©2014 By Bob Litton
NOTE TO READER: My muse was full of it this morning — that is, full of topics I do not want to write about because they are depressing, and other topics that are so jejune I fear my readers would not advance beyond the first paragraph, if that far. But I had to write something; otherwise those few regular perusers who flatter me by almost daily knocking at my blog’s door would imagine my death. So, I resolved that an end run around the invisible muse-wench was called for: random thoughts.
Have you ever been discomfited upon realizing that you think constantly — even, in a way, while you are asleep (they are called “dreams”)? Have you ever wished you could turn your brain off for a while because the notions there are too multitudinous or fraught with the distasteful that you are wearied?
Being a bachelor and most often alone, I frequently enough yearn for at least a quarter hour of silent, still mental status. Calm down, cool down, O Cerebrum! But it cannot happen, not unless I suffer such a head injury as to become comatose. Since I do not relish any injury, least of all the physical sort, I just tolerate the surge of random, hardly connected images which fluctuate — like a kaleidoscope — looking for the precise words to describe themselves. Here is an example of what I mean from this morning’s mental flooding.
Well, it’s almost eight. About time for the weather report. Already three days of expansive cloudiness and yet only half an inch of moisture, most of it in the form of mist and drizzle. Remember that phone call one man decades ago made to the TV weatherman? “I want to let you know that I have just shoveled six inches of ‘partly cloudy’ off my sidewalk!” Speaking of ‘partly cloudy’, what does that mean anyway? Will the day be cloudy for twelve or so hours and then clear for the rest? Or does it mean that all day long there will be clouds in some of the sky, while the rest will be clear? Phooey!!! Those weather guys are always predicting stuff that doesn’t happen. Wonder why they even try to serve us with five- to ten-day forecasts. Hmmm. The radio weatherman is saying we got three-tenths of an inch of precipitation during the past 24 hours and it’s supposed to be cloudy the entire coming week. Bummer! But they always contradict themselves the next day or the day after that, so we can probably expect sunshine. Why don’t they just forecast for the next day and leave it at that?
Have to shower now and change into clean clothes. Used to love showering; now it’s a chore. Wonder why? Ahhh! That warm stream relaxes my neck. How could I possibly weary of this? Guess it must be my concern for water conservation. After all, I do live in a desert and the whole western third of the country is in a drought. Also, that article I read a month ago argued that we should not bathe every day because it is not healthy for the skin; the dead skin cells are needed to protectively cover the new cells. And when we do bathe we would do well to not dry off with a towel, but shake ourselves as the dogs do, because rubbing with a towel wipes the old cells off with the water. But, if we are in a rush and use a towel anyway, we should just pat ourselves dry, not rub.
Time for breakfast. Think I’ll just eat some cereal here and then maybe a couple of biscuits with coffee — lots of coffee — at the coffee shop. But first, I’ve got to take my pills. Those doctors sure like to cram pills down your throat. Look there now! I’ve got six bottles of pills, one of which pills I must split in two; it is so small already that cutting it in two is like a surgical operation; fitting it into the little triangular splitter is a damnable chore! They ought to issue laser cutters for these things.
Ah, now for the cereal! Wonder if this sugar substitute is really good for me; I’ve read conflicting reports about this stuff; wish those scientists wouldn’t say anything until they have got all their dominoes in a row. Heard this raisin bran is more fattening than that frosted flakes I used to like as a kid. Can’t believe it! No sirree, just can’t believe it.
Settle in before my computer so I can read the CNN news while I eat. Why do I do it? It’s always depressing. The only thing that is really new is the increase in the level of dangers and horrors and absurdities: beheadings in the Mideast, inadvertent slaughter of millions of birds by windmills and solar panels, athletes beating or killing their girlfriends or wives, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, celebrities showing off their latest sexy bathing suits. Yuck!
Well, time to show myself in society. Off to the coffee shop. Pick up my paperback copy of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling/The Sickness Unto Death and head out the door. Yeah, still heavily overcast. Real wintry looking. Oh, look! There’s my neighbor’s new used car. Just think, only a couple of years ago he was begging for money to pay his doctors’ bills; had lip cancer; a heavy smoker; better now, but he still smokes. And now he’s got a huge TV set, a computer, a sometime maid, and this decent-looking sedan. His old mini-SUV had broken windows that, for years, he would drape towels over when rain was predicted. I asked him the other day if he had come into an inheritance, to be able to make all these, to me, expensive purchases. He smiled and said, “Oh, I have some friends who make me offers I can’t refuse.”
Driving south a block I find myself behind another mini-SUV, newer and larger than my neighbor’s. It is sitting at a stop sign, but no traffic is coming from right or left. I am impatient. Maybe the driver is a tourist unsure of which direction to take. But I encounter this situation all the time in this town. What is it with these people!!!??? I’m about to honk fiercely when the vehicle starts turning left: the same way I want to go. Oh, good grief! Three blocks later it turns right: again the direction I want to go. I might not ever get to the coffee shop. They turn right again and pull into the coffee shop’s potholed parking lot, but I get closer and park near the door. I get out and look behind me. Oh, my goodness! It’s the lady who lives in the mini-mansion just a couple of blocks north of me, the one who goes to the coffee shop every day and studies — I think, memorizes — her huge study Bible. In certain areas she is quite intelligent, but she has a primitive view of theological matters. However, I do not argue with her; I’ve already revealed my views on that subject; and that was the end of it, for both of us. We just say “Hi!” now and smile at each other’s retardation.
In the coffee shop, the waitresses and kitchen staff greet me loudly, as usual. We tease each other a lot. I jocularly complain to the waitresses about silly things, but I also assure them they will always have a superior numbered spot on my list of girlfriends. It dawns on me suddenly that the coffee shops and restaurants are the only places I smile, even laugh.
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