To Inspire, Amuse, or Invite Derision

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You can’t really expect me to be in full control of all my faculties now that I have two billiard balls implanted in my head. They’re in the mid-brain, just behind the eyes. About the size of a billiard ball, but hollow and therefore lighter, they change the path for electrical nerve transmission and stop the seizures I had grown accustomed to dreading. I have not had a seizure since the surgery.

The downside is that it’s very difficult for me to read for more than a few minutes. On the other hand, I seem to play the piano better than ever before. Pieces that I learned fifty years ago have come back with little effort, and my repertoire is so extensive now that I could play non-stop for hours. I can even improvise a bit.

Thanks to audio books, I can keep up on my “reading” but lately I find that hearing someone read prose just sounds like a poorly produced radio play to me. Why not go whole hog and put on a show with actors, music and sound effects?

Or better yet, why not just start a YouTube channel where I free associate off the top of my head? Surely my abilities in this area could grow and a regular audience for my shows developed. My random and spontaneous utterances are probably the equal of most. If I fail to entertain or inspire, then I could become the object of derision, again a form of public service.

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Sexy Fruit

 

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Is it just me, or does this mangosteen turn you on? I can’t figure out if it’s the plump, juicy ripeness of it that reminds me of an eighteen year old girl in the blush or her beauty, or the resemblance to the swollen nether regions of a baboon in heat. In both cases, it’s instinct on rampage that makes me find this so attractive. The fact that I’m 69 years old has little effect on my perceptions. My actions, yes, but not my perceptions.

 

In some ways, this dirty old man is more appreciative of the beauty of youth than ever before. I even find the bodies of athletic young men pleasing to look at. I haven’t a gay bone in my body, but I think I would spend a happy half an hour gazing at Michaelangelo’s David in the Uffizi in Florence. I was there last year, but the crowds of Chinese tourists dissuaded me from paying the entrance fee.

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Center of the Universe

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Sometimes I catch myself thinking that my life, my plans, my grand enterprises, my little schemes are more important than those of the people around me. The woman washing her face in a  commercial on TV in this coffee shop in which I am sitting is a common fool, but I am an undiscovered genius.

 

If only there were justice in this world, I would be the one on TV! Somebody would be paying me big bucks to peck away on my laptop.

 

Then, in saner moments, I realize that there is beauty all around me. That other people are often more diligent and hard-working than I, and quite often more physically beautiful. The fact that I’m creeping up on age 70 allows me this new glimpse of humility.

 

What if I’ve already lost the race for money, prestige and power? Would admitting that be so bad? Would I become crestfallen, humiliated, utterly defeated? Probably not. Sure, I can still entertain reasonable hopes for a future, but it’s time to let the other fantasies go.

The Pendulum Swings

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If you scratch the lens on your glasses, your brain will eventually adapt and not see the scratch. Likewise, if you live around a constant or maddeningly repetitive noise, you will eventually tune it out. I once asked an airport porter how he could stand to hear the automated “no parking” announcement that came from speakers all around the area in which he worked. His reply was “what announcement?”

We humans can find a way around a lot things we can’t easily go through. This latest novel turn of events, having a low-class mobster as a President may not be one of them. We may have to stand up against this decided turn to the right, this new fascism and racism packaged as “Making America Great Again.” I don’t think it will go away if we ignore it.

The shocking fact is that a substantial number of Americans would vote for him again, and will, unless something changes. That change won’t be incremental and it won’t happen without risk. Trump and his Toadies are quite pleased with themselves. They have defined their critics as “libtards” who need to run to a “safe space” when threatened. There has always been a current of anti-intellectualism bubbling just under the surface, but now it has erupted like a geyser. We all stand to get burned.

I guess Obama was just too educated, well-spoken and black. Now the pendulum has swung the other way, and it seems like there’s a good chance the clock mechanism is broken. Since this has never happened before, nobody knows if the clock can be repaired. The Saudis, Israelis and Russians are all hovering anxiously nearby, offering to take that old piece of junk off our hands and substitute a new much cheaper electric clock. It keeps better time and never needs winding.

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

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He:

She is crazy about me, a fact I find puzzling because we have absolutely nothing in common. Her idea of a good time is watching game shows on television, while mine is playing baroque music on the harpsichord. I can’t tell if she really enjoys the sex we have, or is simply faking it in order to please me. The more she fakes it, but more I enjoy it. But that’s just the way I am.

My years incarcerated taught me nothing. Years inside meant that whatever natural instincts that led me to formerly trust others were now obliterated. That might not be such a bad thing. People should earn your trust. Most don’t make the effort. Fine, you can’t be all things to all people.

I began to wonder if she were a decoy, a shill, someone sent to trick me by an enemy. I have many enemies. Too many to count, and they lie in wait for me to let down my guard. I found it implausible that a women would naturally desire me. Any woman. Even the most deranged woman would find it impossible to want me.

She bought me an expensive birthday present. How did she even know it was my birthday? I certainly didn’t tell her. Again, such an incident speaks of hidden wheels turning. The important clues are hidden as insignificant details. I looked back over the last few years searching for incidents. That time in Panama when I booked a room in a whorehouse and then simply took a nap. The lady in Argentina whom I talked about forming a business partnership with but then abruptly stopped communicating. Might these people have harbored grudges?

Could these be the clandestine agents of revenge who were skillfully and secretly weaving their web?

She:

He is so lost, so alone, so clueless. Every instinct in me cries out to protect him, nurture him, care for him until he can care for himself. True, I don’t find him attractive, but so what? I have been conditioned to shelter those who need it, to love those whom others dismiss as unlovable.

I see a good person hiding inside a troubled soul. My reward for taking a chance on him will be his undying gratitude and devotion. OK, I know there’s a good chance I’m lying to myself, but I might be at least partially right.

He’s a clumsy lover. I pretend to enjoy out lovemaking, but most of the time I find myself waiting for it to be over. I try to imagine other lovers, suave, self-assured men who make me feel desired. If he is aware of my lack of emotional presence, he hasn’t let on. I don’t think he’s capable of such an awareness. He’s too self-centered.

I saw his passport and learned that his birthday was coming up, so I bought him a present. He was stunned, flabbergasted. It’s as if no one had ever bought him a birthday present before. If I can make him happy so easily, I am duty bound to continue to try. Most of them men I meet are spoiled and have high expectations. He is just the opposite.

I think I can make a difference.

Waiting for Recognition

Endure and thrive

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All my life I’ve pretended to be a genius, and treated myself as if I were one, expecting others to climb on board as soon as the truth is generally known. Now that I’m approaching my 69th birthday, it occurs to me that maybe I have been presumptuous. Mistaken. Maybe I’m just a moderately talented person, bright and quick in certain areas, but not in others. The reason I’m not better known is because I’ve been lazy and unfocused for most of my adult life.

The irritation I felt with the world for not recognizing and honoring my prowess has been very real, and constant. I’ve been waiting for that call from the MacArthur Foundation for some time now. The knock on the door announcing a telegram from the Nobel Prize Committee. I get many more emails from Nigerian princes who want to share their wealth with me than…

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