A Year on Pause

2020 is like a year on pause. Like a year that’s been left on pause on a dusty VCR in a dusty basement. Like a year on pause on an old VCR where the tracking line rolls up and down and the screen and the picture is fuzzy.

2020 is like a VHS tape on pause. You can’t remember what’s on the tape. You can barely make out the shapes of the actors on the screen. The audio from an old, barely remembered commercial hisses and you hiss back like a startled cat.

2020 is like a startled cat hissing at a VHS tape on pause on a dusty VCR in a dusty basement. The tracking line rolls up and down the screen. The picture wobbles. The tape is so fragile. It’s so old now. It’s worn down.

We’ve recorded over the tape so many times that the pictures merge, old images overlap with the new. Faces become other faces. Dark doppelgangers stare out from the screen. The tracking line scrolls up and down. The cat hisses.

A hand reaches for the remote and presses play. The tape grinds and tangles in the machine. The picture is mangled. The half-formed images are lost forever.

2020 is a basement with a dark TV screen and a useless remote control. The cat is purring. We don’t know how the movie ends.