It’s an unnerving, disorienting, precarious-feeling… feeling.
Imagine the giant (PREHISTORIC ANIMAL I AM UNABLE TO IDENTIFY BUT NOW IT’S GONE), scouring a decimated terrain, reconfigured as a newly constructed Apartment Complex.
CAVE-DWELLING READER: “What ‘Apartment Complex’? There were holes in the hills and we lived in them.”
I was being metaphorical.
“Inaccurately metaphorical. I mean, we’d sweep out a little…”
You had brooms back then?
“… We’d kick the rocks out the door with our...”
You had doors?
Okay. Point taken.
You see? We all do it.
“To some extent. But 'Apartment Complex’ crosses the line.”
How ‘bout “… scouring the decimated terrain, reconfigured as a tournament golf course”?
“Funny man. You may continue. But carefully.”
Thank you. I am actually going somewhere with this.
“I hope so.” ("We all hope so.”)
So there’s this, y’know, “Giant Animal of Earlier Times”, who was once totally happy and content. (“Content”, defined as “happy without smiling”, thus covering the spectrum of emotional wellbeing.)
Why the good mood, you may curiously query?
Because there was always plenty to eat, that “plenty” being the Darwinian comestible designed specifically for them, keeping them vitally healthy, and, like the Wonder Bread of later times – and for people – “building strong dinosaur – or whatever – bodies Eight Ways.” (Later expanded to “Twelve Ways”, due to “Dietary Inflation.”)
At one time, there was so much of that “natural nutrient” available, the biggest problem was over-consumption and subsequent bellyache. (Or they were unable to fit into their dinosaur pants.) It was not like they were going to run out of it; the “essential foodstuff” was growing like crabgrass. (It might have actually been crabgrass. There is no overestimating my ignorance in these matters.)
And then, imperceptibly at first, but in a chartable direction,
Things demonstrably began to change.
Where once there was a boundless abundance of this nurturing foodstuff, it became increasingly noticeable… there wasn’t.
Maybe it was the “Hunters and Gatherers” who’d become farmers, creating arable territory by hacking away the diet other species found indispensible but they didn’t. Maybe it was some abrupt “Climate Change”, causing their required plant or vegetable to increasingly shrivel and die. Maybe the big animals, thinking “Why not? There’s a ton of it”, consumed too muchof it and they inevitably ran out. (The “Vanishing Buffalo”, only with leaves.) I cannot say for certain, because I wasn’t there and I refuse to do research.
All I know is, it seemed like one day, there was a surfeit and of “survival sustenance”, and the next day…
It was nowhere.
You can imagine how disturbing that was. What was once everywhere now took increasingly longer to track down – first hours, then, nothing on alternate days, then, nothing on consecutivedays, and then, finally…
The worrying consequence being,
“When it goes, we go.”
Well… belatedly turning the narrative corner…
That’s how I feel about the disappearing Law & Order reruns.
A ubiquitous “Land of Plenty” now a withering wasteland.
Law & Order reruns used to be everywhere – numerous channels, numerous times a day. A cornucopia of abundance, Law & Order reruns was “binge-watching” before you needed three remotes to be able to binge.
I was unfazed by the arriving Blue Bloods, alternating with Law & Order “Marathons.” “There’s room for everyone,” I originally believed. Blue Bloods takes Thursdays; L & O fills Fridays.
Then came the encroaching Criminal Minds, a dour concoction, blanketing the off-network schedules, along with the “vanilla” NCIS and “supernatural” programming I won't even go near. All of them squeezing Law & Order reruns inexorably to the periphery.
Then, noticed the last couple of days,
Law & Order reruns are suddenly nowhere to be found.
Desperately searching for “sustenance”, I click around hundreds of channels. And, where once a L & O oasis could be accessed within seconds…
There is now – agonizingly – nothing.
(I feel my throat constricting just typing that word.)
Deliberately or otherwise – probably otherwise, the schedulers unlikely thinking about me, though the ultimate consequence is identical – I am brutally deprived of “natural nourishment.”
Where’s suing the gun companies for reckless disregard of citizen safety? Where’s the money-mad cosmetic surgeon changing the “pre-op” forms, ruthlessly erasing when the patient last ate? Where’s the rapacious condo-converting landlord, pushing a “rent-controlled” holdout out of the window? Where’s the publicity-obsessed movie star losing her adopted foreign-born baby, blaming her negligent carelessness on the Nanny?
Now it’s all terrorists and serial killers.
No courtroom clashes in sight.
Leaving a scavenging forager, remote tightly in hand, searching for sustenance, with ominously nothing on the terrain, its sudden departure catching him breathlessly off-guard.
I may not literally go when it goes.
But I feel vulnerably alone.