They Come Inevitably Back

That awkward moment when you realize that the presumed deceased is still alive.

I thought you were dead.

I hear that all the time.

But I killed you myself.  I saw you disintegrate.  How can you still be here? And after all this time you come back and for what? What do you want from me?

Just because you stop ‘believing’ in me, doesn’t mean I disappear.  Just because you give me a new name or divert my attention to something else or mute me, doesn’t mean I’m not still here.

And then the panic.

Gluttony, Greed, Pride, Sloth, Envy, Lust, Wrath.  Call me what you like, I’m a part of you.  I will always be a part of you.  We once got along so well.  You once let me serve you…and then you decided I was of no use to you.

But you aren’t.

So says the human who is chronically disappointed and already has such low expectations of the world that she doesn’t know how to enjoy my absence.  You don’t know what contentment is if you refuse to acknowledge me.  

What good does it do to let you out?

It’s not about doing good.  It’s about your sanity.  You say you have no destination, no To-Do list, fine.  No grand plans, no lofty endeavors, all fine.  And, I could even applaud you for your intention of not wasting your energy resenting people or things that throw you off equilibrium.  Michael Robotham was on point when he said that “Resentment is like swallowing a poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Okay, and?

And, it’s not always about other people.  It’s mostly about you.  You don’t have to expect much from your fellow man, but to expect twice as much from yourself?  That is the very definition of setting yourself up for disappointment.  You legitimately have no quarrel with anyone else to the extent that I’d make an appearance, all right. That’s great because I need my rest too.

So, what’s your point?  I still need to invite you to a party that I don’t want to have and you may not even want to attend?

Well, yeah.  The party ain’t going anywhere.  There’s always going to be a party whether you want to be there or not.  And it’s not about being me, it’s about feeling me, especially when you are the reason you don’t want me here.

Do you know me?

Do you know you?

So the above dialogue was very much inspired by real life.  I had made a decision many years ago to stop getting mad at external stressors (primarily homo sapiens) because I’d read an editorial about the futility of negative emotions.  If Julio knocked over Barnaby’s science project and Barnaby gets mad, does Julio suffer?  Nope.  Even if Julio feels bad about it, Barnaby is still mad and the project is still ruined.  If Barnaby recognizes that he’s frustrated that he has to start again or salvage the project, he’s spending his time or energy more effectively.

But, if you multiply that by every day or every week or every month and then for years?  I’ve learned the hard way that the feeling of anger is still there even if the conscious mind brushes it off as insignificant.

And, it leaks into the body.  Who wants a headache or debilitating neck pain when one can just sit there and scowl because one is justifiably or non-justifiably upset at being off-kilter?

On Recuperation

My muse is a shape-shifter.  She saunters down the corridors of my unconscious, curating, catalyzing, bottling moments – real and imagined.  Sometimes they float up into my consciousness like balloons waiting for the pin-prick to let loose whatever is inside.  Other times they are hurled up as though pulled by a lightning bolt.  The following was triggered by such a bolt.

“Noooo!” I shouted, my hands flung up through my hair at the sides of my face.

The orderly looked at me and shrugged.

“You’ve done it all wrong.  The sweet potato wedges are supposed to be at ten o’clock, the salmon filet at six, and the julienne carrots at twelve.  You’ve got it all wrong.”  I explained as nicely as I could.

The orderly lifted his palms and shrugged again.  His English wasn’t very good, so I guess he wanted to tell me he didn’t know any better…or not to hurt him.  I should’ve seen it coming.  I could have seen it coming but I was distracted when he started ladling the food onto my plate.  I was about to stomp back into my room when a man in a navy coat approached me.  That I saw, I saw coming.

I looked up from my plate right as he reached for it.  His tourmaline black eyes remained fixed on me as he grinned and turned the red dish so that the sweet potatoes were at ten o’clock, the salmon was at six, and the carrots at twelve.

“Oh.”
Oh.”

He took a seat across from me, his gaze settled, eyes blinking sparingly.  The grin became a smile, a victor’s smile.

“What are you in for?”  I asked after chewing and swallowing a bite of fish.

“Oh, I’m okay, just tired.  Really tired.”
“You sure you don’t have any lingering psycho-somatic troubles?  Phantom limb syndrome, perhaps?”

The man’s smile retracted and he sat back.  I saw that coming too.

“What are you in for?”
“I was ‘under-utilizing’ my gifts for capitalist psychopaths and ‘over-utilizing’ my gifts just to mess with professional poker players and frat boys who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

The man motioned for me to continue; he knew there was more to my gifts than I was sharing.

“I have motion-intention precognition.  I know when a person, and sometimes a non-human animal, is about to make a significant movement with his body. I can see what and how he does it.  My parents wanted me to become a tennis or chess prodigy, and for a while I thought I did too.”

The smile was about to return to the man’s face.

“I won every match, and then one day I woke up and everything changed.  Everything about venues had to be perfect.  I insisted on setting up the chess boards myself — with the judges watching.  My coach, my dear coach who thought I was just very highly functioning autistic, thought it would help if I helped de-weed lawns.”

The smile grew and the man leaned forward.

“Do you know Grotto Park…the batting cage that used to be by the fountain?”

The man nodded.

“Well, I single-handedly destroyed it — the grass, I mean.  I couldn’t wait for the weed to come out before plucking it.  The smallest hint that something would emerge sent me into a frenzy…and I dug into the earth until I killed the grass too.  So, that’s why I’m here…trying to learn how to live with things in disorder.”

The man chuckled and nodded as though he knew exactly what it’s like to know something before it happens.

“Why are you here?”  I asked him as I pushed the plate to the center of the table.

“The director of this fine establishment is a friend of mine and I needed a place to rest uninterrupted.  Police commissioner ordered me to take a leave of absence for working too hard on a case that was…”
“The reason you don’t have either of your feet.”

The man stared at me and clenched his fists under the table.

“Don’t tell anyone,” I began.  “But, I’ve recently developed the ability to see into the past, into people’s memories of what their bodies have gone through.”

The man shook his head.

“That’s the real reason shrinks and grief counselors don’t always know how to help people.  If you forgive but never forget, then the people who are like me will know stuff, and if we aren’t careful, we can say the wrong thing and bring back experiences better left when they occurred.  Forgive and forget…so your body doesn’t hold onto the pain.”

The man blinked, looked to his left and sighed.

“What kind of gift do you have?”
“I can see people’s intentions.  Whatever they plan on doing, I see it before they act on it.  It’s a godsend for an undercover agent, but I got tired of pretending to be someone I wasn’t.  So, I became a homicide detective.”

I held this man’s gaze for what felt like an hour.  The air buzzed around us, intentions and memories undulating like currents in a river.  I had so many questions for this man, which he probably already knew.  Were his visions ever wrong?

“Yes,” he said.

I laughed.

Birds Fly into the Road

Sometimes with a knowing abandon, they do, fly into the road in front of your car and you don’t know if you’ve hit them or not.  Surely not.  But you can’t be sure.

The Wall Street Journal published an article last week by Shalini Ramachandran Joe Flint on the impact that cord-cutters have had on ESPN.  Fascinating read and  a few pretty intelligent comments.

Show of hands, how many of you believe astrology is

A. a bunch of hooey
B. a bit like fortune cookies — whooaaa or what?!
C. more gospel than the gospels

Mes Cheveux Apres Une Annee

I cut my hair quite short a year ago but kept the bangs.  Then, later in the year I decided to grow out my bangs.  And I’ve only trimmed off split ends since.  Sometimes I think the tresses don’t budge, sometimes I think, “Dayam, it got longer.”

Before the haircut:

January 2014
minghairjan2014

After the haircut and compared to today
minghaircomparison

Et voila. Mes cheveux apres une annee.  I’m going to keep growing it out until it touches my elbows.

Off Topic: 50 nifty United States part 5

Two years ago I made a fourth edition of news from around the country.  I’m doing it again today.

carteUS

Alabama – Corner Bakery is coming to Alabama.

Alaska – Outdated water treatment systems aboard ferries.

Arizona – This girl’s zucchini noodles recipe got her an invitation to the White House.

Arkansas – Governor, officials, the Quapaw Indian tribe and a piece of land.

California – Driving in California.

Colorado – West Nile spotted

Connecticut – There’s a Scotland in CT.

Delaware – Historical schoolhouse to become a what?

Florida – The birds are gone.

Georgia – Atlanta’s got a futbol team now.

Hawaii – Honolulu PD is hiring.

Idaho – Some time in Boise.

Illinois – Chicago weather

Indiana – The dam needs to go.

Iowa – Bird flu in the state

Kansas – KS wants in on the film industry.

Kentucky – Driving in Kentucky.

Louisiana – There’s going to be another Trader Joe’s in LA.

Maine – Say hello to the milkman.

Maryland – University of MD to sell alcohol.

Massachusetts – Ghostbusters remake and Chinatown

Michigan – Hot dogs in downtown. The food, not canines sweating.

Minnesota – Mussels in the Red River

Mississippi – Yay Jenny Simmons.

Missouri – City vehicles and tax payers

Montana – A Confederate fountain in Montana

Nebraska – A domino effect of help

Nevada – Bunny Ranch…now you know.

New Hampshire – Immunity from criminal prosecution for overdosing

New Jersey – Mind the marine life

New Mexico – When the power goes out at a Wal-Mart

New York – Variety has its eye on these seniors

North Carolina – Yes, NC has a state championship for food trucks.

North Dakota – When the doctor comes to you

Ohio – Arrests down

Oklahoma – A million feral hogs in Oklahoma?

Oregon – Drivers taxed per mile of travel in state as opposed to at the pump?

Pennsylvania – The dog really did eat it.

Rhode Island – Lactation consulting

South Carolina – Driving in SC looks much like driving anywhere else in the US.

South Dakota – 1,000 year-old corn!

Tennessee – Should Broadway traffic be blocked on the weekends?

Texas – Driver-less car testing in Austin

Utah – Salt Lake City firefighter helps a dog.

Vermont – Farm of the year is….

Virginia – Advocating for kids with special needs

Washington – Parking could be harder in Seattle

West Virginia – Dunkin Donuts is coming.

Wisconsin – Vigil held for dead teen

Wyoming – Charged for raising a deer

~!~

After looking at the headlines in news outlets in all fifty states, people are all the same.  We do about as much kind things for each other as we do idiotic, hurtful, and deadly things…with or without intent.

And South Carolina’s flag situation was teased on pretty much every site. I sometimes forgot about what state I was reading.

Map cred: usgs