Fragmentary colossal head of a youth, 2nd century BCE | Met Museum, New York

The fragmented head of a colossal boy.

I keep thinking about this broken sculpture at the Met, the fragmented head of a colossal boy from two thousand years ago. Somehow it perfectly captures the sensation of today’s psychic shred and shear.

After watching the stock market crash and reading more coronavirus news, I went to Walgreens for a flu shot, but there’s a shortage. A woman was visibly upset in aisle six because they were out of antibacterial hand-wipes. “But when will there be more?” I’m still thinking about the look in her eyes.

A student talked about her memories of September 11. She was four years old when it happened. “I remember my mom pulling us away from the TV and taking us to Burger King,” she said. At a meeting, a woman refused to shake my hand. I admired that. Somebody whispered that so-and-so should go home because they were coughing. I spent the evening looking at images from Italy, where a soccer match was played to an empty stadium.

We’re heading into such strange days. The best advice I’ve ever received was from an old man down in New Orleans who growled like a profane Buddha: “Opinions kill motherfuckers. Experience saves lives.”

Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Constant Fear

From Black Earth | Wonder Records, 2002 | Spotify

Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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