Just Another Morning in Paradise

Time speeds by every morning. Between the time I wake up and the time I sit down at the keyboard to think with my fingers, half an hour has disappeared into the mist of history. How can it take half an hour to slide out of bed, eliminate the urine that has accumulated since the last wee-hours trip to the bathroom, throw on my morning clothes, take my pills, and make my coffee? How, indeed. Yet it takes that much time to make my way from bed to desk. The speed with which time flies by is another reason I want and need to arise early. If I got up later, half the day would have disappeared into a smoky memory, robbing me of the peaceful introduction to the solitude that is mine each day. As always, I am grateful for that solitude, yet mindful that I need companionship and affection. That’s the subject of a conversation I would like to have one day with people who are close to me; what are their thoughts and feelings about companionship and affection and solitude? But that’s a subject that many people, especially male people, would rather avoid. Discussions about emotions tend to strip away the masculine mystique, revealing sensitive spots subject to “unmanly” pain. We men can be such babies.  Wait. How the hell did my thoughts about how time rushes by turn into a lamentation about male emotional fragility? Who knows? That’s the way my mind works—or malfunctions—at this hour of the day. And most other hours.


There’s a fine line between indignation and rage. Both responses to unexpected and unacceptable circumstances generally are inappropriate in public settings. So, in place of emotional melt-downs, we (I, anyway) must mask our feelings of fury and bitter animosity. In their place, we sometimes must substitute empathy and understanding, all the while wishing we could let loose with a barrage of profanity followed by a volley of physical abuse rarely seen in modern civil society. For example, when discovering at the car rental counter that the make and model of vehicle one has reserved and paid for is not available and will not be available for the foreseeable future, one might become animatedly angry. But that does no good. Instead, one swallows hard and accepts one’s utter inability to control the situation, acknowledging one’s impotence and accepting circumstances beyond one’s control. But, beneath the calm, one wants to find the bureaucrats who control the car rental agency’s ineptitudes and processes; and, when found, beat those bureaucrats bloody with a hardwood baseball bat. And that’s just one of millions of upsetting situations one encounters during the course of one’s life. Is it any wonder that, sometimes, people simply snap under massive waves of insanity? Personally, I am surprised I do not see more people wandering aimlessly about the streets, shaking their fists at the sky and babbling incoherently. Perhaps I’m just not paying sufficient attention, given that I’m busy, giving the finger to the “bad side” of the universe while I scream a string of profanities a mile wide and a lifetime long.


If life were as fair as I want it to be, I would have a warm apple fritter waiting for me in the kitchen after I finish typing this tirade. But life is not fair in that way. In place of an apple fritter, dry cereal and an over-ripe banana await me. Punishment, I suppose, for my acknowledgement of my tendency toward indignation and rage. But, at least it’s food. If I had not practiced suppressing those emotions and replacing them with empathy and understanding, I would have only wet cardboard and rotted lemons for sustenance. So, in the overarching scheme of things, dry cereal and over-ripe bananas look like gifts of gentle appreciation. We mask the ugly with the unsightly. Still, I would deeply appreciate an apple fritter. Hell, I would be delighted with a glazed donut or a spicy sausage roll. But I will accept the damn cereal, if I have to, and won’t complain too bitterly about it.


I have places to see and things to be, so I’ll end this diatribe now. Again, I may not (or may) blog much (or at all) in the next few days. But I will be back when the time is right and my thoughts are ripe. Like lemons.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Just Another Morning in Paradise

  1. Meg Koziar says:

    John, I share your “how in the world could that have taken me so much time” but now it takes s o o o o much longer to do anything that I’m finding myself with symptoms of anxiety for the first time in my life. Partly it is that my voice is not reliable enough to use voice typing and I am having to hit each letter with the tip of my stylus instead of using both fingers and typing quite rapidly. Wow.I just typed that last sentence by speaking very slowly and it worked. Yay. Thank you for helping me discover that. Go frolic.

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