A quick mishmash of the mental detritus cluttering up my melon. One macro observation: I’m having a hell of a time getting this week started in earnest (procrastinating, deferring, weaseling), but to meet my goals I have to put the kibosh on wussy-Greg now – I can figure out what psychological gremlins are causing it later!
Healing – A Meditation
I burned the HELL out of my left hand four or five weeks ago – a kitchen mishap where I sloshed boiling water out of the pot and onto my unsuspecting digits. (I need to stress that this was NOTHING compared to a real burn, just a couple of fingers, the top halves of which looked straight out of a horror movie.) The first week, due to the constant physical reminders, I did’t go a minute without in some way “paying attention” to the pain. Long story short, I looked down yesterday to see the healed pink skin, and couldn’t remember when I stopped thinking about it.
My point is a simple one, if it doesn’t kill you, things heal. May not heal 100%, your broken leg may always be hinkey, but it ain’t broke anymore either. This goes for all our precious emotional injuries too, hurts like hell, then one day, you can’t remember the last time you thought about it. While a lot of great art is created from – and about – great pain, how long it lasts tends to depend on how long we want it to. Like my boiled fingers, if you keep picking at a wound, it’ll stay fresh forever – and that’s on you.
Memory – A Great Kiss
I was thinking of this story for my “Out of the Past” series, but it’s light on events, and is primarily memorable for illustrating how much of a loser I am. I’ve successfully pulled defeat from the jaws of victory on many occasions, but this is one of the few I remember. In my mid-twenties, I had a friend (also named Greg), who had a younger sister Margo. Margo was my prototypical perfect woman – sharp, sarcastic, smart, funny, beautiful, the total package. But I’d never done the “date your friend’s sister” thing, and had serious misgivings of successfully navigating the waters.
Anyway, long story short, we had great chemistry which, against all my efforts to sabotage it, led to dinner and a movie. No matter how much I enjoyed Margo’s company, a voice in my head endlessly repeated “this can’t possibly work out”, I didn’t care how contrarian reality was being. Finally, as we sat in a packed theater watching “Top Gun”, I got my proof. She was clearly enjoying the movie (as, to my horror, was everybody else), and there was no way I could date somebody who liked “Top Gun”. Oddly relieved that I had irrefutable evidence that this (potential relationship with an awesome girl) would go nowhere, I drove Margo back home to her family’s house, and walked her to the base of the stairs that led to their door. She stepped onto the first step, pivoted, and planted a kiss on me that shot through my body, out my feet and into the ground, riveting me. I’ve had some great kisses in my day, and this still ranks near the top for pure enjoyment – it felt like I was genetically bred to kiss Margo. When the kiss ended, she smiled the kind of smile I’ve seen when a woman sees a nice pair of shoes, turned and disappeared through the door.
Nothing further came of it, I can’t recall why, though I’m betting it had something to do with me being stupid.
I’ve been reading “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright, and it’s clearly freaking me out because I’ve had at least two dreams since I started full of large scale, “Independence Day”-type destruction. Weirder still, the dreams don’t have a negative valence, just a kind of bored “oh, DC is blowing up” indifference. The most vivid involved my neighborhood, I live near two one-way streets between which are tall mixed use (retail/office/residential) buildings. The dream was me walking to 7-11 (thankfully on the other side of the street) as I watched the buildings blow up in sequence from far to near. I talk to a homeless guy, and neither of us pay attention to the cataclysm to our right. The rest of the dream was an unrelated domestic drama with me sorting (unsuccessfully) through fictional relationship issues. Not terribly interesting, I know, but I’m curious to see if this disaster movie motif continues.
Men’s Socks – The Collapse of Western Civilization
Admittedly a minor quibble with the universe – but in an age where cars drive themselves and my phone has more computing power than we needed to put men on the moon – why, jesus god, why can’t I get a decent pair of argyles? This sock collapse has taken place in less than two years, appears to be global, and like the stegosaurus I fear quality socks may be gone forever.
I now have a sock drawer stuffed with failed experiments, it’s like The Island of Dr. Moreau of foot apparel. They’re either being sucked down into my wingtips, or garotting my calves. At this very moment I’m resisting the urge to lean down and pull ’em up, oh the public humiliation of it all. I may have to resort to solid color socks, too dreadful to contemplate, but desperate times call for desperate measures.