A Prayer for Something Better

Something small falls out of your mouth and we laugh.
A prayer for something better, a prayer for something better.

Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot! Seriously, WTAF??! This is my final earworm of 2020. Earworm? A song-clip, running on loop, invading my brain. I don’t conjure these up, I don’t put in a bid or request them from the music repository in the back of my mind. They just happen, naturally. Randomly? Doubtful, I’m sure my subconscious jumps into the game. 

This lyric is from One Hundred Years by the Cure. It’s on their album Pornography–my favorite Cure album, but I don’t listen to it anymore. It reminds me of my mother. Not the good stuff, just her death. Every time I hear it, it bums me out. 

The absurdity of the first line appeals to me. It reminds me of the most innocent of times. Hanging out after school with friends, stoned, no cares except maybe my algebra test and whether Clare Dominici considered me a loser. It’s the second line, a prayer for something better, that works as my 2020 year-end wish.

I just read an article: Was 2020 the Worst Year Ever? No, according to the article, that honor goes to 1348 (the Black Death); or 1944 (the Holocaust); or 1816 (the year without summer). This article actually ranked 2001 (9/11) as worse than 2020. I reject this. September 11 felt so horrible because it was abrupt. The slow-motion coronavirus explosion played out over such a long period that we became unfazed by death. In the waning days of 2020, every day is September 11. The fact that this doesn’t feel worse than 9/11 is more proof of how bad it is. No not the worst year ever, but pretty rough. And Dawn Wells, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, was something of a parting slap.

I already feel bad for 2021. Such HYPE! No year could live up to this expectation. Possibly 2021 will be better than 2020, maybe, but it’s still gonna suck. Despite the vaccine, the US will see hundreds of thousands of Covid deaths. After Biden takes the reigns, the country will still be split in half. We’ll hear about election fraud well beyond the end of next year. Come summer, the western US will burn. Come fall, hurricanes will line up in the Atlantic. Unemployment, evictions, homelessness, poverty, right-wing terrorism, police killings—these problems aren’t going anywhere.

A prayer for something better: It’s time for a reboot. One of my favorite scenes in literature bings Ebenezer Scrooge together with his former business partner Jacob Marley. Laden with a heavy metal chain forged throughout his life, link by link, by committing acts of selfishness, Marley sums up our only possible successful future with his self-admonishment:

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business.”

The United States is diseased. The Coronavirus should have brought the nation together in a fight for common welfare. It didn’t. It sowed division. Safety versus liberty. Black lives versus law enforcement. Capitalism versus the environment. My prayer for something better, my hope for 2021 is for the whole nation to take a step back, acknowledge the suffering in our society, and start—baby steps are fine—start working towards benevolence, charity and the common welfare of mankind.

Happy New Year. Possibly, this is the start of a long road towards recovery. Every journey begins with a step. Listen to One Hundred Years by the Cure. Or don’t, it’s a super depressing song.

It reminds me of my mom. Not the good stuff, just her death.

19 thoughts on “A Prayer for Something Better

  1. I agree about this year being worse than 2001. We lose the same number of people we lost in the terrorist attack EVERY DAY this month. I do have high hopes for 2021, though. That prayer for something better is something we all can relate to. Happy New Year!

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    • I was really curious about the ‘year without summer’. I had forgotten about that and I never thought it was THAT big a deal. I’m planning on reading up about it later in part of my quest to see midnight tonight.

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  2. This year ranks 3rd or 4th for me personally. I’ve had much worse years.
    Seeing the true division in our country with the election results was depressing but not surprising. I’m glad my Older Daughter has had her 1st shot of the vaccine and is scheduled for the 2nd.
    You’re right about the west coast burning. California burns every year. Not quite as bad as this year, and I dont recall it ever being so far north… but that’s climate change.
    I’m doing what I can to spread kindness, respect and tolerance but I think I’m preaching to the choir most of the time.

    Happy New Year! and thanks for the giggle. I hadn’t seen that picture before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I had a lot of annoying medical issues, but 2020 was no where near the worst year for me. In some aspects it’s been practically the best. Kindness and respect are fantastic goals for the year. If only everyone followed your lead.

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  3. Happy New Year Jeff. I know not everything, or even most things, are going to get fixed, but I think next year can only get better thanks to vaccines and the change of presidency. It can’t possibly get worse anyway (famous last words).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I spend no time at all these days on Word Press but when you’re posts show up in my email I invariably follow them through because you always have something interesting to say, some story to tell about the Life of Jeff that starts with the personal and then goes universal. I’m a big fan. And, man, are you prolific. You must be a fast writer. Happy New Year to you, too, my friend. A prayer for something better says it all.

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    • Wow, this is such a generous comment. Thank you for this gift. I’m prolific because I’m addicted to praise. It’s a good thing that I really enjoy sitting down to write. Happy new year Elizabeth.

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  5. Nice, pulling in that Cure problem you wrote about roughly a year ago, if I recall right. I like your summation and your wish. I also remember you were one of the first sources I followed who took the virus seriously. Man people should listen to you, ha?! Be well, and happy new year Jeff. Hope that injury you had on the bike is fading soon too.

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