Desperately Seeking Satisfaction

Do some people enjoy their lives of crime because they get to choose their victims? I wonder whether they would find as much fulfillment if they had no choice in picking their victims? And how many people would choose a life of crime if they: 1) got to choose their victims; and 2) were assured they would not be caught or prosecuted?  I can imagine a sense of satisfaction by subjecting some people—many people—to victimhood. Roughly eighty-eight percent of Republican politicians and sixty-six percent of their Democratic colleagues might fall into that group. The legend of Robin Hood has its roots partly in the concept of economic vengeance—economics of certain stripes and politics exist together in a symbiotic-parasitic relationship. Generosity and compassion have no place in that miserable affiliation. There would be little or no crime if humanity put more emphasis on generosity and compassion than we do on greed and power. But if satisfaction is what we seek, are we looking in all the wrong places?


The memory is there, but hidden. Just beneath the surface of awareness, it waits. The deeply troubling dream experience that took place while I slipped in and out of semi-consciousness last night is poised to spring on me at any moment. And when it does, I feel certain I will react with horror, as if the incident had been real. Perhaps it was real. Perhaps reality need not be physical to be real. Maybe purely mental and emotional reality, absent most of the physical characteristics of what we normally think constitutes experience, can be just as authentic. Just as satisfying. Just as horrifying. I do not know what took place in my mind while I slept, but if that memory suddenly emerges, I will be terrified.


I had hoped my fatigue would fade, once I completed the planned course of chemotherapy. And it did. And it didn’t. Exhaustion/tiredness/sleepiness/etc. is one of the common side-effects of the follow-up drug that is dripped into me once every three weeks for two years. It is one of the side-effects I continue to experience with some frequency. I sleep a lot. In fact, it has gotten to the point that I have begun to actually look forward to taking naps during the day. Sleeping for an hour or two or three frees me from the monotony of simply being. Some days…many days…I think I would be happy to sleep around the clock. But only if I can avoid those horrifying nighttime experiences.


In yesterday’s blog post, I mistakenly expressed an interest in assisted living arrangements. I intended to write independent. I have no interest in being looked after or cared for or otherwise managed; my interest is in freedom, not in being bound by gentle shackles.


I swam across a smooth body of water (I think it was in Corpus Christi) to a point where a man was standing on the far shore. He worked for the Dallas Morning News. He was promoting a course the newspaper sponsored. The course seemed to me to be intended to teach about a bogus rip-off of a bogus psychological testing process. I went up a sand dune and into an auditorium. I sat near the back, where a few chairs remained open. I spoke up, pointing out the deficiencies in the psychological testing package; the audience of mostly women laughed at me, as if I did not have a clue was I was talking about. At some point I left, sliding back into the water and swimming across the smooth body of water back to the marina from whence I came. As far as I know, this was a deeply unsatisfying dream, as well.

Somewhere, far removed from the frenzy of towns and cities, is a stunningly beautiful, sleepy little village where residents actively avoid national and world news. People in this village are proudly self-sufficient, growing their own food crops and raising their own animals. The population of the village and the small communities nearby are friendly, generous, and caring. If only…


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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