Have You Ever?

I think I’ve written everything I’ve needed to write. There’s nothing new in my brain. Everything I write now (here, I’m referring not to fiction but to “what’s in my head”) is simply a rehash of something I’ve written before, perhaps something about which I’ve written repeatedly.  I’ve known this for some time. But in spite of this knowledge, I continued trying to express my thoughts and emotions in ways that more clearly articulate the way I experience the world. I think it’s a pointless endeavor. I can tolerate only a limited amount of repetitive over thinking before I go stark-raving mad. Which I have done. And that leads me to another subject entirely.

***

I am hungry this morning for three things: breakfast sausage, coffee ice cream, and raisin bread toast, none of which we have in the house. Hunger for those three things, simultaneously, is a symptom of madness. But the real madness arises when I recognize that I simply cannot have those things this morning. Instead, I’ll have the same old same old: Canadian bacon, an egg, and tomato juice. I can’t even have my usual one and a half halves of radishes, inasmuch as we finished them off yesterday and the Kroger we visited yesterday in Benton had no more in stock. This is an outrage, a sin against humankind and nature. It’s the sort of thing that, when coupled with the annoyance of dealing with unruly eyebrow hairs, can cause dislocations in the social order.

***

Have you ever tripped over an especially long, uncooperative strand of hair protruding from the otherwise relatively well-behaved cluster of hair on your brows? Well, I have. It’s an annoying and potentially dangerous experience, especially when it happens during a morning walk on a precarious ridge on a mountaintop during a snowstorm. I don’t expect snowstorms in the coming month, but I didn’t expect to trip over an errant strand of eyebrow hair, either, so perhaps I should buy snow tires now, before there’s a run on them at the snow tire store.

***

Having lived in a cold climate (Chicago) for only four winters, I never got around to buying snow tires for our car. We kept it in the garage most of the time during winter while we lived there and rarely took it out when the streets seemed unwelcoming to year-round tires. Our tires had spent most of their lives in and around the Houston metropolitan area and, therefore, weren’t comfortable in snow. We accommodated them to the extent we could.

***

The thing is, the tires on our current cars are perfectly comfortable rolling on the roads in our area, so I could, if only I knew what time my wife might wake up, drive on said tires before she awakens and visit a store where I could buy breakfast sausage, coffee ice cream, and raisin bread. But my hankering for raisin toast has diminished considerably since I first thought of it. My interest now is in warm flour tortillas awash in refried black beans, jalapeños, and a combination of extra sharp cheddar and blue cheeses. But, I don’t know when my wife will awaken. If I were to sneak in the bedroom to retrieve my “street clothes,” I might awaken her, which could cause crankiness. Or, I might successfully retrieve the clothes and drive away, only to return to a cranky wife who’s wondering why I left without telling her and why I bought things she would rather we not have in the house. What other options do I have? I’m a prisoner in my own home. I can’t even get dressed without concern’s of waking my wife pressing hard on my mind. How do things press hard on one’s mind?

***

I remember a rock, thrown by a boy quite some distance away, pressing hard against my friend Steve’s head, the appendage that carried his mind. It pressed so hard that it drew considerable blood and a combination of cries and whimpers and curses from Steve’s mouth. With that memory of what can happen when something presses hard on one’s mind, I attempt to calm myself. Her crankiness would be elevated to other emotions were my wife to awaken to see me in the kitchen, bleeding profusely from a wound caused by something pressing hard on my mind, especially if I were crying and whimpering and cursing. It is for that reason that I am practicing meditation techniques.

***

I can say without doubt that my attempts to practice meditation has not been perfected. Not even remotely. The realization that practicing meditation has had absolutely no effect on my state of mind causes me to wonder about the wisdom of going to the doctor with a physical ailment. The doctor is practicing medicine, of course, but how do we know that he or she has had only as much success in that endeavor as I have had in practicing meditation? That thought simply exacerbates the problem of something pressing hard on my mind and I’m afraid I will start bleeding profusely at any moment.

***

Physics defines pressure as “force per unit area.” Compare that to one of the definitions of stress: “the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.” So, my concern is naturally that the force per unit area will cause an action on my body of the system of balanced forces inside and outside my head that will cause strain or deformation. You can see why I am afraid of the prospect of profuse bleeding.

***

Blood is the fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of human beings consisting of plasma in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended. When the force per unit area on a system of balanced forces of the body causes excessive strain or deformation, the result can be the spillage of plasma containing red and white blood cells and platelets. This spillage, bright red and slippery on smooth-surface floors, is an unholy mess. Have you ever cleaned up massive amounts of your own blood, constituting all but an ounce or two remaining in your heart, from the kitchen floor? Well I have. No, that’s not true. I haven’t cleaned up massive amounts of your blood; I don’t even know who you are, so I can’t say I’ve cleaned up your blood. I’m referring to my blood. I just did it in a way that was so utterly confusing that you might have thought I had just attacked you with a meat cleaver and, therefore, were frantically checking yourself for evidence of blood loss and vital signs. That wasn’t it at all. My apologies for the gruesome confusion.

***

Long, bizarre questions beginning with descriptions of a series of strange activities, beginning with “have you ever” and ending with the statement, “Well I have,” tend to be funny. To me, anyway. My wife and I listened to a snippet from a radio program last week that included such stuff. We thought it was funny. So I thought I’d try it here. It works better as original material, I tell you.  My fingers and my mind have grown tired of my ongoing frivolity and mindless blather. So I’ll stop. Now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Please tell me how this post strikes you.