To say that this has been a historic year is an understatement. Pandemic, civil unrest, racial injustice, corruption, and all before Biden and Harris won the election. When written about, and especially because of the pandemic, this year will play out as a study in catastrophe and rebound, and catastrophe again, and then a little hope towards the end. Regardless of how it’s written, it will be portrayed as momentous no matter the clothes it wears. And so, when I think back on this year, I go through all of the important historic events in my mind. I think about in the far-future when my grandchildren ask me, “Grandpa Chipp,” I should tell you that I’ll insist upon that name, Grandpa Chipp. They’ll ask, “Grandpa Chipp, in the great pandemic of 2020 that wiped out millions and sent the world into turmoil, where were you? How did you make it through such strife?”
And I’ll say, “My adequate grand-spawn, I was nowhere doing nothing. I remained at home and wore the same basic outfit for well over a year. I went through cycles of eating too much, dieting, drinking, going dry, and phases of immense productivity and extreme creative apathy. But how did I survive, oh wretched seed of my seed? I played with a dog.”
My pandemic stories and memories are so inconsequential and devoid of plot. I’m so thankful for that. An uneventful pandemic is the best thing a person could ask for. I graduated, landed a job starting in June 2021, wrote a ton, got back into music, and raised a puppy – all from my chair here. About a week ago someone remarked that I have scratches on my face, and I replied that I hadn’t noticed. It was then that I realized I hadn’t looked in the mirror for quite some time. When I did finally remember to look in the mirror the following morning, it was true, I had scratches on a few separate areas of my face – I didn’t even know or care. The scratches were from the puppy, I assure you. I go through phases of shaving my head and trimming my beard regularly, or letting it go for far too long. I found it important to wear jeans and not pajamas, sweats, or shorts all day. It makes me feel better, like an adult.
I learned a lot about myself, and did a lot of thinking and reflection. I helped raise a lovely puppy, Jango, and he’s made the year immeasurably better, so much so that I forget anything is wrong – this is gross privilege. But when I think back to every historic moment and do the “where was I on that fateful day” inventory, I find that every answer without fail is “nowhere.” This is a blessing, and a shameful admission of inaction and apathy. I remember some of what I did, but it’s all a blur and time proved irrelevant.
I’m grateful for that, but I should’ve done more.