The Beauties & The Beasts #9

PATHOS Penpal Project

Deutsch-Amerikanischer Briefaustausch zwischen Antigone Akgün (DE) und John L. Peacock (USA)

Im Rahmen der Reihe «King Kong und die weissen Frauen»

Dear Jon,

thank you very much for your enlightening last letter. There are many theses to be found, which we will hopefully still be able to discuss. Instead of sharing my daily life with you, I wrote a little story for you and our readers this week, to wish you happy holidays and an excellent start into the new year!

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A Christmas Story – Pandemic Edition – you find the Story in the PDF below.

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Dear Antigone,

Holy Crap, what a great story! Thank you for the xmas myth blended beautifully with zoom, Santa’s start, a fantastic John Lennon finish, and wonderful wit! I don’t have a story to share, so I’ll look back at the year and what it meant (to me, at least).

The beginning seemed hopeful. Many in America were already looking towards 2020 as a fresh start, planning and hoping on the removal of our current leader, without even knowing who’d be stepping up to “take the reins,” so to speak. The impeachment was a whole lot of history with no impact. They gave an impeachment to Clinton for hiding a White House blow job, and didn’t even get the chance to impeach Nixon (Tricky Dick) because he quit to get himself pardoned. Now this guy gets one…and nothing happens. Great. Democracy in action…

In February I attended a ball for Valentine’s Day, with my partner and some friends, that was run by a burlesque and semi-kink company. Surrounded by so many people in so little clothing. A first for me. It was fun! Then we realized how dangerous we all were, less than a month later, with the super spread of the virus, hitting my city (New York) the hardest for the first few months. We were the “epicenter.” All my work went away – bartending, teaching, and acting – and suddenly I lived in the great city of New York without ever seeing the familiar sights of my daily life…no subways, buses, people, no Manhattan. I was sequestered to my small nook of Brooklyn, paying NYC rent with nothing but unemployment to help for months and months. Walks with my partner, our dog, our cat, these became the new daily routine for the rest of the year. And I was definitely one of the lucky ones.

Months of mundane.

Something happened. I learned more about my neighborhood, all the beautiful architecture, the lovely parks, the tree-lined streets at dusk, in these past nine months than I have in the past ten years of living here. Neighbors talk to each other as we pass by with our masks on. There is a sense of community much like, I’m told, after the attacks of the World Trade Center back in aught one. There is a sense of “we’re in this together.”

That sense of community spread as my partner and I were able to make a cross-country trip in a rented camper van, our only major expense of the year (given the circumstances), and we saw people who may never agree politically come together as human beings, with understanding and with wanting to understand more, that I did not really see at all in the News this whole year (or for a long time, really). For how “divided” our country seems to be publicly, we are still more alike than different. And I venture to believe, at my core, that this extends to humanity across the world. A new hope for community, communal understanding, and united desire for health and happiness.

The holidays this past month, to close the year, were a mix of newly depressing, the general depression I get this time of year, and newfound joy in the people I love. I understand how you can feel connected to someone you love when they’re not around this year. Isolation showed me that we’re never alone if we choose to let others in.

I want to close with wishing you, and all who read this, a very happy New Year’s! May 2021 be filled with Health & Happiness for us all!

Best,

Jon L Peacock

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