More Fantasies


I expect my treadmill to arrive this afternoon or early evening. I ordered it online a number of weeks ago, but like so many other consumer products, it was a victim of bottlenecks of manufacturer or distribution or both. But, according to a couple of phone calls I received yesterday, I should receive it today. Some people pooh-pooh the idea of a treadmill, saying it quickly will become a clothes rack, used only for garment storage and not for exercise. Those same people say treadmills are poor stand-ins for actual walking. I agree with the latter statement, except that I consider time on a treadmill to be dedicated time for exercise, whereas I consider walking for pleasure to be something entirely different. And, unlike the world outside, beneath the sky, treadmills are available whether it’s hot, cold, rainy, snowy, or deeply dark.

With good fortune and plenty of discipline, I will be able to demonstrate to the doubters the effectiveness (potential) of treadmills.


The journey is more important than the destination” So says the time-worn aphorism. In a very limited way, I will put that adage to the test, beginning tomorrow. I will climb inside my vehicle and take a journey. It may be 200 a mile journey or I may drive 500 miles. The drive may take me north, but it could just as easily take me south. Or east. Or west. Or variations thereof. Tomorrow’s journey will be just the first day of a weeks-long adventure. Every day, a new journey. Another 200 or 500, or just 75, miles. Every day, the destination will be irrelevant; the “getting-there” is the more important aspect of the journey; wherever “there” happens to be—I will not know until I get there.

The idea of this kind of journey—which involves no planning and no destination—is a bit stressful to mi novia. She is used to journeys in which the destination was primary and every aspect of carefully planning how to get there was almost as important. This journey, in which extemporaneous decisions about direction and distance, will shatter those experiences into dust. Well, maybe not quite dust. At some point each day, we will have to decide where we want to try to stay. And we will have to try to book a room. And we will have to reach that destination in order to stay in that place. So, being a wanderer—a gypsy, a vagabond—is not so easy; one strays back into elements of a planned life. Nothing ties us to the idea of eschewing planned destinations; if, after a time, we decide we prefer the structure of a known destination and a planned itinerary, we can make the appropriate adjustments. Mi novia and I will decide off the cuff.  I am not sure whether I agree with the assertions in the following quotation, but I like the way it slides off the tongue.

I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.

~ Hilaire Belloc ~


93/59; pulse 49. I suspect that’s indicative of my über-relaxed state of mind. But that cannot be it; I am not that cool and calm and collected. Of course, I scurried over the Sister Google for some information (I’ve done that before, but I’ve forgotten what I learned). Sister Google allowed that a pressure under 90/60 is abnormally low (though not dangerous). I have this distinct feeling that I already wrote about this stuff…like just days ago. Either this feeling is déjà vu or it’s a close cousin to it. Perhaps I am light-headed, one of the possible symptoms of hypotension. Or perhaps I am like many/most others, who may sometimes be at or near the cut-off for hypotension diagnosis,  but who show no symptoms at all. And, then, my lower-than-normal blood pressure drifts up to the not-so-awfully-low range. All’s well in the land of make-believe


My travel fantasy this morning includes a destination: an isolated private island on which is perched a magnificent little house; very modern in design but nestled into the topography as if it grew there. Once there, I would close the window between my private little island world and the universe beyond that window. When I open the window again, all I can see are grass prairies leading to the top edge of high cliffs. Two hundred feet below, waves crash into the vertical cliff walls and water splashes almost to the prairie grass above. The house is well-stocked with food. One room is essentially a library, with shelves all along the walls and in aisles in the center of the room, leaving little room between the stacks. Plenty of books. And a crafts-room, complete with pottery wheels, slab roller, clay, colored glass, lead solder, soldering gun, welding equipment, plasma cutter, grinders, kilns, table saws, radial arm saws, a drill press, and dozens of other tools and various supplies. Heaven on earth. And the place has unlimited power. And several freezers full of food…did I mention? Hey, this is a fantasy. I can have what I want.


The clock tells me it’s time to begin getting ready for the day. I suppose I will comply.



About John Swinburn

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