I’se Regusted with Ambien


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As I’ve aged, I’ve found it harder to fall and stay asleep. Every night I was waking up after only a few hours, checking Facebook, browsing Amazon, and generally wasting time until I could drop off again. Somewhere along the line I found an online pharmacy that sold me Ambien, a newer drug that helps one fall asleep.

Even though I didn’t need a prescription to buy it online, I read the label and it warned against resisting the initial drowsiness. So of course after a couple of nights of using it as prescribed, I forced myself to stay awake. I remember staring at my laptop screen from an odd angle, talking to myself and drooling. Then I must have gone to bed, even though I don’t remember doing so.

The next day at worked I discovered a video on Facebook where I was wearing my underpants on my head, and giving a free-associative rant about politics while talking in the voice of the Kingfisher from Amos and Andy, I knew that something was seriously wrong. In disbelief, I watched myself roar “I’se Regusted” while stomping on my desk. By the time I deleted the video post it had been shared 250 times.

I had recently accepted an offer from Amazon to try out it’s Prime status for a free thirty-day trial, and to my knowledge I had yet to order anything taking advantage of one-day free delivery, but for the next two days I came home from work to find my front porch littered with boxes bearing the Amazon label. In them I found costume jewelry, sex toys, a metal detector, the entire set of Gene Autrey films on DVD, the Gabby Hayes VIP collection, and some very expensive oatmeal/raisin cookies from a cottage bakery in Vermont.

That evening I decided to forego the Ambien, and as I tossed and turned I heard a strange buzzing sound over the house. Turns out these were drones delivering even more packages which contained various herbal remedies, sex lubricants and cheap reproductions of expensive vintage watches.

That evening, just after dinner, there was a knock on the door. As I opened the door a cab drove away, and I saw a middle-aged woman dressed in a polyester pants suit in clashing floral patterns.

I invited her in and found that her name was Ludmilla, and even though she spoke very little English, learned that she had taken up my offer of free room and board in addition to a small salary to serve as my housekeeper. In spite of the fact that she had a doctorate in physics and had once been the director of a Research Institute, now it was impossible for her to find work in her native Latvia. I couldn’t very well go back on my word and send her on her way, so I invited her in.

We are still together six months later. She’s a delightful woman who seems happy to read quietly when she’s finished with her chores. Since we can’t communicate we can’t argue. We like to take walks together around sunset. Since she’s arrived my sleep problems have disappeared and I gave the rest of the Ambien to one of my co-workers, who claims to have a hard time falling asleep.

Waiting for the Right Time


 

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It’s too hot to go outside.  This is not a rare occurrence, for it’s been this way for a couple of months now. And the drought has made everything so ugly that there’s no reason to sight see. I’m stuck indoors in our one air-conditioned room, staring at my laptop. Usually this means that I’m browsing Facebook or YouTube in a hypnotized fashion, but now I’ve snapped out of it. I want to do something constructive.

 

Back as a graduate student in Iowa, when I wrote plays at the rate of one a week, I was at my most productive when the weather was at its worst. With few options, I was trapped in my room in front of my trusty Underwood. There was no internet back then. I didn’t even have a telephone. Had no credit card, ATM’s hadn’t been invented yet…how did I survive?

 

It’s easy to become bound to the circumstances of living and forget my main objectives. I start making excuses and blaming things outside myself for what I’m doing or failing to accomplish. Not this time. Not anymore.

I’m running out of time. Got to do what I’ve got to do now. There may not be many tomorrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Head Geezer Predicts…


 

The Head Geezer predicts that pretty darn soon:

 

Marijuana will be legalized in most of the world. There’s just too much money to be made not to. Countries that resist legalization will soon notice that their neighbors are getting rich off it and suddenly find marijuana less objectionable.

 

The truth will come out about 9/11 and Bush, Cheney and others will be forced to flee to exile at Bush’s acreage in Paraguay, the one he purchased just before he left office.

 

A natural catastrophe will occur that will severely stress all the nations of the world, causing us to stop whining about unimportant issues and band together for mere survival.

 

A man-made catastrophe will occur that after the blaming period ends will have the same result as above.

 

Eventually all nations will tire of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s constant demands for attention and he will easily be overthrown by more reasonable elements in that country.

 

The dollar will crash hard and we will activate our military to make it all better (for us) finally silencing people who lamented the size and cost of our military.

 

Russia will be forced to use its military might to grab the resources of others, after having nearly been bankrupted by their enemies in NATO.

 

A dirty bomb will be released in an important area, not killing many people but causing a terribly expensive loss of property as the area will remain uninhabitable due to radiation for the next hundred thousand years.

 

The effect this will have on world stock markets will be as expensive as the initial loss.

 

The Gingerbread Man in Zombie Land


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THE GIFT OF ATTENTION

Lately, ever since I discovered Facebook, I’ve been finding it hard to give myself the gift of my own attention.  I am constantly trying to concentrate on five things at once, and so I end up unable to really focus on anything at all.  I am like a computer thrashing or hung up on an endless looping operation and no longer capable of doing any real work.

There was a time when I flipped on the computer in order to create. That time seems long ago, now that I am constantly receiving trivial inputs from multiple sources. I used to have ideas, some original, often synthesized from reading and prolonged thought.  Again, that was long ago and this is now.

Lately, I’ve found that I can write again if I simply close Facebook so that it doesn’t make a noise to snag my attention every time somebody “likes” one of my posts. These are called “alerts.”  They serve to rouse the somnambulant. Writers have always experienced the difficulty of sitting still long enough for the creative process to begin and then managing to stick with it long enough to realize a product.  Every excuse imaginable pops into a mind facing a blank page or screen. Hmm, I haven’t polished my shoes in a while. Wonder what those new lime-green Oreos taste like?

When I am afraid or unwilling to sit still long enough to develop some sort of one-mindedness, by the time I reach the middle of my day I  find myself exhausted and demoralized.  Better to fire myself up with a few cups of coffee early and then get as jazzed as possible before my blood sugar plummets and I become so irritable that I run screaming from my house.

When I analyze the emotion that led me to this place, I realize that I’m afraid of my own unhappiness.  I fear that if I don’t run fast enough through the tunnel of distraction, a real accounting of my situation will finally catch up with me and I’ll simply succumb.  I’ll die. It will kill me.

“Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.  I ran away from a Little Old Lady and a Little Old Man, and I’ll run away from you, I can, I can.”

Running, especially running away, has a way of becoming a full-time job.  Part-time dalliances don’t pay off as well as concentrated efforts.  Gotta slow down.  Gotta choose my battles. After all, isn’t today a gift?  Aren’t I in reasonably good health?  If not now, when?  If not me, who?

Surely nothing good can come from a half-hearted effort.  If I try to read a book, talk on the telephone, play the piano and watch television all at the same time, I will excel at none of these. Last night I went to an enormous coffee house here on the top floor of a trendy shopping mall near a university. It was jammed with maybe two hundred students who were silently staring at their laptops.  No one was speaking.  It felt like church.

I remember skipping classes in order to hang out in the student union, drink coffee and socialize, but it was nothing like this.  As I recall, somebody kept playing “Leaving on a jet plane” by Peter Paul and Mary on the jukebox. I’m sure my friends and I were yapping on about something or other, but compared to that, this student scene forty-five years later was positively eerie. One might dare say creepy.

Maybe these were good students deeply engaged in their homework.  They seemed hypnotized. Someone deep in thought can look that way, but often someone who is thinking or reasoning deeply is moving about, sketching or talking to himself.  These people were staring at their laptops and making small movements with their mice. The only noise was mice clicks.

If all the young people are hypnotized, who is going to create the new products that can be streamed to a zombie audience?  Won’t they get tired to watching or listening to the products my generation?