Artificial Experience

Not long ago, I started writing a poem. Well, it wasn’t really a poem; not a legitimate poem. It was moderately rhythmic evidence of psycho-absurdity. I shouldn’t even admit to writing it, much less to sharing the first two lines of the embarrassing display of childish insanity, but I’ve always been oddly willing to openly reveal my most appalling flaws. So, with little further ado, I am about to unveil to a tiny sliver of the universe an unseemly manifestation of madness. But not quite yet. First, let me say the fact that I recognize the silly stupidity of my poetic license should minimize the contempt and derision with which readers will drench me. But will it? Who knows? If, as usual, my words here prompt not a word, I will take it to mean no one judges me any worse today than any other day. If, on the other hand, my usually-silent readers launch into mockery and ridicule, I will know I have stepped over the line of acceptable childish idiocy. Only time will tell. So, without any further delay:

Mabel was a mutant, she shed her skin each night.
She dined on elephant elbows and sold tickets to the sight.


In news of the world, the good people of Tempco arrived early yesterday. They spent half the day installing a new mini-split HVAC device in my Sky Room, rendering the room usable year-round (I hope). The cost of the product and its installation was equivalent to roughly fifty percent of the list price of a new 1984 Honda Prelude. I should add that I believe the Honda Prelude had air conditioning and got 26-29 miles per gallon; the fuel economy of my mini-split is unknown and irrelevant.


I want to know more about Fayetteville, Arkansas. More than its population (roughly 85,000). More than the percentage of voters who, in 2020, voted for Trump versus Biden (50% versus 47%). More than the median cost of houses ($315K). More than the fact that, in neighboring Springdale, the 8th annual ArkanSalsa Fest will be held on Saturday, October 9. I wish I’d known about that last bit of irrelevancy a little earlier, before I locked in a visit to the area on dates that preclude my participation in the ArkanSalsa Fest. I’d like to know more about the area surrounding Fayetteville, too. More than just Springdale. Prairie Grove. Goshen. Benton. Rogers. Etc. Maybe one day I will know more.


I will devote part of the day to clean-up and straightening up. Eventually, this house will look livable and orderly. But not until I get  my ass in gear and do something about it. And not until I figure out what to do with all the stuff. Stuff everywhere. I need to put it away. Somewhere.


I woke up late today. 6:15. Crazy! I never sleep that late. Except when I do. A rarity, but not unheard of. And I went to bed by 10:30 last night. About 8 hours in bed. That’s what causes my joints to ache and my head to throb. Six to 7 hours is the normal range of my time in bed. More than that and I behave as if I’ve taken mind-altering drugs. Not that I’ve ever taken mind-altering drugs. But if I had, they would make me behave as if I’d had too much sleep.


Let me offer just one word of advice for anyone “out there” looking for nirvana. Bacon.


I wonder what it would be like to wake up every morning to a different artificial reality? For example, awakening to the sensation that one is riding on a very narrow train between windows on both sides. Outside, on one side of the train, the view is an enormous panorama of snow-capped mountains and lush meadows. On the other, the view is of fish and gorgeous multi-color undersea scenery; seaweed, sea urchins, starfish, sharks, etc., etc. The next day, the scenes could be completely different: desert-scapes on one side, forests on the other. And the next day, glaciers and polar bears on one side, street scenes of Mexico City or Beijing or Cairo on the other. Wouldn’t that be a magical experience? Seriously, wouldn’t it?


I’m off to experience a day full of reality and artificiality. The trick will be to differentiate between the two and to decide which is preferable. In other words, just another day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Artificial Experience

  1. Warren says:

    Seriously, you’ve never tried LSD? Are you sure?

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