…and it’s nobody’s fault but my own.
After 2 years of doing all the right careful things as a good citizen, the allure of a solo acoustic Beck show during SXSW was too good to pass up.
I’m vaxxed and boosted. I’ve worn a mask indoors and generally avoided indoor venues/dining for the whole pandemic. My indoor restaurant count for the last two years is in the single digits, maybe even one back of my hand.
With all the protections in place, Beck felt like the right time for a return to normalcy. Embrace the science, trust the half-official, half-honor system of a “proof of vaccine or negative test” venue entry policy, and get back to the joy of live music and a night on the town. Go easy, right? Everybody’s gotta learn sometimes…
Long story outlined:
- Show was Saturday
- Felt a little rundown Tuesday night
- Sore throat kicked in Thursday afternoon; tested positive
- Blah and tired for 4ish+ days. Slept for 12 hours twice.
- At the peak, air felt “heavy” in a sort of inverse to the way it feels “thin” at altitude. (Like I sucked down a cyanide breath mint, causing heavy breathing on the phone.)
The outcome was different than I expected…
As illnesses go it wasn’t so bad. All in all it could’ve been worse, and now I guess I’m doin’ fine.
Except for captain brain fog.
How do I describe it? I’ve certainly lost some brain cells over the decades, but never to the point where I could definitively say I was smarter two months ago than I am now. Something’s wrong ’cause my mind is fading…
One morning I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the car. Sat there in the driveway pulling on the armrest and confused why the door wasn’t opening, like I was in a rental car for the first time and not my own 10+ year old Hyundai.
Another day I was riding my bicycle and heard someone playing a killer saxophone solo by the side of the road. I craned my neck to watch without slowing down and completely wiped out—somehow not realizing the likely outcome of this action.
My sense of direction has always been my kryptonite. People tell me I have a busted internal compass. Post-COVID it’s almost a ghost and already dead. I can’t get anywhere without turning on navigation aside from walking the dogs around the block. It’s like a broken engine. Yesterday I went on a coffee run—take a right and it’s on the left—and somehow took two wrong turns.
The best analogy I have is my autopilot is out of whack along with my ability to process the information in the background. With deep concentration I can usually get it back, but generally I’ve got no mind as the wise man once said. It’s a ghettochip malfunction. Or sometimes just noise while the rest of my brainwaves are buried alive.
This blog post has taken two months because I keep forgetting about it. And even when I remember, I struggle to recall the glut of Beck lyrical references I used to be able to conjure up at will. Is it all in my mind? Yes—and that’s the scary Mountain Dew Rock of it. Scarecrow‘s only scaring himself. (Big shout out to the amazing WhiskeyClone.net for jogging my memory.)
At the end of the day, this ain’t your time to go. Use a forcefield to protect your cold brains unless you want to be up all night thinking about you(r) IQ falling off a cliff while plotting scenarios for bringin’ it back, sleeplessly unable to silence them.
These are the words we use to say goodbye.