More Than You Think

Mi novia probably has investigated you. She probably knows more about you than you have shared with her; maybe more than you have shared with your family. One of her hobbies tends to keep her investigative skills finely honed; she explores the backgrounds of people she encounters or reads or hears about. It is an outgrowth of her career as a fraud investigator. I sometimes wonder how much she really knows about me. Certainly she knows more than I have told her. And she knows about my family. Not must my immediate family, but my family history. Where they came from. Who they married. What careers they chose…or were chosen for them. Not everything, of course. But considerably more than I know. And she may know how many marriages you have had and where you were married. Whether you have been arrested and, if so, why.

Actually, I am rather dramatically overstating her propensity to investigate everyone she encounters. In fact, she tends to limit her sleuthing to newsmakers, especially those who are in the news because of criminal accusations against them. So, you do not need to worry that your secrets will be exposed. Even if she uncovers them, she will not spread them like runaway viruses. Tranquilo.


Dreams may be outlets for expressions of shame or embarrassment. That possibility occurs to me this morning because of two situations I recall from my dreams last night. In one, I was riding in an open-air train car through a crowded downtown area, on the way to a spot where I would rent an automobile. The shame came as I recognized that I was the only one smoking a cigarette and that the smoke could be bothersome to other riders. But I did not stop. Shame continued as I insisted to one of two companions, David Garcia, that—after I had rented the car—I knew exactly where I was going. Even though I had only vague recollections of the way to our destination (an enormous permanent festival that covered several dozen blocks in every direction), I assured him I knew the way. There was much more to the dream that than; but the only “message” I got out of it was its apparent relationship to expressing shame or embarrassment. Hmm.

Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested.

~ Elizabeth I ~


Several times during the night, as I shifted from one side to another or from my back to my side, the pain of arthritis woke me with a start. I have become a proponent of the search for either a cure or a reliable pain-killing treatment for the condition—something that would either eliminate the pain or mask it completely, without the mess of creams and such. A one-time injection or a single treatment consisting of swallowing a small, unobtrusive pill would be ideal. See what you can do, will you?


The soothing, slightly warm waters of a swimming pool, hidden behind the high walls of my rural compound, would feel delightful right now. Outdoor “mood” lighting spaced around the base of the walls, behind lush vegetation would provide the only illumination, other than the moon and stars. I would swim and float in the nude; there would be no reason to wear a swimsuit, because there would be no need to conform to irrational social conventions (social “abnorms,” I sometimes call them). Guests, if I had them, would have to adapt to nudity in the pool. Once inside, though—and dry—I would don loose-fitting, extremely comfortable attire.

At one end of the pool, a hot tub equipped with powerful water jets could erase the aches and pains of daily life and the decay of advancing age. Depending on how I felt after a swim, I might let the water jets sooth my aching muscles. This morning, I might skip the pool and spend a few hours letting the jets chase the aches away.

My mind is rife with fantasies. Lately, I have discovered the appeal of clandestine foreign service, for example. If I could live my life over, I might devote more time and energy to my studies, with an eye toward a career in furtive observation and secret data collection, analysis, and application. Deterring foreign operatives from accomplishing their objectives, which would mirror mine, has some appeal. Of course, it is possible that the story I tell about my career history is simply a cover for the real thing. It is entirely possible that my multiple—but far-too-brief—trips to other countries were sponsored and funded by the U.S. State Department. What other legitimate reason could I have had to travel to Moscow, Beijing, London, Marseilles, Dhahran, Lisbon, Madrid, etc., etc.? I might well be a retired spy, in other words. But, probably not.


As I wrap up this stream-of-consciousness blather, you might assume all of the “junk” that goes though my mind does not leave much room to think about you. But that is not the case. I think about you more than you think. And I think about others in your circle more than you think. It’s all part of my exploration into how we’re all connected in some form or fashion. We are. The threads of connection are both as thick as rope and as thin as a strand of a kitten’s fur. If you look at them closely, you will see how intertwined we are with everyone and everything.

About John Swinburn

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