Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year! (And Dr. Electro)

Heya, crew!  Happy New Year!  Here's the latest letter I sent to my senior buddies.  I hope you enjoy it, and best wishes for crushin' it in '21!

 Letters from Josh

 A Roaring ‘20 - Letters from Josh                                                                        Letter 38

  Howdy, folks!  Jazz is the spin of the evening as I sit down to write you a review of one roaring ‘20.  Louie weaves his magic through the air, blending with the steam from the teacup, and a nearly-full moon graces the winter sky above the forest.  What a year it’s been, eh?  I saw a note from an acquaintance, saying “good riddance” to 2020, and it gave me pause. 

I know it would sound Pollyanna-ish and the height of denial to chirp merrily about “lessons learned” and leave it at that, so a more nuanced look is needed. If I were to measure the year, I’d have to give it the dimensions of 2x4 inches...of insanity...crashing down on my head.  WHACK!  BOOM!  If 2020 were a geographical feature, a canyon would be appropriate.  Gazing into its depths, I’ve seen death, rebirth, unimaginable strength, quiet everyday fortitude, despair, the danger of the petty tyrant, and the hope of the Individual aiming towards the Good. If 2020 were an animal, the Raven from Poe’s epic would be suitable.  There it perches, but upon a clock this time, croaking a new phrase:  “Fix what’s right in front of you.” 

I turned 35 this year, and feel like about twenty extra candles should have been added to that cake.  The primacy of Responsibility (as opposed to happiness) revealed itself, and a shining example through all of this has all, my dear friends. Your fortitude. Your patience.  Your resolve.  The way we’ve been able to lean on each other has sprinkled a bit of gray in my beard - perhaps they’ll end up seeds of wisdom one day? I resent 2020 the way I glare at a barbell at the shuttered gyms - it’s so heavy, and often crushing.  But man, does it make men out of boys.  For the hardship you’ve had to endure, I’m sorry in my heart.  For the lessons you’ve brought me, I’m grateful in the same.  And, to our friendship I raise a glass!  What will 2021 bring?  The only thing that’s certain is: we’ll be able to handle it.

Here’s best wishes that there’s some fun stuff in with the challenge, too.  And here’s to you! Speaking of fun..

Previously on Dr. Electro: Henry tails a sinister bunch (which is not recommended by the CDC), and Doc figures out the power outage is city-wide, a big deal times ten.

Dr. Electro, Episode XII - Silence and Shadow

  The big man’s eyes gleamed in the dark, the realization of the hunt bringing a new life to his stealthy tread.  If the tingle in his nerves could be packaged as a coffee, the blend surely would be named Call To Adventure, featuring graphics of bears, eagles, men in flannel, etc.  Henry was on the case, his first technically, although millennia of unlikely heroes before him had prepared for this moment. 
These wisps of ancestors seemed to flit like ghosts around his ears, silent encouragement to face what Needed To Be Faced.  Down the opposite side of the street he crept, keeping to the deepest of shadows, although the outage made the boulevard inky overall.  Evil crackled in the hushed tones of the group of cloaked figures he tailed, and among the snatches of conversation, he heard: “ah, won’t the Great Silence be delicious!”  and “let’s hope Professor Waverly knows what he’s doing.”  “Oh sure, don’t doubt Waverly.  To the Tower!”  On they hurried, the Cloaks and their unseen tail, a lumbering, silent piece of wall with gleaming eyes, all drenched in shadow. 

Below street level, Mabel found the conversation starting to simmer as she pressed “So, my Uncle?”  The English basement, cozy with it’s tapestries, took on the gleam of mystery and import as the old woman began to weave her tale.  “Yes, yes.  Many years ago, when people thought the world a safer place, I was a young woman, and your uncle a dashing, handsome man.  We would take long strolls down moonlit avenues on spring nights.  The linden trees would bloom so sweetly, and I so madly in love with him, that I’d wander and listen to his philosophical prattle all night. I think he was nervous around me, and kept talking so he wouldn’t have to kiss me, but I enjoyed his ideas just the same.  Granted, whenever he got too in the weeds or mixed up Jung with Nietzsche, I’d have to set him straight, but gently, dearie, because there’s nothing as fragile as the Male Ego.”  “And the League?  What about them?”  As the clouds snuff out the glow of the moon, a shadow fell over the old woman’s face. 

“Ah yes...They were all about The Silence.  Some believe, falsely, that there’s only one right idea, and conflicting ones are noise.  The League started to advocate for silence, first in the Libraries, but then we realized that was just the start.

To be continued...

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