“It’ll be okay,” people say. They come from all corners, the left, the right, in-between.
We adapt quickly, forgetting how it felt before, a month ago, a year ago, last decade. I remember 2006 only with benchmarks. Kuwait. Visa runs to Bahrain, to Sinai. Selling an apartment in Jersey City.
It’ll be okay, because we adapt and continue, no matter how not-okay things become. Even in Mosul, people continue to exist. Even in Aleppo, people laugh as well as cry.
And tonight, I was sick of chasing fruit flies in my apartment, so I went to a coffee shop, stopped at the supermarket, saw the Indian woman who threads eyebrows for seven dollars, and walked along Hollywood Boulevard, thinking about how “okay” is just getting up every day with food, water, and power. Will we interrupt our migrant-worker food chain, bomb people for no clear reason, incite hatred, cut taxes on billionaires and the filthy-rich?
Will we mobilize?
Or will we adapt and not notice when redistricting gets a little worse, similar to how we do little as the environment changes incrementally?
We’ll keep calling Senators, writing the mayor, and posting links about how easy humans are to hack. We’ll march on Washington, we’ll march on New York, we’ll march on MacArthur Park until no one ever talks about cake in the rain ever again. Some of us will quietly check the expiration dates on our passports, look at multiple routes to Mexico, to Canada, to Terminal Island.
We’ll keep working, making our rent and mortgage payments, getting haircuts, shopping for jeans that don’t make a muffin top, and trying to eat more vegetables in case Rome doesn’t burn. But it will be, in the end, okay, simply because we will adapt to whatever reality we get, whether it is the same as now or as bad as our favorite apocalypse movie.
Because that’s what humans do.
On Hollywood Boulevard, I thought about the definition of okay as I put my feet down over the stars of Melissa Gilbert, Lowell Thomas, Eddie Albert, and celebrities long forgotten. I stopped at Alex Trebek and looked up at sunset over Los Angeles.
Tomorrow could bring anything. Let’s hope for a bit of luck, and keep mobilizing, doing all these little things, being the fruit flies in the White House dining room, until we run out of ideas.