|2020 Is Not As ____ As You Think|
This is a tale of despair, hope, fear, and truth. It's the ugly truth about what I am. It's the fear of what comes next.
It's the hope that where I'm heading will be enough. It has been a rollercoaster of a year riddled with despair, and it has had it out for us since day one.
|1||Before I Turn|
Pretty much at the dawn of 2020, a computer virus+hacker took down most of my work's computer database, holding it for ransom. We recovered enough that we could slowly piece things back together, but it was a nightmare getting things running again. Since then, something has stopped functioning weekly, with putting in tickets with technicians constantly, while they still haven't fixed the last two problems.
We got new "thin clients" to replace all our computers. It's a little hockey puck of a device that remotes into a central server to act as a workstation. It's fantastic for everything. Everything but the one Point Of Sales software that we use the most. It's consistently down, and it took them four months after installing them to get them operational. In the meantime, I was the only person in the store with an old PC because I wouldn't let the techs take it. So I became the sole workhorse for pricing and input during that time.
Songs of Silver
Then the pandemic scare happened. Since I work in a grocery store, I had to deal with hoarders and empty shelves, and any time I made an appearance on the sales floor, I was constantly hearing, "Why don't you guys have any of such-and-such? Don't you stock your shelves?" Bitch, the manufacturers can't even make such-and-such fast enough to ship it out. Don't look at me like I don't do my job.
Then our store started a remodel and complete reset. Thousands of new items for me to input. Then they hung up tags at suggested retail price, rather than our custom pricing. So probably 10% of our price tags were wrong until we could verify the entire store's pricing and fix the tags. Which I didn't even have time to do for about another three months.
I injured both of my shoulders. My left shoulder just hurts when I extend it too much, and the other has lost range of motion because I think I have a torn rotator cuff. For the most part I'm okay, until I try to throw something, scratch my back, or go to bed.
I Disagree (more)
I went to the doctor a few days ago, after putting it off for nearly a year. (I have depression and an anxiety about seeing the doctor) When I finally got in, she told me I had to see the occupational clinic since my injury technically happened at work. I haven't done anything about it yet.
Unfollow The Rules
So I watched my lawn grow out of control because my shoulders hurt too much to do it, and the usual kid I pay to mow my lawn disappeared at the start of the first quarantine, and my roommate is too afraid to go outside and be seen by the neighbors. I would just say fuck it, give my lawn the finger, and hide away at my computer.
My roommate is my ex who bought a house with me. We owe more on the loan than the house is worth, so we're stuck here with each other, sharing a vehicle that's in her name. I basically don't have a vehicle, so I don't leave the house unless we carpool to work.
I don't blame the world or anyone else for my predicament. It's the hole where I've put myself.
My escape from reality has been playing World of Warcraft, and spending my time with all of you here on Sputnik.
I've been diving as deep as I can into 2020 releases. I intend to make the most out of this year, celebrating the glimmers of hope that I find in these wonderful albums.
Casting the Circle
I have this overwhelming desire to listen to everything this year has to offer.
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
It's impossible to listen to everything that exists, right? There's not enough time in the day. SandwichBubble is proof of that.
Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was
But I have this overwhelming urge to do it anyway. To listen to everything.
|15||The Pineapple Thief|
Versions of the Truth
My compromise is 2020. Fuck you 2020. I'll make you something more than the piece of shit that you are.
I have every intention of listening to the entire Sputnik top 200 chart for 2020. And everything else I can manage to hear.
Guess what I'm doing next year?
I'll still be kicking 2020 in the throat.
|19||Hail Spirit Noir|
Eden In Reverse
I began taking anti-depressants three weeks ago.
|20||Eye of Nix|
Within the first week, I started to feel like I had enough energy to work through the entire day. This is in contrast to the clock-watching habits of barely enduring a day and edging at getting enough hours at work to stay classified as full time.
It feels like a fog has been lifted. Nothing around me has changed, but I can see it all more clearly now. I keep having moments where I feel content. Like nothing is missing. Or maybe they are just moments where I've stopped feeling empty.
You and I
My diabetes has been less of a struggle. My blood sugars are maintaining levels much closer to where they need to be. Mostly because I'm not telling my diabetes, "Fuck it, I don't care," anymore.
My roommate adopted a couple of kitties. I've never had cats before.
The Praxis of Prophylaxis
They were so scared of us. They hid in the corner behind some boxes for a couple days.
I convinced my roommate to name them Agnes Obel and Norma Jean.
After a couple days, Agnes became curious. She started to wander out and watch us. Norma would stay back and meow incessantly, urging her sister to return.
So Agnes would rush back to make sure Norma was okay. Then Agnes would paw at her, encouraging her to come out.
Cut to a couple weeks later: I'm sitting in my chair playing some WoW, and Agnes crawls up on my left shoulder. Norma immediately crawls up on my right and starts licking my ear. Basically I'm a cat person now.
The Black Moon
At one point during the heat of 2020, I got fed up with shit breaking. I heard about a posting for a less stressful position at the front of the store that no one was putting in an application for. I said, "Fuck this shit," and I applied for the transfer.
|30||Anna von Hausswolff|
All Thoughts Fly
Then I heard someone already up front applied for this coveted position. He already had the knowledge of the job, and probably is more reliable than me.
|31||Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou|
May Our Chambers Be Full
I get frequent headaches where any movement at all will make my head throb. I use up most of my PTO or come in on my days off to cover missed shifts. I can tell my boss resents this about me, but he does his best to be nice to me anyway. He likes the other parts of me.
Three Mile Ditch
The day of the interview comes, and I dress up nice. The interview goes really well. I feel hopeful.
DISCO4 :: Part I
My hope begins dwindling when my boss starts talking about how much I'm needed where I currently am. He asks why I want the position. I tell him it seems a whole lot less stressful for nearly the same pay.
I don't get the position.
Where Does The Devil Hide
He mentions something about looking over my current rate of pay, and lets me know I have an evaluation due that he hasn't had time to finish. I feel hopeful.
The Black Pill
Weeks go by.
|37||Bell Witch and Aerial Ruin|
Stygian Bough Volume 1
In the meantime, shit keeps breaking like normal.
The Long Dream I
Finally, he tells me he's ready for my review. We go over the form he filled out, and I get great scores on everything. But something's missing.
He starts to talk about my headaches. He wants me to try going to the doctor again or eating healthier or something. I told him I'm already trying a new headache medicine, but it takes a while to start helping. This is true. He feels hopeful.
Reflections Upon Darkness
And by the way, Bloodshy, I'm giving you a dollar raise.
Awww sheeeeiiittt. I had no fuckin' doubt. Not for a second. My hands weren't sweating! My heart wasn't pounding! I wasn't imagining running away on three separate occasions during the discussion! No, I fuckin' knew that shit. Ballin'. I'm a fuckin' baller boiiiii.
|43||Hayley Williams |
Petals For Armor
My stepfather reaches out to me and he calls a lawn dude to come chop down the forest.
|44||Surrender The Throne|
Surrender The Throne
We Are All Atomic
My roommate says she's looking for a new vehicle, and she's going to give me her old one.
Unfold the God Man
Donald Trump throws a tantrum and tries to sue everyone.
|48||The Undercover Dream Lovers|
It's All In Your Head
Shit at work stops breaking, and I catch up with my workload.
|51||Crippled Black Phoenix|
Jeffery Bugles gets exiled during the Sput War On Terror and his colluder is revealed.
|52||On Hollow Ground|
Blood Is Blood
(okay, I have mixed feelings about that)
World of Warcraft releases an expansion and tears stream down my face at its pure glory. The Queen's Gambit was so good it made tears stream down my face at its pure glory. Media has been the true savior for those who have undergone quarantine.
The Chronic Plague
Oregon becomes anarchy.
|56||The Ruins Of Beverast / Almyrkvi|
Almyrkvi / The Ruins Of Beverast (Split)
The Baring of Shadows
But wait, some other fucked up shit happened. Maybe you forgot already.
Australia burns itself up. California burns itself up.
Drag Me Down
Fact becomes opinion. Conspiracy theories become a cultural norm. Some fucking asshole named Q becomes the new Nostradamus, leading millions into believing Trump is fighting the deep-state cabal in a war amounting to Hillary Cliton's sex trafficking and blood-drinking shenanigans, alongside not-actually-dead John F. Kennedy who has been fighting this war undercover since he faked his death, and probably is actually Q because his gravesite (or some other picture of a random gravesite) is sort of shaped like a Q. It's been shaped like a Q for 30-or-so years: years before the Internet existed, that would eventually create the Q identity in the first place. And something about Pizzagate or some shit. Black Lives Matter and Antifa are organizations stealing your donations to fund more sex trafficking.
Hush Mortal Core
George Floyd is manslaughtered by a cop's kneecap to his neck, inciting uproar across the nation. Protests are organized over social media. Cop shops get overrun by protesters and cops are unable to stop rampant rioting, looting, and arsony. Minneapolis burns itself up.
The businesses affected the worst by the quarantine shrivel up into a pile of dirty face masks. The stock market plummets.
|66||A Night Like This|
Your Colours Will Show
Movie theatres: canceled.
|70||Confound The Mighty|
Concerts and festivals: canceled.
|75||After Hour Animals|
1.4 million Covid 19 deaths so far. Conspiracy theorists still insist it doesn't exist, and the vaccines that barely even exist yet are somehow known to kill you or track your position.
|78||Burden of Life|
The Makeshift Conqueror
So maybe 2020 Is Just As ____ As You Think. What are you going to do about it?
Animal Bouffe Animal
Grab every piece of positivity you can find. Compound it. Build it up. Let's face it, 2020 has been hard, but how we remember it will be determined by how we spent it, who we shared it with, and how we build our future.
Mustan Köksän Disko
Stare Into Death and Be Still
As for me, I choose to remember everything 2020 delivered. A raise, good television, World of Warcraft, a roommate/ex who somehow still cares about my well-being, a family who will come to my rescue, and a continuing list of amazing fucking music that was released in 2020, and a community on Sputnik to share it with. You all can brighten my day when I'm at my lowest. Thank you for that. My name is Zach.
Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face