A vicious cycle: Stuck in isolation . . . stuck in your head

A parable of a life in the one per cent.

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Curdled milk sits in the breakfast bowl, remnants of yesterday’s dinner. It’s raining again today. You load the clothes into the dryer and turn on the news, searching for some semblance of normal. The monotone warnings and humdrum rhythms bring strange comfort, wordless lyrics to life’s repetitive tune.

Ba dum.

“Key federal ministers deny the PM’s push for a global COVID-19 inquiry . . . ba dum, ba dum . . . tensions between Australia and China increase . . . ba dum . . . violence escalates in the US capital, tear gas and rubber bullets . . . ba dum, ba dum . . .”

The whitewash thudding drowns out the sounds of unfolding chaos. You stare at the clothes, round and round they go, a quiet merry-go-round oblivious to the anarchic theme park, Earth. Ba dum, ba dum. Round and round and round, like your revolving thoughts.

You knew this would happen; that society’s foundations would crumble, that Babylon would fall.

“Domestic violence incidents are on the rise as people are unable to leave their homes. Ba dum. A son greets his elderly father through the window, heartbroken by his blank stare. Ba dum. A young doctor contracted it last week, now two young boys face adoption.“

Ba dum, ba dum.

It doesn’t feel real. Like a fat blowfly on the screen of a horror movie, you can’t comprehend it all. So you self-soothe in silence, gorging yourself on “God’s blessings” and life’s luxuries, glad it’s not you.

Bottomless drawers of trackpants, bottomless bags of potato chips, weekly screen time overdose reports, all signs of life in the one per cent. KPIs and weekly progress updates, those once-looming yardsticks of self-worth, are now bent by the time warp. At first, life was cocoa cereal for every meal. Now, it’s curdled in your stomach, sweet turned sour.

Lord, wake me up! Put new oil in my lamp! you half-heartedly ask while watching videos of celebrities, cakes and comedy. Set my heart on fire! you plead, trying to rid yourself from the guilt of the binge. Your Bible gathers dust on the shelf.

As you watch the clothes dance round and round you remember the words of the teacher, “Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). You’ve spent years buckled into the merry-go-round by temptation, luxury and possessions, enjoying the bright lights and loud music . . . maybe it’s time to get off.

Ba dum. Ba dum. Beeeep.