My reflection in the window surprised me. For an instant, I thought what I saw in front of me, just outside the window of my study, was a deer. But it was only a hazy mirror image of my hand bringing a cup of coffee to my lips. The vision was just a translucent visual echo, as if it were a hologram, tricking my eyes into believing a story created by my gullible mind. The trickery did not end with that unexpected reflection. Even after I realized I had been deceived by my own eyes, conspiring to mislead me, another image startled me; this one purely a fantasy created by my imagination. This illusion did not involve eyesight. It took place entirely in my head, relying only on my recollection of an incident that took place quite some time ago.

In this illusion, I sat at a table inside a tiny restaurant next to a woman with whom I share certain interests. We had agreed to meet at the little place for lunch to discuss one of our common interests. I was nervous, as if there was more to our meeting than a simple discussion. The tension I felt was akin to the feeling of “butterflies” I remember feeling during a first date while I was in high school. That was why I felt nervous. I found the woman attractive and I was worried that my attraction to her would be obvious and unwelcome. There was no need to worry, I decided later, because I was adept at hiding my emotion. Even when I told her I enjoyed our conversation and suggested we meet again, my discomfort was obvious only to me. Although the fact we only met for lunch that one time might suggest either that she hid her displeasure at my attraction or that I avoided subsequent engagements to protect myself from further discomfort.

Why that fantasy came to mind on the heels of seeing the reflection of my coffee cup is beyond me. It is not uncommon for thoughts unrelated to my experiences in the moment to emerge. I cannot explain, for example, why memories of fishing on the Intracoastal Canal occasionally pop up at times when fishing is the furtherest thing from my mind. The mind is a mystery.


I have an appointment at the “urgent care” clinic this morning, where I hope the nurse I am to see will quickly and easily determine what has been causing the pain I feel in and around my right clavicle (and in my shoulders and various other joints). I had hoped my primary care physician’s office could arrange for an x-ray (which I want because I think it may be possible that my right clavicle might have a hairline fracture, though I do not know how that might have happened). I could not get an appointment there right away, though, so they suggested I go the urgent care clinic. We shall see what, if anything, the urgent care clinic can do to relieve my pain. Probably nothing. I am not much of an optimist this morning.


We may order a pizza this evening in lieu of a Thanksgiving dinner. If we do, we’ll re-heat the pizza tomorrow, which will serve in place of a more traditional Thanksgiving feast. Neither of us are interested in investing the time and energy in making a “normal” feast. It’s one thing to prepare a big, special meal for several family members or friends, but quite another when it’s just the two of us. I am used to non-traditional holiday meals. For most of my adult life, I have been far away from my family. Friends are busy with their own families or their own traditions, which is perfectly fine with me. I rather like being free to relax and enjoy being deeply lazy on holidays.


Mi novia went out yesterday and bought a “pencil” Christmas tree, an artificial tree that’s tall and thin and easily stored when the season is over. It will be available for future Christmas celebrations, as will the Santa Claus pillow and the holiday decorations. Holidays in general are no longer especially appealing to me. There is little “special” about them. I do miss that sense of holiday cheer that I remember feeling as a kid (if, indeed, my memories are my own). But I can do without it.


Time to have some avocado toast and launch into the day.

About John Swinburn

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