Just Beyond the Edge of Confusion

Yesterday was, for all intents and purposes, a washout. I woke up a bit late, after an unpleasant night. My morning coffee with my sister-in-law did not include any Words with Friends; apparently I was not sufficiently awake and alert—I overlooked the normal routine. She left a little after 9 and I decided, about 9:30, to rest in my recliner, listening to Amazon Spa music. I awakened several times to pee, but each time I returned to nap. I did not get up to finish the day until just before 2:30 pm. Five hours, more or less, of fitful napping seemed to have more or less erased my narcolepsy.

Every time I think of that word, I remember sitting in the Albuquerque airport with a couple of colleagues, one of whom was the president of the association for which I worked. The president kept nodding off as we waited for our flight. At some point, he said something to the effect that “I’ve had a terrible case of necrophilia.” My staff member and I howled with laughter for what seemed like hours. I still don’t think he quite understood what he had said, even after we explained it.

A late lunch of black-eyed peas, followed by a run to the mailbox, led to a late afternoon call to a friend, accompanied by wine, following up on a text message I had received the night before. Scanning Facebook, I learned that the place some friends and I planned to have tacos on Tuesday will be closed until Friday. Whether Taco Tuesday will take place somewhere else or another time remains to be seen.

Later, still, I opened a can of chicken and rice soup and poured some more wine. And I recalled the evening events from the previous night, when I watched an utterly absurd, ridiculously stupid film called Sharknado.  At least the moronic film caused me to laugh. Oh, and I watched an episode of Hinterland; that series is worth watching, I’ll say again.

Here I have slipped from yesterday morning and afternoon to the night before. Writers who confuse readers in that way should be horsewhipped. But not yet. Later. Much later.

So, last night, after the soup and wine, I sat in front of the television for quite a while and wished for a time before this nightmare. I did not turn the TV on; I just sat there, looking at the blank screen. I thought about the L-Pill I read and wrote about yesterday. It would resolve things for me, but would create nothing but grief and pain for others, so it’s off the table for now. Not that I have access to such a device, of course. But even if I did, it would be off the table. Following my little foray into self-pity, I turned on the TV and watched another episode of Hinterland. I rather like the fact that episodes of the series are much longer than many programs, running an hour and a half, sometimes. I think. I should have timed it last night.

One’s purpose in life, as difficult as it is to comprehend, becomes clear only after that purpose is lost. That purpose is noble and positive and it inspires happiness in the face of trouble and pain; yet it remains hidden. When it disappears into a mist that fades into oblivion, it is too late to capture it and hold it as one’s guiding principle. But that is when the purpose becomes clearest; the purpose is always outside of oneself and impossible to retrieve once it is gone. Only then does another purpose take its place, a purpose designed to replace joy with grief; that purpose cannot be abandoned, though, regardless of the pain. But the L-Pill, at the moment when all of one’s obligations have been met, might erase the purpose when the purpose has been achieved.


Well, that was an odd trip around the psyche, wasn’t it? Indeed it was. Fortunately, Hinterland was sufficiently attractive to lure me out of a flood, just in time to escape drowning beneath a heavy metal livestock grate. (Only by watching Hinterland will that reference make any sense at all; fortunately for me, I understand exactly what I mean.)

I still weigh far too much. And I will until and unless I change my lifestyle. I need to eat less, exercise more, and pretend I will be able to look at myself in the mirror without disgust and shame if only I lose 70 pounds. I must figure out a way to place myself just beyond the edge of confusion so the changes I desire become the changes I seek. Seeking change is the active form of desiring change. Desire does not necessary trigger action. Wishing is not a motivator.


Last night, after all my pre-sleep activities, I went to bed around 9:45, still far too early. I woke at 12:30, at 1:45, and at 2:45. In each case, I went back to sleep quickly. But at 3:30 the wakefulness lasted longer, around 45 minutes. I woke just before 5 with another set of leg cramps, though not nearly as severe as the night before. I stomped my feet and they diminished considerably; thanks for the tip, David. I drank a little tonic water before bed, but not quite enough. And today I will consume a lot of water to see if that addresses the issue.


It’s just a shade after 5:40 now. I’ve unloaded the dishwasher and put the dishes away. I’ve almost finished a cup of coffee. There’s no Words with Friends and coffee visit with my sister-in-law on the morning agenda. I think I may indulge myself in a breakfast of bacon and eggs, though my desire for a healthier lifestyle looms over my conscience, urging me to start today, now, to improve my eating habits. I decided to check my January 3, 2014 “Thoughts for the Day,” to see if that motivational tidbit might give me any direction. It reads as follows:

Any recipe that calls for a single clove of garlic must be considered suspect; that recipe was very probably produced by someone who does not like you.  Always use a minimum of three cloves of garlic, regardless of the recipe’s measure, or you’ll have vampires running rampant in your kitchen.

Obviously, I should go forward with my plan for bacon and eggs, augmented with three cloves of garlic. There’s always tomorrow to start living a healthier lifestyle. But, as we know, there’s never a guarantee of tomorrow; certainly no guarantee there will always be a tomorrow. My wife would have tolerated my hunger for bacon this morning, but not at this hour. I would have had to be as quiet as a mouse in the kitchen. And so I shall.

About John Swinburn

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