Imagine with me for a moment please. My family and I settle inside our passenger’s quarters for another voyage gladly anticipating the next chapter of our lives, occasionally apart, but more so together. We’ve left port heading out of the Bay into the Atlantic. Seas are fairly calm this late hour. All of us sit to exhale for the journey, until our eardrums are pierced…
Debris flies everywhere. Everything jolts and falls breaking. We look at each other stunned, puzzled. Barely three seconds tick-off…
The floor and walls shutter as we are thrust upwards! The entire ship lifts up out of the water as if bouncing from a trampoline. The alarms and bells sound-off and the Captain yells over the loud-speaker system:
“ALL HANDS ON DECK! ALL HANDS ON DECK! MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS! LIFE-VESTS ON! LIFE-VESTS ON!“
I lunge up to the cabinet doors labelled “Life-preservers” and grab all three—in a flashing thought to myself, How odd there were not more preservers. Odder still the word “preserver.” For how long? I throw one to Mom the other to my sister. I’m confounded as to WHY they are frantically grabbing makeup bags, laptops, perfume bottles and phones! “STOP“ I scream. “There’s no time for petty things! Get the damn vests on NOW! You must save yourself, your body! That’s all that matters right now!“ Pfft, how very basic a concept in life and yet, so disregarded.
I manage to reach the main deck through greyish smoke, bells and alarms screeching, and crewmen scrambling frenzied in every direction. At the main deck I turn to the port side: a white foamy trail visible leading straight to us. I turn to starboard across the dim, late evening horizon on the outer Chesapeake Bay. Another white air-bubble trail of those hidden “deadly fish” straight at us. Just an hour and a half ago we left the mouth of the Elizabeth River and Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard and out to the Bay. No sooner had we left port, pass beyond Nags Head and Cape Hatteras, we’ve sailed straight into a German U-Boat ambush lying in wait as dusk passes into dark. How did the patrols and lookouts miss them!? Those tiny stealthy periscopes barely out of the water?
Minutes earlier one would’ve heard in the Kriegsmarine U-boat Control Room:
“Los eins, Los zwei, Los drei! Seconds pass… Schlag, Schlag!”
I imagine another third or fourth Nazi fish missed us. Lucky? Depends on how many seconds or minutes we have remaining afloat.
~ ~ ~ § ~ ~ ~
Back to real life now; no more daydreaming or night-dreaming. But it has been like a bad dream last Sunday then Monday and since. The difference between now, August 19-20, 2021 and those twilight evenings just off the U.S. east coast in 1942 are as follows.
Eins, my Mom, sister, and myself are indeed Americans, long long generational Texans, seven and eight to be exact. But we were not attacked by a foreign enemy like the German Kriegsmarine Wolfpacks and their deadly, coordinated U-boat torpedoes.
Zwei, we were attacked (not physically, yet) and have been attacked by Americans, of all people, fellow Texans. Our naval refugee ship was our entire family estate—left to us remaining three survivors from my late father and my paternal grandmother; a portfolio that once impressed a few CPA’s with bulging eyes. It was attacked (or seized?) and has gone missing.
And Drei/Three, my Mom’s three-year domestic partner has gone dark, off the mental reservation and evil toward her forcing my sister and I to get her out of there FAST and safe. We did that last weekend and early this past week with whatever we had in our pockets—see #2 above.
I cannot begin to describe what these last 10-12 days have been like. Nor do I have the luxury now if I wanted to. I’m writing this post rather fast over two nights between 1:00am–3:30ish AM, I think, despite being exhausted for the last two weeks. Ah hell! Who tha F*CK am I kidding, I’ve been exhausted for damn near 18-19 months. My personal health has not improved, but instead suffers significantly.
It seems we are beginning to receive daily, more and more Public Emergency Alerts (there’s 5-7 different types in Texas) blasted over all cell phone networks and TV/radio newscasts. I received two different alerts in a 3-hour period night before last on my phone. In my near 60-years of life I don’t remember getting so many Public Safety or Public Emergency Alerts month after month for 16-18 months straight. Speaking of which, it deserves mentioning that part of why conditions here and elsewhere are exacerbated by chronic, incompetent leadership. Point and case, our defiant Texas Governor (R) who has never been personally supportive of Public Safety and Health during this pandemic, just received very bad test results. Read this breaking news article ripe with irony and dimwittedness. I chuckled and could only shake my drooped head at him and his supporters. On another front, some school principles and ISD’s are being forced to sue our Texas Governor and his Administration.
Yesterday, as some of you might know, we received a nationwide notice that starting September 20th, all of us already vaccinated must get COVID-19 Booster shots (Pfizer, Moderna, and others). I may have heard too that booster shots must happen eight-months(?) after your last shot. Perfectly fine. I will be first in line asap.
Nonetheless, all of this pandemic catastrophe and needless premature deaths (latest count: 641,459+) should’ve/could’ve been so much better handled in federal and state governments way back in Dec. 2019 and certainly Jan-Feb 2020 when we knew it would arrive. Then as soon as humanly possible all Americans should’ve been lined-up by the thousands—with masks and 6-10 feet apart, or inside their vehicles—at clinics/sites, grocery stores, pharmacies giving vaccinations back in March-April 2021. But stunningly none of this happened. 🤦♂️
Okay. So here we are then, me and my family. Life-vests on as we bob up and down. How long do life-preservers preserve? Those two torpedoes were lethal. The Drei/Three sealed our ship’s fate. The SS Strange-Miller is done. Gone. Her survivors now belong to the sea. Eighteen months or longer has just been too damn long, too damn much, even with COVID Relief handouts. What good are the handouts when predators are everywhere, legal and illegal, seen or unseen, they are sometimes right in front of you in broad daylight.
This I know. In desperate, extreme times, people become animals increasingly resorting to various forms of cannibalism. I’ve witnessed it several times in my life. History repeats it time and time again like a broken record. Yet, we
supposedly civilized people continue to pretend it’s business as usual, oblivious to the warning signs, things disappearing, or denying the data because it feels good to do so. We’d much rather ignore the jagged-pills scribbled on the wall or in flashing neon-lights, but we will swallow them, whether willingly or fighting and refusing. They will go down the esophagus or the trachea if not addressed early, or immediately, and addressed effectively.
To explain a bit further in my cryptographic style what this blog-post means, and the American naval ship leaving port, the U-Boat Kriegsmarine commands in German, and the imagery I’m hoping to convey, is that for you I have shared in a metaphor and pseudo dream so you all might at least gain a blurry resolution and surface understanding. There is no need for me to go into the full minutia because after two direct torpedo hits, there simply isn’t enough time.
In fact, I have asked myself a few times the last few days, Why do I need to write and publish this post? Anything? Why spend these critical evaporating seconds and minutes—particularly fighting WordPress’ overly cumbersome writing-drafting model—to even bother during these last moments? WTH is wrong with me? Is that what the HMS Titanic’s telegrapher tapped-out along with the stringed musicians played during her last moments? HAH! And besides, who enjoys listening to or reading a chronic loather’s whining for 16-18 months and how things have to change before… “ka-BOOM! ka-BOOM!” It is now, “All hands on deck.” It seems an imperative return to “normal” is not quite here. Maybe it was never to be.
What IS certain is that I am now past Fire-control and squarely into (overboard?) Acute Survival Mode for us three. It is because of current circumstances I’ve also decided to disable the Comments below. Apologies. In all honesty, given the situation(s) and what they demand, I have no minutes to spare to blog or reply to any blog-comments beginning in a few hours. It’s likely I will not have any time to follow all the blogs I follow and engage on. I’m sorry everyone. Pffft. After 11+ years on WordPress that’s a first for my blog. And do not think/hope this is not dead serious happenings and events. It happened.
Despite my long fight, our fight, it has happened. To say things are “dire” would be exceedingly understated. Mom, will not suddenly turn 40-years old and vivacious again. I cannot reverse the last twenty-years of our lives, my life, not after these two-three blind-sided hits. This portion of my life (WordPress) cannot continue. I want to cry, to go postal on many things, some specific people (but I best zip that), to keep fighting this reason-based, science-based, secular good fight, but there’s no time for me to do so anymore. “All hands on deck“ for these seemingly final moments.
Eh, I guess a farewell such as this serves a purpose, maybe, no matter how brief or vague. Better to know a little of fate than getting silence, or a MIA telegram. The mayday signals have faded and are now finished. I can barely type or keep my eyes open.
Signed off, until… (blip – L.O.S.)
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always
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