Poached Fantasy and No Toast

My mood today is moderately better than yesterday’s nadir. The aroma of hope wafts through the water-logged air, suggesting something sanguine awaits beyond my view, hidden by the morning fog. I wish I possessed the skill or talent or whatever it is that I don’t own to mold my emotions with my keyboard. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply type one’s way to happiness? Wouldn’t life be grand if, with just a few flicks of my fingers, I could write my way to a buoyant mood? Yes, and sustaining oneself on a diet of rainbows would be hunky dory, as well.

Perhaps I could write a story about a man who, in his mid sixties, discovers that rainbows have an amazing effect on his mood. Whenever he sees them, happiness envelopes him like a cocoon. So he follows weather forecasts, trying his best to know where he is apt to find rainbows. He lives in his car, driving from place to place in search of atmospheric circumstances ideally suited to the formation of rainbows. When he finds them, he’s overcome with joy unlike anything he’s ever experienced. But between rainbows, his mood flags, leaving him bereft. His emotions, shredded and dry like sun-bleached starfish left on a beach at ebb tide, become fragile and brittle.

It doesn’t take him long to realize he’s become a rainbow addict. The euphoria that accompanied his rainbow experiences in the early days of his discovery becomes bottomless despair. Without rainbows, he shrinks into himself, cursing the sky and drowning his sorrows with orange juice from concentrate. Living in his car no longer carries the sense of adventure it once did. He recognizes he’s given up everything for the fleeting rush that follows a rainbow experience. And he remembers some of the lyrics of the Muppets Movie song, the film that, he realizes, must have triggered his downward spiral:

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

The only solution, he decides, is to live where there can be no rainbows. And where might that be? A smog-choked city, he reasons, is the best place, because the smoke and dust in the air would make it impossible for rainbows to form. And so, after giving the matter considerable thought, he sells his car and its contents and buys a ticket to Beijing where, after a month of living on the street, he decides he’s made a horrible choice. But he has no money, his passport has been stolen, he’s utterly destitute. What does he do now? We’ll never know, because I’ve tired of writing this absurd little psychosis.

Has it improved my mood, though? Time will tell. I know for a fact that my breakfast this morning will not consist of rainbows. I’m thinking, maybe, poached eggs and Canadian bacon, with a side of radishes and sweet pepper, will work to get this day off to a reasonable start.

About John Swinburn

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