My mind has been occupied, during many evenings the last few weeks, by watching a Flemish-language/English subtitled crime series called Undercover, a Netflix crime drama set primarily in Belgium. Much of the current season’s action is set on a country dude ranch in the Belgian countryside. The prior season (season 1) was set mostly in what I would call a trailer park, but which was given a more genteel name in the series; I don’t recall what they called it, but the permanent homes among the trailers were called “chalet.” Like most television, especially foreign crime drama television, the plots are impractical. But these plots are incredibly gripping. Yet even with their impractical nature, coupled with impossible storylines, they are impossible to dismiss. I am addicted to them as if they are crack cocaine and I am Casey Jones—the protagonist in the Grateful Dead’s musical masterpiece. Speaking of Casey Jones, I wonder whether people who are familiar with the Dead’s music are aware of the ballad that preceded it or the very real railroad engineer upon whom the ballad was based? I guess I’ll just keep wondering.
This focus on Undercover and, before it, strings of Pine Gap, Good Girls, Schitt’s Creek, Deep Water, etc. has kept me married almost exclusively to Netflix. Another set of reasons to drop Suddenlink cable like a box of rabid rattlesnakes that are high on crystal meth. As if I know what that would be like. Suffice it to say I need, desperately, to cut the cable. There is no legitimate reason to keep paying obscene amounts for access to television I never, ever, ever watch. My recall of Pine Gap, etc. reminds me that parts of some or all of those series remain for me to watch. I do tend to skip around from series to series over the course of several days, simply because I get a tad bored, even with the most riveting programs. Strange, that. An oxymoronic idea, is it?
If I were to leave Hot Springs Village, I think I might do it under cover of darkness. Or, at least, with as little fanfare as possible. I would slink off without saying goodbye because I am not good at remaining stoic in such circumstances. My eyes would fill to overflowing with tears and my mind would insist on expressing my emotions. I would feel a requirement to explain the intellectual framework upon which my decision to leave is based; and that would devolve into an emotional rainstorm. So, best if I just crawl away when the time comes, weeping all the while. But maybe I’ll stick around for years to come. I doubt that, though. A compelling reason—a relationship to which I was so irresistibly chained that I simply could not shatter it by leaving—would be necessary. That doesn’t not exist, so I probably will slink out without notice.
It occurs to me that a thirst for change exists only because something either is missing or is unacceptably difficult in one’s current state of affairs. Those really are the only legitimate propellants that drive the desire for change. The argument that “nothing is keeping me here” is specious; either “here” is too painful to stay or is missing a strong magnet that exists elsewhere.
Even if the wish to change is driven by a desire to live on the seashore or in a big city or on a desolate, high-mountain peak, something is missing. What’s missing are those environments. Conversely, if the driver for seeking change is personal or emotional or financial difficulty, the desire to leave problems behind is what motivates change.
With those things in mind, I am trying to psychoanalyze my own thought processes; the ones prompting me to consider moving somewhere as yet unknown. Why am I going through those thought processes? Is something missing? Is my current state of affairs difficult, meriting an escape attempt? My efforts to psychoanalyze are for naught; I just don’t know. And “somewhere” may not be another community; it may just be another house. I simply don’t know.
Given my interest of late in looking at RVs and hitting the road, I wonder whether it’s all just an advanced case of cabin fever that might be cured with a few long trips. It’s possible, I suppose, but it feels like more than fever; it feels more like an incurable condition whose symptoms can be quelled from time to time with change. I do not recall whether I wrote it or simply thought it recently: there may be something to the “seven-year-itch” theory. Like the biological imperative that drives cicadas to emerge from their underground protection every seventeen years, maybe the seven-year-itch can infect humans in either a physical or psychological way that drives them to long for change.
I had another long, convoluted dream last night. I worked in an office. I drove a shiny gold Toyota Previa van; it was nearly new. Twice in the dream, it was vandalized. The second time, it was damaged beyond repair. I tried to call the police, but I could not find the number of the Addison police (a clue that this dream took place in Addison, Texas). There was much more to this dream, all involved in working in an office for at least two different associations. I awoke while unsuccessfully attempting to get the phone number to call the police.
Once again, I did not sleep well last night. I tossed and turned all night, from the time I went to bed early, around 10, until I got up around 5. In the interim, I got up to pee or to get some water at least four times. This sleeplessness has been going on for most of the last week. I haven’t been able to nap during the day, either, so I’ve been sort of dragging and unproductive during the day. Maybe that’s what I want to get away from; weariness and exhaustion.
I wanted this post to be less diary/journal and more philosophical treatise, but I was derailed at the first though of Casey Jones. Somehow, the idea of a train’s engineer trying to make up for lost time just grabbed me by the collar and pulled me into a personal conversation.
Last night, I tried to lessen the aches and pains in my joints by inhaling a little medicinal cannabis. I suppose it helped the pain a bit, but mostly it just wrecked my intention to avoid munching on pretzels all evening. It did not have the hoped-for side effect of lightening my mood by a factor of ten. I suppose that would have required one or more similarly-engaged companions with whom I could converse in hilarious half-sentences.
I have no dogs or cats to feed and I am unwilling to risk getting my feet wet simply to satisfy hummingbirds, so I’m not going outside. At least for a while. Instead, I’ll have more coffee and continue to muse and ruminate, but without letting those thoughts slide out of my fingers onto the screen; I’ll keep those thoughts secret for a while.