By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
There’s panic on the streets of Bellefonte, panic on the streets of Lancaster, I wonder to myself, could life ever be sane again? Barely two weeks into Pennsylvania’s largely mandatory shutdown and I’m already paraphrasing lyrics from vintage Smiths songs. I can’t deny to anyone, much less myself, that I’m not handling this shit particularly well. Quite frankly, I’m losing my proverbial shit. Flipping out on fucking trashcans and stalking the halls like Jack Torrance in lipstick, dragging an ax called ‘Nervous Breakdown’ behind me. I’d say I’m just a few loose screws away from chopping my family up into three neat stacks and hammering out “All business and no play make Nicky a dull girl” for volume three of this fucking thing. I’m an agoraphobic for shit’s sake. How the Christ did I do this for six years straight without committing a single homicide? I had sixty minutes with my shrink over the goddamn phone this week and she stopped my yammering no more than three times to ask me if I was suicidal. So, yeah, dearest motherfuckers, I’m not exactly doing well. At least I’m not alone.
This whole damn country is a fucking madhouse. It’s like dropping the razor blade and realizing, covered in blood and teeming with childhood trauma, that somehow, by the grace of Beelzebub, you’re the sanest motherfucker in the room. The entire country seems to be divided into two equally deranged bipolar camps of hysteria; People who take this virus way too goddamn seriously and people who don’t take it nearly seriously enough. You’re either jacking off to 28 Days Later in a hazmat suit or you’re hitting Rehoboth Beach with the bros for heavy petting and butt-chugging. Sometimes I feel fairly certain that I’m the only one caught somewhere between the two.
While every 25/8 news circus from CNN to ESPN7 is filling the atmosphere with a toxic fog of worst case scenarios and wildly speculative graphs with their tsunami red curves, our shithead president waltz’s to the podium every afternoon whistling the theme to Happy Days, talking up the huge beautiful Easter we’re going to have, choking up blood while the Grim Reaper serves the ham and the Donald watches the Nasdaq pull his orange ass over the finish line to a second term. Every afternoon I wake up with that imbecile blaring at my half-senile mother on Fox News, flanked by his task force of professional adults who pat our president’s back and try like hell not to think about the fact that they’re illustrious careers have been reduced to playing the Funky Bunch to a psychotic man-child and if they fail to nail the choreography, their ass could be grass before tomorrows jamboree, replaced by Dr. Oz or Ralph Macchio.