My grandfather was the most cheerful man on Earth,
Until he wasn’t.
Often, the transition from curmudgeon to cute was quick.
But on other days, Leonard Cohen really lingered with “Everybody Knows” and we’d have to go hours before the cynic made way for “I Want It All” by Queen.
I, for one, do want it all.
But the funny truth in Cohen’s words gnaw at me like never before.
If my grandfather was around, he would take me for a walk and tell me to stop being so cynical so young.
And all through that walk, in-between wisdom shared and some taken, he’d unwittingly be whistling,
“Everybody got this broken feeling,
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets…
Everybody knows…”
The walk is a bit lonesome these days.
The war isn’t over in so many places.
There are good guys losing everywhere.
And it’s grim that young people have less of the ALL our grandfathers did.
We certainly have more anxiety about a life threatening to explode if we miss that one alert on one of our 5 damned devices.
The tragedy is:
We’re alert to the alert.
And quite dead to life.
We’re going to blow up anyway.
Why, with our irrepressible need to heed every inane inclusion technology has made to our lives.
The tragedy is:
We’ll heed the information.
We might even forward it to another pseudo-empathetic soul.
But we’ll let the fire burn and the crisis come until it crushes our bodies, our minds and everything human inside them.
So, really,
“Everybody Knows
The scene is dead,
But there’s going to be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows.”
If you asked me to be cheerful and still want it all,
I’d tell you I need more walks with whistling than beeps from a cursed gizmo.
(In solidarity with natural and humanitarian crises across the world that make it harder to hope every day. These must be helped now.)

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