Hollywood. The commodification of our political discontents. I’m not sure whether I condone or condemn their profiteering use of our problems. It’s almost a complete mockery. Propaganda is used to desensitize the masses to certain realities. Are we being conditioned to accept these circumstances? Does this show, “The Network”, ever go beyond acknowledging the problem? It’s pretty much brainwashing. And they make money off of it cause it resonates with us. But solving the problems requires action, not passivity, as TV tends to promote. So actually, I hate this clip. It’s cheap Hollywood magic to sell an audience. It does nothing to empower. It is not a call to action. Only a call to continue watching the series. Critical thinking will save us, and this clip or show does not promote either, because nothing they’re promoting is original, nor does it add value to remedying our dire situation.
You are not safe from yourself.
I’ve been collecting experiences recently, storing them in the translucent jars lining my mind.
Competition is not healthy: it diverts energy towards others, away from yourself.
It’s late. I’m thinking of her, but the feelings are absent. Distant pools of purity shimmer and shake with each drop of remembrance.
There was a good bye party for my roommate, my best friend. He’s headed for the west coast, the best coast, and I can’t blame him. Shoot: a part of me wishes I had the opportunity to escape. But then I realize that you can’t run from yourself, and at the moment everything I could ever want is already within me. The only outlet I seek is experience, and that can be garnered and mined from the depths of where I am.
“So, what do you think? What’s this all about? Am I being too forward? Should I restrain my feelings? Either way doesn’t matter to me; I just want you to know how I feel.”
“Well, it’s moving a bit fast, that’s all.”
“What do you mean?”
“I dunno. I guess I mean that… well… I don’t know what I want really. There’s so much uncertainty in the future… you know?”
The boy sighed. He knew what she was saying, but he didn’t agree.
“I understand” he said. “I know you have a lot to figure out. You need to figure out what’s important to you, what is it this life has to offer, or doesn’t have to offer.”
“Exactly.” she said. But all along he knew she hadn’t the slightest idea what he meant. Silly girl, he thought. Her expectations, her rational approach will get her everywhere she wants, but no where she needs. Her heart is tucked away, in some fragile place, in some glass box, hard as diamond, translucent as air. Her beauty shines and the kaleidoscopic of passion that refracts into millions of captivating colors is spell binding, entrancing; yet untouchable and cold.
He continued “I want you to know that I love you, that whether or not I’m here or there, your happiness is vital to my own.” His pacific stare met with hers. Summer danced on her eyes.
“Should I go?” he said.
“Oh no!” she exclaimed. “You needn’t go anywhere! Stay with me,” she pleaded “I enjoy your company. You make me feel good.”
The boy thought quietly; his heart bled fiery desire. Am I simply a release? Is she simply lonely? Perhaps I am nothing but a comfort, nothing but a reminder that she’s capable of someone’s affection. He asked himself whether he minded these options, whether being an option was a role he was willing to accept, not out of desperation, but out of love. And these two aren’t very different.
“OK.” he finally responded. “I just feel like, maybe sometimes I should let you be alone…” He finally decided to open up his insides, to show his vulnerability. “The thing is, sometimes you intimidate me.”
“Intimidate you?!” She was taken aback. “What do you mean by that? How do I intimidate you?”
“I mean, your expectations are intimidating because I don’t live to fulfill anyone’s expectations but my own, and I’m afraid you may be disappointed when this reality becomes yours. You have a very particular way of seeing things, and I don’t, and sometimes that frightens me.”
“What on earth do you mean?” she asked.
“What attracts me to you are your expectations, for yourself, for others, but sometimes I feel the weight of those expectations. I mean, I feel a lot, I am not consistent. I am not easy. I am onery. I dwell in passion, in fervor and feeling. I am never the same, save my drive to feel more intensely, more exactly, more diliberately.”
She was confused and a discouraged look filled her eye. She felt distant. What was once a close friend, a comforting confidant soon became a stranger.
“I don’t understand what you mean” she finally responded.
“I mean, sometimes I want to be myself, and myself is many things, not just one thing. And I’m hesitant to believe you can be alright with my many facets, my unduly undulations and oscillations of the spirit.”
“I see.” she said quietly. “I think I know what you’re saying. We’re very different, and maybe its best if we didn’t see each other anymore?”
“No, no no” the boy said in frustration. “I just don’t know how to feel around you. I feel like you’re sensitive to feeling, yet I can’t read any of your feelings. You’re a delicate shimmer that I want to cup ever so gently, but I’m afraid I’ll stifle and put out the shine. But all I want in the world is to grow the flame.”
“Silly boy” the girl said. The life in her eyes returned. “I’m not good with feelings. But I know they’re there.”
“I’m commited to you.” he said. “I decided that I love you. That even if you can’t appreciate what that means, that it doesn’t detract from the matter that I made a decision to love you, to preserve your happiness as if it is necessary to my own. Whether or not you’ll have me makes no difference, but I love you.”
With that the boy turn and ran. Tears streamed down his face as his feet pounded the pavement. The summer air was thick and left him exhausted, but his heart continued shaking. He needed to run, run run far away. He was terrified that he had said too much, that he left himself too exposed. Never mind, he thought to himself. There must never be caution in love. She’s just a lost and confused little girl
Cimmerian shade soothes the aching sighs.
Sveldt stares waver across sullen eyes.
I will write, I will pour, my heart out, for you.
I am a physicist of the heart: a poet of pensees plaguing dormant desires.
The plumbing of the past begins to choke, and he cannot comprehend confusion.
A breeze flushes through the white columns upholding the latticed portico. Luscious green grass extends from the edge of the ceramic white stone. An azure pool, illuminated like sapphire stone, sinks in the geometric center of the long lawn. Towards the distant end of the rolling mall, dunes appear and continue for as long as the eye could see; their caliginous outline grips the horizon. Only a black stitching fractures the ceramic sand, and pale smoke rises from these tracks as an engine makes its way across the dry desert ocean. The bleating sun pulls moisture from my forehead. It sucks water from vegetation. The sprinklers reside in the earth, waiting for night to douse life into the struggling greenery.
“George,” my mother said “you need to get a handle on your loans. We’re no longer supporting you. Your uncle refuses to enable you any longer. What you need is good habits, and this will teach you to be wise with your money.”
A winding wind whips my cheek and I look up at my mother seated on her white weathered chair. She sits at a glistening crystalline table with a glass of wine perched casually in her left hand, rotated away from her. Her head is bent slightly forward and both eyes are waiting for me to respond. Blonde hair drapes gently across her brow and shivers softly in the hot humid breeze.
I turn and continue gazing beyond the green grass, over the blue pool, into the dry dunes. My gaze finds a setting sun. It is enlarged, engorged with fiery haze. Ribbons of heat ripple across its fading face.
My mother continues talking, “George. Do you hear me?” She is drunk with delusion. The heat had gotten to her, and the cruel cult she has been attending has left her utterly detached from reality. The wine softens her delusion, but her world still remains different from mine, still remains hers.
I stand from my chair and walk down the marble stairs and onto the green grass. I hear my mothers voice straining to gain my attention, growing red with irritation. I pretend not to hear. I don’t hear. My thoughts are with my uncle. I want to kill him. I want to kill him by escaping, by killing the idea of him, by fleeing forever. My feet reach the dry sand and I feel the heat penetrate through my shoes. I step and the sand absorbs my sinking shoe. I trudge on.
Moments pass and my eyes open and I am gripping a smooth obsidian-like stone situated on a rail car. Both my arms wrap around its gun metal gray polished exterior. A long line of rail road cars are loaded with these stones. The landscape streams past me and my balance is thrown. I adjust my knees. Suddenly I see my uncle climbing up a ladder; my heart grows cold, goes wretchedly resentful, like a punch in the stomach, but in the chest. It pains. I move away from him. The train is moving quickly. I eyeball the earth to calculate the trajectory of my landing, to measure the magnitude of my fall. Not now.
“George!” he yells. His voice contains a streak of sentiment, of desperation. His eyes furrow and squint, holding back emotion, but too cold to mean it. “Come back! Come back down here: you need to come home!” He yells against the wild wind. It howls past my ears. His words are biting and meaningless. My eyes narrow and I lift my arm and extend my phallic middle finger into the air and yell, “Fuck you!”
I am unsurprised when he accepts defeat. A mutual emotional silence hangs in the air and I sense a shrug in his eyes that says, “Well, I’ve done all I can do. He’s on his own now.” I resent him for his meager attempt to contact me. Why can’t I be on my own with my family? Why must I be apart of something and lose my will in the process? Why can’t we acheive a respectful balance of opinion? “Fuck you.” I say again, and leap from the moving railroad. I brace myself for impact.
I wake. Darkness envelopes my senses. My eyes adjust to the ceiling.
Words are empty. Like ether they escape and are gone. One finds their memory resonating in the occasional hearts and minds of men; inscribed in the soft tissues; on the leaves of time.
Never wait till it’s too late. Never wait till the time is right, for that is too late. Prepare the soil long beforehand. Smile, pay compliments. Everything you do will lead to a moment. Do not wait for that moment. Treat it as if it has already arrived. Not as a point, but a process.
That which moves me is that which moves the world, in all of it’s hearts and minds.
If you cannot instantiate a generality, you have no imagination. The task of philosophers is to produce generalities from particulars. The task of teachers are to produce particulars from generalities.
Perspective requires distance between two points. You must allow time to fill this distance. Time is necessary for experience. But not all time yields experience.
When we are young we are naive. Some people stay young.
If you are going with the flow, you are not swimming against the stream.
There is no unity. There are only modes. Modes of being, existing, thinking, feeling, perceiving. Do not seek to unify, but diversify. Employ these modes. Is there a network?
There was a desperation in her laugh.
Hyperbolic discounting – the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, where the tendency increases the closer to the present both payoffs are.
Illusion of control – the tendency to overestimate one’s degree of influence over other external events.
Loss aversion – “the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it”. (see also Sunk cost effects and Endowment effect).
Mere exposure effect – the tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.
Neglect of probability – the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
Search the origin of your thoughts and you will discover they are not original to you.
But if you consider this in human terms, and you imagine a person defined by a desperation to be liked, what do you see? You see a person without integrity, without a center. In more pathological cases, you see a narcissist — a person who can’t tolerate the tarnishing of his or her self-image that not being liked represents, and who therefore either withdraws from human contact or goes to extreme, integrity-sacrificing lengths to be likable.
If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are. And if you succeed in manipulating other people into liking you, it will be hard not to feel, at some level, contempt for those people, because they’ve fallen for your shtick. You may find yourself becoming depressed, or alcoholic, or, if you’re Donald Trump, running for president (and then quitting).
It’s the fool who plays it cool by making the world a little colder
Improve your condition by improving the condition of others.
Sometimes I try to cry just to see if I care
I should’ve used more tact when posting that. My apologies. What I take issue with is the glorification of appearances. I have no issues with any form of self expression so long it’s authentic and not the result of some implanted societal neurosis. To each his own. The idealist in me wishes society placed more emphasis on the inner life rather than on the outer. The physical fades. A sound mind and character are more enduring and reliable. I get it, our society values appearances. But, save the asthetic value, appearances don’t improve society. They make it more carnal and superficial. If you need to look good by societies standards to have self worth or feel good about yourself, go for it. But i don’t think that’s a lasting fix. If you’re doing it for yourself, go for it. If it’s for others, good luck pleasing the fickle masses. But again, I get it: we’re sexual creatures motivated by desire and passion, rather than reason and good will. I recognize we’re social creatures. I recognize that we navigate our world by sight. But I believe sight is a poor, misleading guide. Most people look alive on the outside but they are virtually dead on the inside. We use our sight to discern between friends and foes, to identify the familiar and unfamiliar. It allows us to pass judgement on things without really engaging and experiencing with them. It’s a cheap and empty way to make value judgements about the world. That’s my take. I’m just as guilty as the next. I don’t think I’m right, or wrong, that’s just my current sentiment.
I know i cant escape my cultural conditioning. I know I’m inclined to like what I’ve been raised to believe is valuable and beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I needn’t worry about what society makes of my wife so long as I love her.
Eating disorder/Obesity vs cosmetic surgery: underlying issue?
What if obesity was beautiful? Till it was unhealthy? To each his own? Until what? We’re footing the health care bill with our taxes?
What causes the eye to shine and sparkle when it looks on a dull and dreary world?
Success is about sacrificing something you have for something you don’t have.
Life is the continual realization of choices.
I don’t believe in failures. I believe in quitters. If you never quit, you will never fail.
Success is the continual realization of a worthy ideal. No ideal? No success.
Working out increases will-power.
Disgust is a powerful motivator.
I follow the rules so I know how to break them properly.
The greatest adventure of all lies within your mind.
I used to be a boy.
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
Everyday I wake up, look in the mirror, and see someone new.
I don’t admire intelligence. I admire hard work
My problem: I try satisfying my equilibrium whenever I have the opportujty. Savings? I don’t appreciate the concept. Pleasure? Moreso. I waste money- and wen I say waste, I mean I spend according to my hearts desire- as if I’ll always possess it.
Am I different than most ppl? I am different than most ppl. Most ppl are pathetically shallow, unhygienic, unconscious of their condition. They sweat and swear, try laugh and are generally uncivilized and dull. Dolesome. Am I that way? Am I pathetically shallow and stale, and expired? An plump and red and really pink with petty putridness? So stupid, soo… Daft.
Is it wrong to judge pp.’s enculturation? Or conditioning? Or socialization?
Frail- genetic, not powerful
Tough ppl act like they have a stick in their ass
New clothes/ rich briggs clones, make you look fresh and well of. Refried wash jeans make u look recycled and poor
I don’t know why ppl are friends. They are so weird
Doff clothes, diff personalities. I almost prefer the same Exact facsimile.
I am Alone. What is class? Behavior? Sophistication? Dress? Taste? Reserve? The package? Most ppl are base. Don’t ever let yourself get base.
Well, god speed and many blessings to you and the panegyrical oratory of wisdom you bestow on the callow minds in attendance at this palaver. May you eschew the prevarications notoriously feigned by men, but instead sublimate truth and sow pabulum with stentorian words so that you may rouse their susurrus hearts and prod their insipid minds into embracing a panoptic understanding of life.
Flies collect 1 2 3
The wind blows conversation to my ear
People walk and nibble on bits
Information flows through the cavities and lips
The trees are bright
Spotted sunshine catches my eye
Brown leaves and Twigs
Grass green with spring
Life is but a waking dream
Ne’er closer nor farther than what it seems
The elastic will may bend and stretch
But never break what the heart will fetch
Out of the womb of passion breeds
Fanciful longings that light the haze
Celestial worlds beckon you to soar
Well past the memories you kept in store
Lightning bugs and sylvan forest
Ignite the mind with courage to explore it
Lucid streams pool into reflecting beams
Empty roads extend to aimless hopes
Winkling eyes never say goodbye
Traveling through mind
We carry these around
Despite the worldly imaginings
Never truer was our hearts desire
That lit the annuls of past on fire
Though we walk alone at night
Guided by the apollos light
A glow persists
Diffuses through air
Making our journey worth the wear
A thought incited by frictions fire
A glance that cuts loose ends run free
The rise and dance in melody
Streaking along our worldly perception
Illuminating our souls heavenly complexion
Eyes can capture what heart does not
But love is blind
Or so I thought
Could it be that dreams lay asleep
Waiting for these melodies to run and leap
From within our soul
Sparks waiting to fly
But we stare at the world
And continue asking why?
Let your eyes drift off
Your heart out to play
With new beginnings to start off your day
We walk alone
Our head held high
mouth hung loosely
Eyes open wide
Flinging our feelings far wide
Gazing at reflections of things as they are
Never recalling they seem as we are
Worldly shimmers and shinings so bright
Never a thought of who holds the light
This world is magic and we hold the key
To every warm gesture and cold misery
Our steps trace our thoughts as we traverse the land
Opening up new worlds we don’t understand
Explore these chambers with dreams filled with light
Make use of everything good that strikes you as right
High mountain passes and deep river masses
Mockingbirds that know the words
Let your heart sing in tune
There is nature still in you just waiting to bloom
Blue grass, black beach, red air, debonair
Seek those minds and thoughts that light your white flare
Cross over the shadows that hang at the edge
Move ever so lightly
Expose ever so brightly
These shadows we own
And cast as we stand
Not burning our own light
But worshipping man
Self immolation is the sacrifice of gods
Lay claim to your own light
Burn brighter than suns
Don’t think of the pain
There’s nothing to gain
But what you must lose
To wake up a dream
Coursing as the setting sun
The rising moon
Your will be done
Seek and search and always fail
Compare and cringe
No task is done
Still waiting to blaze
Your own morning sun
Pink ribbons unfurl across the blue swirl
A fire burns
The horizon bleeds with long lost melodies
Vernal songs clear the night of superstitions dark canvass
That worldly blight
That stunts one feeling
One unified blaze
To ignite the future of more hopeful days
Find trends in:::
-mental/ psychiatric illness medication
-federal treasury activity
-political campaign contributions and sources
-per capita debt
Hypothesis: Should begin trending 1970-80
Great men are like oysters: crude on the outside, divine on the inside. The gnarley body contains riches within. Every man needs the fleck of hardship to agitate him
Make yourself: when you force yourself to do something, you create yourself to be someone
Consumerism is consumption of the soul
What is history? Philosophy of
Education today (opinion hustler)
-what is man?
American education (philosophy/ political/ cultural/ society)
Nous– mind and world relationship
“the endowment of presuppositions with authority: This is divinity, the antipathy of wonder, in which catechism reveals its ignorance ”
Great men are the culminated spirit of will of the collective consciousness of mankind. Great men die unhappy: Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Martin Luther, king, ghandi?, Churchill, hitler? Stalin? Roosevelt? Lincoln, princes/ kings? Etc
Egotism is thorn in the flesh
Does not divide his regards: singular and inseparable focused will of the universal: subjective ideal aim- infinite right to be consulted.
Means are external- adapts to its purpose- adapt to it- as objects for its own existence (morals, virtues, ethics)
Men are objective interests in themselves
Reason= freedom: elevated above all alien necessity and chance: responsible for moral enfeeblement.
Man is subject to moral imputation of good and evil- and attached to his individual freedom
Innocent imports entire consciousness of evil
Moral discontent- do not find present adapted to their aims: contrast as they are to ad ought to be—- and open revolt to actual condition of world.
Absolute aims- morals virtues aims- manifested ideals— destroyed by actuality
Fancies of individuals are not to be universal for all- and vice versa
Schiller- poet read
Universal reason as end in itself- Bo regard for particular individual
Deficiencies of individuals obvious in contrast to society
Cunnings of reason: let’s the passions do its work
In an open continuum of time there is no truth, only perspective and probability. But I ask myself what it would mean if it were true and what it would mean if it were false.
What if character included healthy lifestyle habits? Judging someone based on their weight increases stress which increases obesity.
Picture perfect? Why must we absorb ourselves with these ideals? Don’t they rob the humanity from people and reduce them to an ornamental shell? I’m arguing that cultures very idea of “attractive” is wrong, that is overlooks who a person is in favor of what they are. Placing so much emphasis on something so contingent, temporal, fleeting, and uncontrollable is bound to produce neurosis and wreck self image.
The night breathes cool air
The roots wrapping around the conscious
Education is not the problem- hierarchy is the problem. Even if everyone is educated, that’s not really what matters. What matters is the specialized vocabulary and social network that is provided by the institution.
Apple and khan and yale/mit/standford courses and all that will fail. That will not elevate someone from poverty. We have forgotten the value of education. Education indoctrinates us with different values to assemble into different organizations throughout culture. They establish our rank and file within a democracy, within society.
Sitting on a log on the Cumberland river fishing for catfish with Conrad. Using cat blood and vow liver. Bugs aren’t bad. It’s a warm, refreshing night. We’re under a bridge west of downtown. A large tug boat is turning around to the left of us to pick up a few barges loaded with boxes. It’s spotlight patrols the waters before it. Cars roll over the bridge, their lights cascade across the
What does it mean to be an American?
-music ? Concerts?
Create a song using explosions for percussion
Everyone is making popcorn on the fourth of July.
Fireworks are a metaphor for every life experience.
Why do we like fireworks? Fully engage the senses.
The fleeting sensations that we capture and keep alive with our imagination.
A fireworks display that explodes scenes along with a radio narrative that you tune into that tells a story
What if fireworks were 2 dimensional or 1 sided so that it you sat on the wrong angle you couldn’t see them.
That should explode the constitution with fireworks. One that is suspended for 6 months, just hanging there in the sky.
Writers are actors.
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. -Henry Miller
Environmental information shapes and molds our minds: abstracted data hones, hews, and hammers our psyche into a predetermined “normality”. Predetermined by who? By the status quo, by tradition, by convention, by the authority of legacy and inherited practice: that’s who.
The environment literally dictates how our retained mental plasticity reacts to the world.
Information technology is shaping our minds. As we engage with IT, our minds literally mirror or reflect these structures inhabiting our experience.
In this way design becomes intuitive. Logic becomes natural. We are conditioned to respond to corresponding associations.
An ideal or appropriate layout or design of webpages has implanted itself into our psyche. We have an intuitive sense of how things should be organized, how things should appear to us.
Our minds are a product of our environment. The conceptual structures established by others impress themselves upon our minds so that we mold ourselves, our psyche, around them until what was once an artificial conceptual construct becomes the literal structure, the essential etiological worldview, governing our thoughts and appraisals of this world in which we navigate.
The environment leaves impressions upon our mind that allow us to react appropriately to information and make consistent associations that bind us to other minds.
The “best” minds— considered so by society— are the best at regurgitating and recombining preexisting information, not necessarily creating novel information.
Our world is impressing itself upon our minds. We have grown psychologically dependent upon these cultural structures like the “interweb”, and other systems of organization that dictate order in our experience.
I was wondering why it takes such a long time for the human species to mature. Apes and monkeys, our closest ancestral relatives, mature in only a few years time, while humans take many many years before they’re considered able and independent. Just a hundred or so years ago, humans matured as early as seven, as was in case in 18th century industrial Britain. That was considered the acceptable working age. At thirteen you get mitzvahed in the Jewish Culture. In Native American communities it was around the same age. In the Bible it was the age of twelve when you became accountable to God and your faith. In the US eighteen prevailed, but then college was introduced and soon it was extended to twenty one. Now it seems its mid twenties. Back in the day you graduated college at sixteen. What’s missing here?
I believe it has something to do with social reality, and the construction of that social reality. And the complexities of navigating and deciphering the meaning of an ever growing intricate complex social world and its convoluted language and expectations. The greater the social complexity, the greater time is required to adapt to the language in a way that allows you to contribute functional value to society. In earlier times this occured much much earlier because much of the functional value could be fulfilled with tasks requiring little knowledge of a specialized vocabulary. The most that was expected was some training which was acquired by adopting the trade of your family, or via apprenticeship for those pursuing a craft of skill. But it was basic, procedural knowledge. Not so much propositional knowledge.
Apes and monkey’s don’t need long periods of time to mold and shape their psyche to reflect the intricacies of language and social reality.
I wonder if the age of maturity will grow increasingly slower as time moves on and our cultural becomes more complex? Perhaps the age where people begin their lives extends to the thirties?
Everything is language. Every institution has its own language, and each language is derived from a unique set of problems in which is seeks to describe and address.
Another reason why I think its taking people so long to mature is that companies profit off of dependents, like children still being dependent.
Too many thoughts.
Don’t feel too much, they say. Don’t show all. I respond, it’s not your hand that counts, but what you do with your hand. Never underestimate the mind of a muser. If you will judge my hand, what it is I show you, then you have overestimated appearances, and underestimated the potency of possibility.
Sometimes more isn’t what’s needed. Sometimes it’s better. You don’t need every experience and all the money and wealth to live a fulfilling life. Rather than quantity, what you need is quality. And this feature seems to be overlooked in our current day and age. We grow tired with what we have, we long for more. But we never pause and reflect on how we could conjure additional depth and beauty from our current circumstance and situation.
Every morning I head out my door to join the cultural cattle drives that take me to the slaughter centers—what we call school or work— where my mind is lacerated with mindless minutia. At least my sacrifices are rewarded with some paper certificates and notes. I’m told they’re needed to live a happy and worthwhile life.
You and I, wrapped in the cloven colored sky,
Watch the beautiful twilight floating by;
And the nights shade, left over from summer rays,
Clothes a delightful dalliance.
The heat rushed into my face as I exited my car. I examined the house. It sat on a small hill. The garage and lower floor were nestled into the hillside, and the main entrance sat a top a small set of stairs. The exterior was painted a mellow green, a lilac green.
I inspected the inside of my car, mulling over what to bring in, but my thoughts were absent: they were with her. They were filled with enthusiasm, with joyful expectations. “I don’t need anything at the moment,” I thought “I’ll come out and grab it later.” The truth is, I wanted my arms free: free to embrace her.
I walked towards the house, my eyes to the ground, lost in thought. A subtle smile was perched on my lips. I lifted my eyes, and there she was, smiling coyly through the glass door. Her demeanor was excited and hesitant. She opened it and walked onto the porch as I made my way up the stairs. We extended arms and hugged; and the mightest avalanche of ephoria pounded my thoughts into a placid pool of bliss: my chest lept, my heart fluttered, and satisfaction wrapped itself around me in waves, over and over again. I rested my chin on her shoulder and my thoughts adjusted. “It’s good to see you” I said. “It’s good to see you too.” I felt like a child all over again. If there was any doubt that I could love anyone, it was dispelled then and there. I was submerged in love: patient, pleasant, warm, kind, pleasing love. And it was all for her.
We unloaded my car, dragging in a cooler of food, a backpack of clothes, and a brown bag filled with bottles of wine.
I walked into the house and was met with wondrous woodwork, daedal designs that weaved their way into every facet of the home. This was no ordinary house built by ordinary men. This was a special house, crafted with keen skill and the dexterous hands of a lone laborer devoted to his trade. My eyes danced from once detail to the next, and then a voice appeared from below me. “Why hello there! You must be Michael!” I observed an older man with a burly gray mustache climbing up a small staircase from the lower sunroom. “Hello! Great to finally meet you Don!” We shook hands and exchanged the usual amicable small talk. A kindness emanated from him; his personality seemed shy and restrained, with only the occasional burst of light that gently escaped whenever he attempted a small joke. I complimented his home and he thanked me humbly in the most unassuming way.
She showed me to our room; I followed behind with my bags in hand while my heart danced in step.
I prepared grilled Salmon for dinner that evening, as well as a medley of vegetables: asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and pinch of parsley, all sauteed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoning. Don happened to have a “special” teriyaki blend procured from his favorite Japanese restaurant; a real treat, he says, because Japanese Chefs are super stingy with their recipes. I made sure to be impressed, and when I tasted it, I most definitely was: the glaze was exquisite. Sweet, but not overly, and it was nestled with hidden flavors of garlic, citrus, and other herbs. The dinner was fantastic: the choicest wine and salmon and, above all, company.
After dinner she casually suggested that we could take a bath, together, in the hot tub openly situated in the master suite. There was no hesitation in my response. She filled the hot tub. The rest of the night we grew in knowledge. Exhausted from the events of the day, and inebriated from the libations that loomed throughout the night, we fell asleep quite early. I awoke throughout the night several times soaking in sweat: the air conditioner was off for the evening and it was over a hundred every day the past week. I managed to go to bed, but at five thirty an alarm sounded. “Odd” I thought in my sleepy haze. My eyelids cracked and were met with blinding light. I looked at the clock confused. When the hell was it ever this bright at five thirty in the morning? Now I know why farmers manage to wake up so early. And why the hell is there an alarm for this hour? Then she turned and asked me, “I’m going for my twelve mile run. Do you want to join?” While I was unbelievably impressed and fully infatuated with her charismatic discipline, the idea of running twelve miles at that hour left the same reaction as jumping from a cliff onto jagged rocks: the possibility of my muscular one hundred and ninety five pound frame surviving such a task existed only in distant dreams. I did want to run though, but I encouraged her to go alone. She left and I explored the idea of sleeping longer but the summer heat and blinding rays penetrating through the windows prevented that option from ever materializing. Instead I laid in bed and watched humming birds court each other in hypnotic floating displays of majestic brilliance outside my window. After a short period of time I dressed myself and began my three or four mile run. The countryside was invigorating and enlivening: rolling crests of green grass and pastures reamed across the landscape. Wildlife seethed throughout the dense vegetation and open plains and soaring sky. The smells and sounds and sights saturated my senses, and I felt fully alive.
I arrived home drenched in sweat and absolutely beaten with exhaustion. After I caught my breath I journaled my thoughts and read a few chapters of Ender’s Game.
After Don prepared us a breakfast of eggs, hash browns, ham and waffles, we decided to explore the 2,700 person town or, more aptly, “village”.
We happened upon a civil war battle site named “battle of the bridge” and later discovered an estate sale auction in one of the neighborhoods that appeared to attract nearly everyone in the county, including the entire Amish community (I love the Amish!). Cardboard boxes of goods lined the backyard, side yard, and empty lot across the street. Families, children, old and young stood ’round a man dribbling words from a hand held microphone: the auctioneer. He rapped prices with a southern drawl that hung in the humid air. The occasional hand would flicker upwards and he’d raise the price, “five dolla five dolla five dolla we have five dolla do we have five fifty five fifty do we have five fifty… five fifty! six dolla do we have a six dolla now…” and slowly they’d make their way through the labyrinth of goods. At one point he stopped at a mechanical contraption and provided a brief description, “Naw here we have a werkout machine, a walking board,” and there was a laugh and commotion “or I guess they call it a treadmill.” Her and I looked at eachother and smiled with fond amusement. These little folk and their back yard auctions, stuck in prohibition, with their straw hats and thick suspenders. It was quite a spectacle. And archaic at that.
Eventually we made it to our canoe destination on the river. Barry, as he introduced himself to us, was waiting with a canoe strapped to the top of his large old Tahoe. He was mild mannered and polite, soft spoken and friendly. “So we have a three hour and a six hour lazy canoe trip” he said. The heat was in full swing and I imagined myself on the river for six hours, wondering if it was possible or enjoyable to canoe for that long in the heat. If anything it sounded like a challenge. “Well six hours sounds a bit long, you think if we trucked it we could get it done in three hours?” I asked. Barry’s face pulled back in distaste. “No no no! You’re not suppose to go fast. It’s called the lazy river. You want to go slow. You don’t wanna go fast, just take your time, enjoy the river. The six hour trip is definitely worth it and the best bang for your buck.” I looked at her and smiled with surrender. “Well then, I guess that sounds good. We’ll do that.” We loaded into his car and we stopped by his home while he ran our credit cards and had us sign waivers. We grilled him with every question we could muster during our short car ride with him: how he got into business, how the local economy was, what the local demographic was like, how he liked his life, where the best restaurants were located. It was only a fifteen minute drive but we were efficient with questions and satisfied with our answers.
We canoed for six hours, about 12 miles in all, in scorching one-hundred and five degree Kentucky heat. It was no joke. There was plenty of scenery to keep our senses entertained. Back woods Kentucky families posted up in the river bed in their lawn chairs, their cubicle sized shacks in the foreground with laundry lines extending from their sides. Gun shots accompanied our tour of the river. We passed the couple, rifle in hand. “A little target shooting?” I said light heartedly. “You bet! It’s my favorite thing in the world!” Her posy pink one piece wrapped over her shoulders and crossed her breasts in a deep V that connected at her belly button. Her dark roots chased after the blonde hair tied in a knot situated on the back of her head. “I don’t blame ya” I said with a twang in my voice “I’d be out here every day if I was you!” I tried to make small talk as we sheepishly floated on by. The river was pathetically slow that day, making its name “the lazy river” well suited. It hadn’t rained in over eight weeks. Though the levels were low, the water was exceptionally cool and clear thanks to the subterranean aquifers pumping continuous supplies of cool water into its currents.
We paddled the red canoed through the blistering humid heat, through the biting bugs that chased and bit throughout the duration. We talked about everything. Life. Love. Jobs. Happiness. Family. Children. Friends. Relationships. Six hours is a long time to canoe a river. And talking in the heat while your slowly growing more and more exhausted from beating the insects in between paddle strokes would be a challenge, except I was in her company, and that thought alone dissolved any penetrating distractions that would otherwise detract from having the best of times.
We had lunch on a river bank. An Amish family sputtered away from the bank in a small motor boat (Odd, I know!). A small fire crackled and white smoke rose over the river and into my nostrils: memories moved within me, memories of my youth, and camping, and my early pyrotechnic fascinations.
We pulled the canoe on shore and pulled out our sandwich bag from the dry sac. She brought the bread. As we were making sandwhiches earlier in the morning I noticed that the bread she brought was peculiar. Why? Because it was made for midgets: each slice was slightly smaller than the size of my palm. I could easily eat two or three or more of these small sandwiches. But I had to give it to whoever thought of restandardizing their loafs: they definitely make you eat less, and think twice about making more than one.
We ate raspberries with our little sandwiches. Mine was tuna. Her’s was hummus and vegetables and maybe turkey, but I couldn’t be sure.
We arrived home around five pm. Don had offered to make us his “special” Mexican burritos which, he mentioned, were quite good by his standards, and something of a specialty of his. We inquired earlier that day with the locals about where good restaurants might be and found that there were, in fact, no good resturants. Save, of course, the Mexican resturant, the only resturant anyone would recommend that we visit. We decided that we’d rather have our wine (it was a dry county!) and have Don grace us with his cooking abilities. He was making Mexican for us anyway, so why not.
We arrived home early and Don hobbled from his sun room in cartoon boxers waving his hands (or hand, since he had but one, but that’s a minor detail) and saying “Don’t worry, I’m not in my underwear!”, but it was clear that he was. He pulled over his shirt. It was backwards. “I didn’t expect you to be back so soon.” We explained how we annihilated that “lazy” river with our exceptionally intense “go-get’em” attitudes and finished slightly early. “I was only having a few cocktails and didn’t expect you to be back so soon!” Don continued apologizing. “Don’t worry,” I said “we’ll join you after we refresh ourselves, get some water and fill our stomachs with a bite to eat.” Don liked that idea. You could tell he was lonely, sharing the company of a twelve pound Lhasa Apso named Sophie. There was no significant other in his life, and none that could be guessed from his past. He was alone. Him and his dog. And his beautiful home. With no one to share it with save the wayfarers that stopped in for bed and breakfast a few times a month.
We talked over wine. Don had himself a bloody mary. We discussed a spectrum of topics, from his favorite bloody mary mix, to his travels abroad, to his real estate aspirations, and finally, at the peak of our intoxication, to his finances. He went so far as to show me all his investments and explain his savvy investing strategies. I entertained his enthusiasm.
Don soon began making dinner, but after all the alcohol, her and I faded to sleep on the couch, nuzzling close to one another. Don must have saw us while making dinner and caught some inspiration, for he fell asleep as well. We awoke several hours later to Don in a panic. “I completely fell asleep in the middle of making dinner! I’m so sorry! I don’t know how that happened!” It was a goofy scenario, as she said. All of us, tired, drunk, passing out, the dinner half cooked, the kitchen steaming, the TV murmuring in the background. How funny.
We quickly ate dinner and went to sleep.
We awoke the next day and had Don’s breakfast, but this time instead of waffles he made sourdough french toast. I was gorged.
The original caves we were going to visit happened to be completely booked due to the holiday weekend, so we engaged plan B and decided to visit two other caves, and meet her best friend at the second, more southern location.
We stopped at Diamond Cavern for the first part of our trip, and the Lost River Cave and Valley for the second, where we met up with her friend.
I drove back with her an hour north at the end of the day. My car was parked in the small town we had stayed at. I opted to ride with her. I missed her company already.