Twists and Turns

People express their fragility in different ways. For some, their brittleness seems spun from delicate, almost invisible, strands of molten glass. They seem at risk of shattering into sandy powder in the slightest breeze. Others, though, attempt to hide weakness through bravado; thick clumps of distorted glass fired at high temperature and left to cool too rapidly. The cooled glass reveals massive cracks that can fracture into dangerous, sharp shards when even modest pressure is applied. There is, of course, a spectrum of frailty between the delicate lace and the crude globs of vitreous sand. But, in spite of their differences, the danger of breakage is great. Everyone carries a hammer capable, in a single blow, of turning glass into scraps of silica sand and tears of either pain or rage.


I finished the final episode of Paranoid last night. It ended in a way that suggested the writers and actors had gotten word of the series’ cancellation only fifteen minutes before filming was to begin. It worked, but only barely. It seemed to me a bit like I had read, before last night’s episode, the first seven chapters of a twenty chapter book and then skipped chapters eight through nineteen so I could get to the last one. It could just be me, of course. My expectations of television tend not to be met, though I’ve had reasonably good luck in recent months and years. I can’t say I was disappointed with the ending; just surprised.

A long list of movies and series of interest awaits my attention, but I have not had sufficient interest to start them of late. Though all of the options on my list seem interesting, I’m not in the mood lately to launch into them. Instead, I skim through lists of “what’s on” and pick from ones that seem sufficiently interesting and sufficiently short to maintain my interest for a while. Paranoid was one of them; I saw that it was only a single season of eight episodes, which seemed to me would stretch my attention span to about its limit.

However, after finishing Paranoid, I skimmed the list of the hundreds of available programs and settled on a long series I think everyone but me has already seen: Arrested Development. I think I selected it because I needed comedy. I binged on three or four episodes. Though it’s a bit sillier than I prefer, I enjoyed it. I suspect I’ll be watching it for a while to come. I understand it comprises 84 episodes in five seasons; that should keep me occupied through the end of the week.


One of my brothers had angioplasty performed on his legs yesterday, an attempt to determine and possibly correct the cause of significant swelling and pain. He says he already has had some results on one leg, but not on the other. He’ll return for a visit with the doctor in six weeks. In the interim, he’ll exercise his legs as much as possible in an effort to shepherd along the healing.

When such procedures are done, I think it would behoove the doctors, et al involved in the process to record a description of what they did, what they found, what they expect, and how and when to follow up. That recording should then be supplied to the patient and the patient’s family so, after the stress of being in a hospital/surgical environment (not to mention the anesthetic) wears off, a clear record is available. Relying on notes and memory is, in my view, insufficient. I’ve been through many such situations and have, in virtually every case, wished for a clearer, more reliable understanding. That could have been given to me in the form of a voice recording. Who do I see about making this standard medical practice? 😉


Last night’s dream involved at least two past places of employment, people with whom I worked in years gone by, and a visit to a former place of employment that had been in the throes of major construction for some twenty years or more (completely artificial, the construction not based in fact). It also involved seeing a woman, who replaced me in one of my past jobs, sitting at what looked like an airport bar, apparently drunk. A friend of mine was teasing her about trying to high-five President Obama in her state of inebriation and, instead, poking him in the chest. But this “airport bar” was inside a workplace. And somewhere along the line, I tried to convince my friends that I was serious about asking the CEO of a major company to give me $50,000 to start some sort of business venture.

Though I remember enough of the dream to know it combined multiple time periods and places, I do not remember sufficient details to make any sense of the dream. I know significant parts are missing from my last night’s experiences.


Today, in addition to continuing on with significant amounts of paperwork (and trying to talk to a lawyer about a letter I received about some funds I am trying to get put in my name), I plan to begin the process of moving the big, monstrously heavy, old “four poster” bed back into the master bedroom. I’ve been wanting to do that for months, but now I’m operating under a bit of a time crunch due to an impending visiting by friends who will need a place to sleep. At the moment, I continue to occupy the guest bed; I need to vacate that bed and that room. I do not think I can legitimately continue to occupy the guest bed and just say, “pick which side you want.” That would be a particularly awkward conversation in the case of my married friends; I suspect the male component of the couple would not be pleased to have me sleep with his wife. And she might not like the idea, either.


I think today is the day to include former co-workers and workplaces in my thoughts. I took a look at a post from one year ago today, where I discovered that a former co-worker from forty years ago had found this blog.  I haven’t heard from her much since then, but her comments stirred some memories of “the old days.” She worked with me, incidentally, in the same place that my dream suggested had been under construction for twenty years. Another incident of synchronicity.


The ability to both wash and dry clothes in my house is a luxury akin to a need. My dryer finally arrived yesterday and I put it to work almost immediately (well, after running it empty for 30 minutes to “burn off” the smell of oil). I need to wash sheets this afternoon (and jeans), so I will keep the beast occupied for a while. The old dryer was 33 years old; hard to believe it lasted so long; I was 34 years old when we bought it.


I think people a few years older than I, people who might have been of-age during the Woodstock era, probably have more experience with orgies than I. Inasmuch as I do not recall participating in a single orgy, that’s quite likely; assuming, of course, that some of those people a few years older than I participated in orgies. I’ve always wondered what that might be like; gluttonous consumption of decadent foods and alcohol (and other mood altering substances), along with serial sex with women I know only casually or not at all. I realize, of course, my vision of orgies may not reflect the reality of orgies. As a young man, even if I had been of-age during Woodstock, I doubt I would have participated in orgies. I was shy and reserved. And frightened of the world; and of being found out as an inexperienced kid. Now, in my old age, orgies seem to be a thing of the past. It’s just as well. I remain that shy and reserved kid; and inexperienced with orgies.

Some people who read or might read the preceding paragraph could be shocked or offended by what I’ve written. That’s an effect social norms can have on us. Shock and offense are personal expressions of fear (in my opinion). Social norms instill many good attitudes and behaviors in us, but they also tend to wrap us up so tightly in puritanical bandages that we cannot even imagine living outside the restrictive limits of what we’re told is “bad,” even when the definition of “bad” constitutes misunderstanding and fear. Okay, I’ll stop.


About John Swinburn

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