Wrapping Up [update]

To wrap up a story in this blog:

  • Frances ended up marrying an heir to the Kern’s Bread Company family fortune, getting pregnant not long after the last time she and I made love — I didn’t want to know if the child was mine (but, of course, secretly wished it was); years later, a coworker of mine, John Cooper, was CEO of a tech firm called Avocent where he doubled its revenues from $1B to $2B during his 5-year reign — in a conversation, I mentioned reading that he used to be head of Kern’s Bread and he told me it was his idea to sell Kern’s to Earth Grains Company (he’s currently Secretary of Director of the Department of Transportation for the State of Alabama).
  • Sarah ended up with a guy who owned a garage door installation business; she always wanted to be an architect and finally got to design her dream vacation home, which was built in a “walled” community called Cobbly Knob, if I remember correctly.
  • Monica (“Helen of Kosciusko”) married a neighbour of her grandparents in Kosciusko and lives in Singapore with her successful business spouse.
  • Phil, from whom I bought the Alfa Romeo Spider, divorced his first wife, married again, became a multimillionaire after the sale of a local tech firm and was elected an Alabama State Representative.
  • Finally, it has been an interesting experiment to see people read my blog entries which are nothing more than my coping mechanism for pushing suicide ideation out of my thoughts (I am constantly running away from the thought of killing myself, like being pursued by an invisible monster, which induces paranoia and other fears when I can’t control my thoughts); suicide ideation, in turn, is an escape mechanism for my inability to be assertive and change my life when I am extremely unhappy/uncomfortable.

Thanks for stopping by.

I’m out of here!

Have I posted enough nonsense to scare away readers?

Have I posted enough nonsense to scare away readers?

I really just want this space to be openly available to me wherever I feel like putting fingers to keyboard and express my thoughts.

I really do.

So, when I get tired of seeing Likes and Following This Blog notifications, I throw up a smoke screen of blathering blahblahblah I’ve written before, in hopes that I’ll baffle them with so much bullshit, they’ll get bored and forget I’m here.

With that said, this morning, I remembered an event from years ago that I hadn’t thought about since the moment it occurred.

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Back when I worked for GE Aerospace in the 1980s, a coworker of mine got my attention.

Being a few years older, a redhead and sporting visible tattoos, Patricia stood out — she was an independent spirit yet she worked for one of the largest corporations in the world as a member of the Technical Publications (“Tech Pubs”) Department.

We got one of those white elephant products, a Xerox Star system (“XPIW Xerox Publishing Illustrator’s Workstation”) that consisted of a computer OS interface (with mouse!), a printer/scanner and storage system (floppy drives AND hard drive!).

The whole system was pretty imposing and took up most of a person’s cubicle office space — the size of a desk itself .

Patricia volunteered to learn and use it.

Of course, technology being what it is, a few months later we received brand-new Apple Macintosh computers with a computer OS interface that blew away the Wang system.

However, the Wang was still fun to play with, especially the scanner/printer that allowed us to make funny faces stretched by moving our heads along with the scanner bar.

But I digress as usual.

More importantly, I had a valid work excuse to hang out with Patricia.

She smoked cigarettes, was as skinny as a stick, and had divorced her insensitive husband.  Being single and not looking for love, she enjoyed telling it like it is.

I was nonjudgmental about lifestyles so Patricia felt like she could open herself up to me because I was neither a moralistic nor romantic threat (she and I knew I was married and (primarily) monogamous so flirting was of the above-the-neck variety).

Over time, she revealed she was a pagan worshipper, the first person I had heard use the word Wiccan.

I asked her about animal sacrifices and she described to me the primal joy of ripping apart a live chicken, something her coven did every so often.  Some people would drink the blood but she wasn’t a blood drinker.

She emphasised they did not sacrifice humans — adult or children.

However, she said in confidence after we found out our office/factory was being shut down and I would no longer be her innocent listener, that other covens liked to have fun, dressing up as woods people — Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, etc. — and scaring solo or small groups of hikers/campers.  Rumour in her coven came from a new member who had left a coven that dealt in black magic (which her coven did not believe in), that other covens used the woods people cover as a means to kill and sacrifice humans.  She just wanted to let me that she did not approve of such to make it clear that Wiccans were good people who, yes, put hexes on people but otherwise committed no physical harm on others, in case I heard rumours to the contrary about Patricia when we were no longer working together.

Was she telling the truth or pulling my leg?

I don’t know and it doesn’t matter.  It was a great urban legend to remember just now and that, my friends, is what my life is all about.

I hope that I can die with complete satisfaction that everything around me was an illusion which entertained me to the end.

Unlike my grandmother, who thought I was an angel until I went to live with her after my nine-day drive out West and back in late 1984, informing her I was an illegal-drug using atheist, sending her into a deep, dark depression four of the last five years of her life.

There is a mean streak in me that I suppressed for so many years it’s time I give it a written voice for a while, regardless of any tiny, minor influence upon human history these virtual drops of pebbles into the ponds of our active imaginations may have.

I am a tired, old man who, at my age, wants nothing more than to fade back into his imagination and not notice the moment when he died with a comical smile on his face.

How many girls/women (even a guy or two) have told me, “The moment you get out of your head, I’d like to be your girlfriend”?

As my Logic professor said, quoting a character named Spock from a Star Trek novel (and I paraphrase), “When a person is more interested in his dreams than reality, logic has no meaning.”

Farewell, my friends, it is time I move to another blog and tell myself stories that the birds, squirrels, raccoons, cats, bees and hickory trees whisper to me.

I wanted to go to Mars, I really did.  I just don’t have the strength or resolve to go.

Time to redraw the geopolitical borders

It’s time we face facts. Geopolitical borders are artificial constructs meant to change throughout our species’ history.

Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, Georgia (and …?) cartographic representations are up for grabs right now.

There’s room for profitable wargaming, too! Who’s up for thinning a few populations while we send our tired, our hungry, our poor to battle foes we need new propaganda campaigns to deface?

To arms, patriots! I have an investment portfolio to inflate while keeping the P/E ratio within nonspeculative limits.

My billionaire friends are currently sorting out a win-win solution that will lead us to create, strengthen and enforce new international laws while leaving room for our military-industrial complex to grow.

We need a state-sized terrorist group to conquer (an instantly-creatable enemy with no borders) and we now have sufficient evidence that you or your children are aiding and abetting the enemy. That means war on the homefront? We need more hidden internment camps? So be it.

Hahahahaha…..this new mental chess game is maniacally addictive.

Makes Mars exploration and settlement seem so far away…

Alzheimer’s

On Monday, I visited my Uncle Ralph, who is in a hospital in Maryville, TN, waiting for his kidneys to clear up and recovering from an urinary tract infection.   Then, he will undergo a heart catheterization procedure to see if his heart attack last week damaged his heart. A few weeks ago, he had finally put his wife, Polly, in a facility called Asbury Acres for people with Alzheimer’s disease. After seeing my uncle, I went to visit my aunt and here’s what I saw:

 

Yesterday evening, I was driving around Maryville seeing all the new subdivisions being built and I drove by Asbury Acres. Against my better judgment (I was still a little nerve-wrecked from visiting Ralph), I turned around and drove back to Asbury Acres. I walked into the retirement home and was told by the receptionist that Polly was in the medical center. The receptionist then proceeded to give me instructions about access to the building. Here is a summary of my visit:

 

I drove up to the medical center building, which is around the corner from the retirement home (from the entrance, the medical center appears to be a single story structure, although you can see there are what appear to be “underground” stories). I entered the foyer and walked down the hall past an interesting birdhouse to the elevator. Inside the elevator, I had to punch in a code on a keypad (*234) before the elevator floor buttons would become operational. I punched the first floor button, and the elevator went down.

 

Upon exiting the elevator, I turned to a door on the left, where I had to press a button on the wall in order to unlock the door. As I opened the door, I saw several people who seemed at least halfway coherent standing around or shuffling down the hall. A floor nurse (I’ll call her floor nurse #1) stood behind a counter and gave me instructions on how to get to Polly’s section. As I walked down the hall to Polly’s section, I observed two women looking at a picture of themselves posted on the wall outside a room. I stood at entrance to Polly’s section and watched the two women for a moment. One woman said to the other, “See, this is your room because that’s your picture. My picture’s there, too, so I must live in this room, too.” Floor nurse #1 kept yelling at me to press the keycode on the wall so I looked around and finally noticed a small keypad on the wall on the right side of the entrance.

 

I had to punch in the same keycode I used in the elevator in order to unlock the door. As I opened the door, I saw several people (who looked liked ghosts of their former selves) standing or shuffling along. My nervousness shot up a notch. I asked the floor nurse of Polly’s section (floor nurse #2) where Polly was. She told me that Polly had just been put to bed (it was around 7 p.m. Eastern time) and pointed me around the corner. I walked through another set of double doors (these doors were already open and did not need to be unlocked). Polly’s room, 132N, was on the right. At the entrance to Polly’s room, a woman in a wheelchair stared at the nameplates. She looked at me as if I was going to scold her and said, “Oh, I’m just looking at the names to see if it’s anyone I know.” I nodded my head and walked into the room.

 

I had seen Polly recently and already knew how thin she was. Laying in bed, she looked even thinner. Her eyes were shut and she was curling into and out of a fetal position, while talking out loud. From what I could tell from the words coming out of Polly’s mouth, there were several streams of conversations taking place. In one stream, a mother and her young daughter were talking to each other. In another stream, she was describing something she was seeing that I could not understand. In another stream, she was just mumbling. I stood by her bed for several minutes and listened to her, not knowing if I should speak because I couldn’t tell if she was in a dream state, in a state of delirium from drugs or wide awake. In any case, she did not know I was there so I looked at the pictures on the wall. The most touching picture was the one of Ralph and Polly from 1995 — they both looked very happy. I waited until my nerves could no longer take it and walked out (I almost ran out of the room). To calm myself down, I spent a few minutes talking with floor nurse #2 about the latest word on Ralph. She had not seen any of Polly’s family yesterday and did not know if the heart cath procedure was a definite thing; she knew that Ralph was very worried about Polly. I told her the heart cath was planned for this morning and asked her to pray for Ralph — she said she had been and would continue to do so.

 

After I left Polly’s section, I hurried to get…to get out of the next section but was blocked by a man in a stand-up wheelchair. He insisted on shaking my hand and was mumbling. Floor nurse #1 told me that he spoke only Spanish so I told the man, “Hasta manana”. He shook his head as if he wanted me to stay and talk with him. I nodded my head and repeated, “Hasta manana” and patted him on the shoulder. Floor nurse #1 gave me a smile of sympathy and pointed me to the exit. I punched in the keycode, opened the door and walked over to the elevator. When the elevator door opened, two women inside were as confused and nervous as I was and we could not determine which floor led to the building exit. The elevator moved to the third floor and a man stepped on who said he had been as confused as we were and had ridden the elevator up and down a few times himself. We figured out that the building exit was on the second floor.

 

We all stepped off the elevator with relief. I stopped to look at the birdhouse, which is like a glass aquarium except it has birds, mainly finches from what I could tell.

 

I got in the car and was ready to cry. I drove around Maryville some more and ended up at the old Kay’s ice cream store. I had a refreshing vanilla milkshake. I called my sister and told her about the experience. We decided that perhaps I shouldn’t tell Mom about the trip to Polly’s until after the outcome of Ralph’s surgery.

 

I can see why Ralph cries anytime he mentions Polly at Asbury Acres. I’m sure it was a tough decision to put her away, so to speak. I can also see why he’s able to get a full night’s sleep, if what I saw was Polly’s normal condition.

 

 

so, b, you’ve seen the world — what’s it all about? i feel like we’re just supposed to live our lives and hope we aren’t too much of a burden on others. but what’s the definition of a burden? if we do something for someone out of love for that person, no matter how much we suffer in the process, should that be considered having a burden placed on us by the loved one? no. then i guess we’re supposed to live our lives and hope we’ve generated enough love that others will want to take care of us at our worst. but what is love? love is many things to many people, of course, but in this case, love is the…the biochemical attraction that makes us go crazy when we’re not with the other person, that makes us do what it takes to keep that other person with us…a mutual attraction…a positive reinforcing codependency, of sorts. so why do some humans have this love for one other human and some do not? if we’re just here to procreate, then this love would be beneficial to the whole species (and seems to be so for other species, as well). why the disparity between members of our species? in the end, when i’m sitting in some nursing home pooping in my pants, will anything i have said really matter, even if i have said something that has benefited our species? after visiting my aunt and seeing the unnamed faces in the hallway, it sure didn’t feel that way. but that’s just me, of course, i always look for ways to feel depressed, a kind of euphoria that’s down instead of up, a kind of emotion that’s addictive in ways that are detrimental to my daily living, a habit i have to constantly ensure i’m not picking up again, like some kind of ex-druggie surrounded by pushers i have to keep saying no out loud while inside i’m saying yes.

 

enough already, i have to get ready to go see A Mighty Wind.

 

– 28 May 2003