If Calypso had written complex stories—cobbled together from fragments of confusing and deeply disturbing dreams—they would have only reinforced beliefs held by some people that his mental state was, charitably, unstable. But “if” suggests Calypso had a clear choice. He did not. He was compelled, by the voices that spoke to him in those bizarre dreams, to document the stories that emerged from clusters of those nocturnal experiences. Calypso learned long ago he could not choose what to write; his fingers were driven by those irrepressible voices to attack the keyboard with a vengeance. Scenes from his dreams, often seeming utterly unrelated to one another, required him to imagine ways of connecting them so his stories might make at least a shred of sense. But only Calypso could make sense of the links between dream sequences. Everyone else who read or heard the convoluted, often nonsensical, stories took them as simply more evidence of his madness. When Calypso disappeared, leaving a lengthy written explanation for his reasons for leaving and suggesting he might one day return, his departure added to the assumed evidence of his neurosis or psychosis or whatever it was that caused him to behave so strangely. But his behavior really was not strange; the oddity was  in his stories. People often assumed his behavior was influenced by what he wrote, but that was not the case. In fact, it was quite the opposite; no one, though, could make sense of that concept—and that remains true today.


Like Calypso, my writing often combines fiction with reality, making almost impossible a clear understanding of its meaning, if indeed it has meaning. Frequently, I write in a style I call stream of semi-consciousness, threading observable circumstances in between vague, dream-like veils that may be entirely fictitious or based in altered reality. Or, perhaps, I am making this up. Maybe I am writing with the objective of confusing the reader into believing I am the manifestation of Calypso. It could be something completely different, of course, but there is no point now in trying to explain; doubts already have been sewn into readers’ minds.


Sleep remains far more attractive to me than I would like. Though I feel much better than I have in the past three months or so, I have been unable to shake being tired much of the time. Mi novia insists I need to listen to my body, which she says is telling me I need recuperative sleep to recover from the beating my body has taken from chemotherapy drugs and related poisons. On one hand, I find sleep quite pleasant (except when invaded by deeply troubling dreams), but on the other I feel I am sleeping a significant part of my life away. Never before have I slept so many hours every night, only to follow the next day with hours-long naps interrupted by brief periods of being awake. It may be improving, though. My periods of wakefulness may be getting longer.


We went to dinner last night with a small group from church. Mi novia brought a to-go box home with her; she said I should have the leftovers for breakfast today. And I may well do that. But watermelon sounds more appealing to me right now. If I were more energetic, I might take the whole (but quite small) melon out of the refrigerator and cut it into small, bite-sized chunks. Alas, I am not especially energetic. So I may nuke some of the leftovers; I have enough energy to do that, I think. And, then, I will get dressed. For today, for the first time in a good while, I will go to church. The program today, which will be delivered by a member of the congregation, will be celebration (and warning, I suspect, of what might happen if we continue to ignore Mother Earth) about Earth Day.


Once a person reaches age 70, he or she should be provided with round-the-clock servants. Said servants could be provided to geezers as part of a national service program, in which youths would serve for a period of three years to repay in part their debts for being born and reared. These kids would not be slaves, of course; they would simply be assistants and helpers. Assuming a person lives to age 91, he or she could provide service opportunities to seven young people during the receipt of service. Quite a good idea, I think. It might require us to work out a few kinks, but nothing is simple, is it?

About John Swinburn

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