land i’d lived on before. over the course of the summer, i got to know our neighbors so well that the two adjacent buildings and ours decided to pull out our fences. we bartered with a friend of mine to permaculture the yards as a single plot. we were aiming for the whole block but it was still a good start given that pandemic was still only three months in (remember when people thought “reopening the economy” was a good idea?!?! wild).

as our three buildings grew closer, we realized just how little t.v. we needed. we told each other all the stories we knew and then we told all the stories our parents knew. around the time we started telling each other all the stories of our grandparents, we also began telling made up stories of the future. of course, since our block had gotten that headstart, we won the block-by-block neighborhood storytelling contests year after year.

we also dug into the history of our neighborhood and learned about it’s original theft. at the end of that summer was the first time we reconnected with a descendant of people who had tended this land before englishmen arrived. and we never would have guessed what we were about to get ourselves into…

words / writing / post-processing
318w / 11min / 4min