Special at the SentinelI think it’s safe to say that about 87-93% of things are terrible right now and we’re all doomed.
I’m not just talking about the fact that Facebook released something called Horizon Workrooms on Thursday. It’s a service for those who shelled out over $ 500 or so for the company’s Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, which allows users to have virtual meetings.
Yes, it is now possible to sit with cartoon avatars of your coworkers in a cartoon conference room where, according to the New York Times article I read, “interactive virtual whiteboards line. walls so people can write and draw things like in a physical conference room. This is touted as an asset and, unsurprisingly, a reason to go live in a cave alone until the sun becomes a supernova.
Why, in a panel discussion presenting Horizon Workrooms, Mark Zuckerberg himself said: “Somehow I think we’re going to live in a mixed reality future.
So yes, I, you and everyone we know live in a world in which we can expect a “mixed reality future”. Add that to the hand waves to encompass, you know, the news and I feel pretty advanced to brag about living in a mixed reality present.
Ha-HA, Zuckerberg! I’m going to see your futurism and uplift you so much in escape that the other day I realized I dreamed of living in a watermelon.
True story: I was standing next to one of those big $ 5.99 cardboard boxes of watermelon outside the grocery store the other day, slapping my fingers against each one, and here’s the progression of my thoughts:
1. It’s my gospel truth that few things are more satisfying than hitting watermelons, acting like I’m some kind of mature clairvoyant.
2. I wonder how many big watermelons can grow?
3. Gender, human size? Size of the house?
4. But seriously, what would it take to make it a home?
5. And would its growth require genetic modification? Could we also modify it so that it does not rot? Because in this fantasy, I’m not only living in a watermelon, but I’m a world-class genetic engineer.
6. Seriously, that would be sticky, but I think the refreshing taste would outweigh the stickiness. I just had to not go too crazy and eat a hole in the wall.
I must have stood by this trash can for three or four minutes, staring in the middle, slapping on watermelons and pulling away from my mistake of looking at Twitter before getting out of the car.
I mean, I’m not one of those “oh, I don’t pay attention to the news because it’s all bad and too depressing”. I’m too curious for that and generally feel like the affairs of the whole world are my business. We’re in a really disappointing phase right now so I’m giving myself the gift of escape as a kind of self-care.
And I hasten to add that it’s not always in the form of weird musings that, in retrospect, I realize I shouldn’t publicly admit. Recently it included:
n A series of “Ladies, come back! ” books. I’m sure this is the correct editing category for the glut of historical fiction novels whose covers feature women’s backs in the air to walk away. These books are usually about women finding their inner strength but also love during WWII in England or France, and I’ve read them all.
n Getting up early on Friday mornings to not only watch the new episode of “Ted Lasso” before work, but also review my favorite passages. And my favorite parts from the other episodes. And eat cookies for breakfast while I do.
n Examine my green chili. I have tried growing green chili peppers this year and out of four bags of seeds in total and 14 plants that survived the transfer outside, I have exactly one green chili. Cumulatively, I spent hours crouching beside it, adoringly gazing and thinking of nothing at all.
n Update my chats’ Instagram, then hide in the larger Catstagram community.
n Also search for baby elephants on Instagram.
n Lying on your back in the middle of the floor, listening to Roy Orbison and considering who else perfectly achieves this sweet spot of sad catharsis (I’d like some suggestions).
My point of view being, I feel perfectly fine to allow myself as many escape minutes as it takes to get out of my head and re-fortify my psyche to face waves with a vague hand to indicate, you know, the news. And I hope you do the same.
If you need inspiration or advice on getting away from it all, you are welcome to join me in my watermelon house.
Rachel Sauer is at [email protected] and has also reflected on life inside a peach, “James and the Giant Peach” style.