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  • Nick McDonald

Maybe It's a Sock.



Rain is snaking down the car windows in little interesting zig-zags diverging this way and that, and I’m driving my oldest to school, apocalyptic scenes of every apocalyptic film ever running through my mind as I insert him into the Petrie dish of school halls. COVID-19 (I note to myself) sounds like 23-19, the infamously overblown sock-scandal in Pixar’s “Monsters Inc.” Well maybe it is just a sock, I think.


But in non-Pixar settings, the plot takes darker turns usually. The Titanic, for instance. The iceberg isn’t a problem, they said. We can veer around it, they said. Everyone go back to your mingling and networking, go on, nothing to see here. But there was something to see, and had wiser eyes prevailed it could have even been prevented, so the experts say.


So I ask myself, what kind of plot are we living in? I see the news of Italian hospitals running out of room, and I think, it does not sound to me like a Pixar film. The trick is this veil of calm and go-aboutness to my immediate life, making it all feel like a fiction. I saw myself last night on the lips of Mark Cuban as the NBA cancelled the game he attended: “This isn’t real!” he shouts. Then, “I trust the commissioner.”


Pandemics have happened, *are* happening, will happen. I think of Jesus’ words: “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away…” Then again: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed…”


These two plots exist, but only one is in the mind of God. But I suppose that’s Jesus’ point: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”


“Do not be alarmed” but…”keep watch.”


Pretty sage advice, even if it is a sock.

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