Kafka on my mind?


One thing that I have learned in this time of Pandemic is that there are things that we took for granted, things that we expected. Things like following the rules, living a good life, and not experiencing issues. For millions of people around the globe, doing just that has never worked for them, not at all. Following the rules, living a good life might work at times, but periodically things like race, religion, skin color, eye shape, or ethnicity would bite them in the behind and often more, making their lives often tenuous.  Pogroms and ethnic cleansing are a part of history often relegated to word of mouth and disregarded by the standard history books.

The Pandemic and its ramifications have shown me that, as I often had believed, the squeaky wheel gets heard. Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel has been taken over by the crazies. Under normal circumstances, I would avoid saying that, but it cannot be avoided or denied.

The reason I mention this is because last evening, we enjoyed some Chicago Shakespeare tickets due to the kindness of friends who could not go because of an immunocompromised situation and were on Navy Pier to do so. Given the time of Pandemic and being in crowded situations, it was slightly unnerving. We were supposed to eat outside but ended up eating inside, as the weather was inclement. It was not a crowded situation in the restaurant although the theatre was pretty packed. I had a pillar between me and the next person and MK was next to an aisle. I did have to remind the young person in front of us to keep his mask over his nose, however.

Our parking situation at Navy Pier was undone by the Pandemic. We used to eat at Riva, which had valet parking that we used as a perfect way to get very inexpensive parking there. Riva is gone, for whatever reason, supposedly due to an argument between its owners and the people who rent or lease out the properties. We parked differently, which should not make a difference.

The Play was amazing. Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” set to Beatles’ Music. The creativity was unreal and it felt so good to hear its comforting music and to be able to see live theatre as well.

When we left, I was about to put the paid for (at the machine with the discount from Shakespeare Theatre) ticket in the machine to lift the exit bar and it opened and I did not put it in. I just drove off, holding the ticket. I don’t know why I did not. I think the surprise of the opening caused me to go on autopilot. For the rest of the way home, all I could think of was that I was going to get a call the next day and be questioned as to why I did not pay. I did, I just didn’t turn in the ticket. I then went off in a Kafka-like way to think that the police would somehow find their way to my door, arrest me, put me in prison, and I would find myself in an insane situation. Why am I thinking this?  It is because we are living in a time where reason, logic, and caring are seemingly gone. Strange things, most of which cannot be explained, happen all the time. We had a President who came in lying and cheating his way through anything and always getting away with it. Normal is not normal anymore.

I am sure nothing will happen, but it bothers me that I would even feel this way. Current times have reinforced any neurotic thoughts I might feel.


About Richard Koerner

Almost seventy something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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