Good morning. It's Saturday, March 21. The world still exists. The future allegedly exists. This is not going to be that bad after all. Or it's going to be worse than the Great Depression. We really don't know, do we?
That's partly why this feels so horrible. We are in what Philip Roth called "the terror of the unforeseen." You are sitting around in your self-quarantine, and you're reading this, and you're thinking: What is going to happen today? What am I going to do today?
The first thing we recommend doing is listening to this two-minute message from John Osebold.
"I think in times like this, it helps to make something," John says in his message. "And to that end, I would like to make something with you."
Lucky you. Use your phone to record a short sound clip of anything you want, anything at all, yes even that one thing that just occurred to you, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will build it into a piece of music. Or maybe he'll build an entire song around it, because that's just the kind of guy he is. And as he finishes the things he's going to make out of the things you send him, he's going to post them here: josebold.bandcamp.com.
That's how John would like to connect with you today.
This may sound totally genius to you, and you are correct, yes, John's a genius. We literally gave him a Genius Award.
From the profile we wrote of him back then: "He constantly seems like he’s just walked into a lamppost and banged his head, but instead of birds and stars flying around him, there are new songs and jokes, and all he has to do is grab one out of the air."
You ready? Press record on your iPhone, burp, and send it to John. Okay, that was funny, that was good.
What else? If there's construction noise across the street (how can the world be ending and there's still construction noise across the street?), record the beeps of backings-up and the grumblings of cement trucks and send them to John.
If you know how to yodel, or if you can do an impression of a seal, or if your baby said their first word today, record it and send it to John.
If you absolutely refuse to send a short audio file to John, then fine, make something else today. Make cookies. Make a diary entry. Make peace with someone.
On behalf of the whole city, thank you for this opportunity, John, to collaborate with you. And thank you for this message. Good luck with the facial hair.
Also in this series: