Taiwan’s humidity is too much for me 11/11/2017

The humidity in Taiwan ruins it for me. It’s always warm and muggy in Taiwan. It’s true what they say. It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. Even when it’s not really all that hot, maybe 78F, it still feels hot in Taiwan. That’s the humidity doing that. When it’s very humid, your body can’t cool itself down with sweat. But that doesn’t stop your body from trying. And try it does. If you’re not a native to Taiwan, your body will keep sweating in a vain attempt to cool itself down. I don’t know how the locals stand it here. I guess they get used to being sticky and sweaty all the time. They wear long sleeves and pants here all the time. I can’t even. It gives me a sense of claustrophobia. I gasp for air, like I’m drowning in the humidity.

It’s weird to see all these Chinese people. Occasionally, I see the lone blonde woman out on the street teeming with busy Chinese people. It’s always the same one. Her blue eyes don’t meet mine as I look at her curiously. I wonder if she feels just as strange, being a minority, as I do being in the racial majority for once. She doesn’t acknowledge my look. I’m invisible to her; she must get the same glances every day as she walks down the sidewalk. She’s drowning in humidity and Chinese. There’s too much of both here, and I’m an utterly unremarkable part of the background.

She’s not wearing any make-up. Nor do any of the Chinese women I see today. I don’t blame them. When it’s so sticky, I can’t imagine putting something called lipstick on. Make-up would be called facestick here. I can see the layers of paint bubble and crack on the ceiling of the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial. I imagine that’s what the humidity would do to make-up here as well. It’s a losing battle. There’s a better chance that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek leaps up from his resting place in his mausoleum to conquer mainland China for the Kuomintang than to conquer the humidity here.

I can’t tell if the blonde woman is pretty or not. I can’t tell if any of the Chinese women are, either. It’s not racism. It’s the humidity. No one can look good here, with or without make-up. I’ll bet if you took some of these Chinese women out of Taiwan, they would be really pretty. It would be like taking someone who had been wearing weights on their ankles all their life and putting them into a track and field competition without weights. They’d naturally be amazing athletes after being saddled with weights that had suddenly been removed.

Feeling sticky, sweaty and muggy is a remarkably unsexy feeling. It’s like you’re really sweaty and out of breath after a long hard fuck, but subtracting all of the post-coital bliss of the long hard fuck. It’s just the clean-up part where you want a cool towel to wipe down your sticky and stinky nether regions. It’s hard to breathe and you’re just stinky and sweaty without the fuck and without the cool towel. There’s nothing sexy about humidity here. Maybe a southern gal in New Orleans could fan herself on the porch with a pitcher of lemonade and a sultry smirk. But that same gal and her fan would wilt under the humidity in Taiwan. The fan would be useless because the unrelenting humidity prevents any evaporation of sweat from the skin even in a light breeze from a fan. The stereotype of a Chinese girl with a fan came from northern China, not the sub-tropical island which is Taiwan.

I gasp for air again, just as a carp gawps at the top of the water for food. It’s so humid, Aquaman could breathe through his gills here. He must have gills, right? What is the biology of Aquaman? Does he release his seed as a swirling hazy cloud over Aquawoman’s eggs? I envy Aquaman for never having to use condoms. He just unleashes his seed bareback right into the ocean every damn time. Guaranteed safe sex. What a lucky guy. However, I can’t get too envious. He’ll never know the intimate feeling of skin-on-fin contact which is presumably very nice. I wonder when they’ll address this in the upcoming movies where they feature Aquaman. Now, Aquaman fertilizing some Easter eggs would be something to sit through the credits for. Imagine that cloudy emission floating straight at you in 3D, and the virtual tadpoles that emerge from your face. That’s the ultimate culmination of computer graphics and 3D, is to have Aquaman simultaneously inseminate an entire audience on opening night. That such a happy ending is in the realm of the possible is going to make all other possible endings disappointing in comparison now that the idea of that spoogy possibility has been disseminated to you. Likewise, the attractiveness of a woman in Taiwan cannot be determined because the platonic ideal of that same woman not being in the swampy, sweaty, junior high locker room air of Taiwan always exists in theory .

The humidity in Taiwan ruins it for me; it really does. Aquaman releasing his cloudy seed into your face in 3D at the end is merely a mild metaphor of how the humidity ruins it for me here in Taiwan. That  metaphor is barely a single tadpole compared to the hellspawn that is the actuality of the humidity here. But enough exaggeration and metaphor. The simple, unadorned truth is that the humidity in Taiwan makes rainy summers in Houston seem tolerable and almost nice and refreshing in comparison. That is no exaggeration, but simple truth.

Non-Organic Facts: The New Reality

Mark 2016 as the year that fiction supplanted reality. It’s the year that Pokemon GO introduced the idea that physically doing something in the real world enables you to accomplish something in the virtual world. It introduces the idea that doing something in the real world which accomplishes nothing in the real world, but accomplishes and advances your virtual world status is a perfectly reasonable and socially acceptable way of spending your time.

Sometimes, you may also accomplish real world tasks while simultaneously playing Pokemon GO such as walking your dog, going for a walk, or simply shopping. But the idea that simply walking your dog has merit on its own without also advancing your status in a virtual world is now beginning to become an outdated concept. Simply walking your dog for its own sake of enjoyment will be an old person thing. This is culturally what’s happening. Doing things in the real world for its own sake for its own satisfaction will soon be incompatible with the rest of society. This is 2016. What will it be in 10 years? In 20? In 50? In 100?

Right now, in 2016, doing something in the virtual world has value and perhaps more value than doing something in the real world. Fiction is greater than reality. At some point, a virtual economy game will certainly supplant Pokemon GO as the augmented reality game of choice. Maybe within 10 years, we will see such a game that will be an extension to normal life as we now know it.

At some point in this development, we will begin to see activities online as being more valuable than doing things in the real world. You will prefer to walk a virtual dog than a real one. The virtual dog will provide the same benefits— companionship and virtual love— as a real dog without the messy poop and reliance on being fed. You will work online in the virtual world to generate virtual money to spend on your virtual things. You will create virtual things for other people. You are adding to the virtual economy by creating virtual dogs with clever virtual dog AI. Almost everyone will be doing this in the information age economy. As a side benefit, the virtual economy will be hooked into your real world economy so that you can trade what you’ve earned in the virtual world for real world money.

But you don’t really need that much real world money because you are sufficient in your tiny home with your only connection to your friends and family through your virtual world. Your virtual world endeavors sufficiently cover your expenses of keeping you fed and keeping a tiny home roof over your head.
You don’t participate in real life politics. That is for old people who pound a sign into their vast water-wasteful yards. You don’t run for office yourself. Your Pokemons and virtual dog would certainly starve if you spent so much time away from the virtual world to cultivate your campaign.

But you participate in politics online. You choose and select which communities you belong to. Because you can opt out and even remove people from these communities, you don’t have to learn to listen to other people’s ideas that differ from your own and your own carefully chosen friends. You never see the face of disagreement and learn from their point of view. All you see is text online that you disagree with and you can choose not to read it or you can choose a link that confirms you are correct.

It is 2016 and we are seeing fiction winning in politics. Does the truth matter anymore? What is the truth anyway? Politics is too far from me personally for me to experience it directly. So, I experience the truth through fiction written by people I agree with. If it’s something I disagree with, there is an immediate rebuttal by someone else I agree with. I can easily dismiss all ideas that do not match my world view. People see what they want to see. When I wrote “fiction winning in politics” above, you thought of a specific person. But I did not mention any person by name. I don’t want to belabor my point because I know you have the option to stop reading at any time if you don’t like what I’m saying. I’m just going to point out that I never mentioned a name, yet someone very specific probably popped into your head. Why is that?

I have a lens through which I see the world. It is a lens through which I am scornful because it is easy for people to sell me that scornful story for their own purposes. It works because I respond to it and others like me respond to it because it fits nicely in our world view.  It is much harder to sell me on a positive story that doesn’t match the world view shaped by those scornful stories. The only positive stories I hear are ones which support my side. But the opposing side cynically distorts my side’s story and so I am distrustful of anything they say.
My tribe is the correct tribe. The other tribe is not only wrong, but stupid. Their tribe lies. Our tribe tells the truth or at least tells it like it is. I know my side is the truth because of everything I’ve read from my friends who I’ve carefully chosen to add or remove based on how much they agree with me. My friends are good. I am good. My side is good. That’s all there is to it.

I love my tribe and my tribe loves me. The other tribe hates me and I hate the other tribe. Our tribe tells the truth about the other tribe, but they won’t listen. Instead, they keep passing these lies about our tribe. Why are they so hateful? Why are they such liars? It’s why I can never be friends with anyone in that other tribe. Because my tribe is the truth.

Reality is eroding away and being replaced by a new land mass. Our minds and our souls are reality. They exist and we seek like-minded souls to fill our lives. And these online people can become the majority and the whole and the entire in our lives because the internet allows us to transcend the limitations of time and space which prevented our ancient ancestors to form tribes with people on the other side of the continent. You may come to this post 10 years from now and welcome me into your tribe because you agree with what I’m now saying. I can connect with you who are from the future 10 years from now. This was not so easy back in the old days, but it is trivial now. I would have had to have been a great author to reach out beyond my immediate circle of friends at a particular time and place. But now, anyone can do it. We all travel through four dimensions trivially every day, like this post. Time and place are abstracted away from the message this post carries.

But now, we can form ideas and morals and judgements and even hatred of other tribes without ever having to meet or know anyone physically. First, we can choose our own neighbors through social media. And also, we can choose to enter various communities where we can meet like-minded people online.

These new land masses that are formed informally by social media and communities are rapidly changing as people friend and unfriend on social media due to polarizing opinions. Existing land masses get bigger and then fracture into smaller, more specific land masses. Then some of those land masses grow bigger over time, too.

Sometimes, these new land masses spill over into the real world. But because the virtual world is more real than the real world, that spill over doesn’t cause dramatic social change. Dramatic social change requires reality to be more real than fiction. And it isn’t. Reality doesn’t have a link to tell you that it is a lie perpetuated by that other tribe. Reality is inconvenient. You cannot unfriend reality. Therefore, reality sucks. And so, you unfriend reality anyway by going online which is your real reality anyway. Actual reality is not really reality, anyway. Reality is the inconvenient domain of your meat body, not your soul, not your spirit, not your humanity. Your true self is beautiful and shining and pure in its online form. Your physical self is just a container for your true soul which you reveal from time to time to your true friends. There are people who live in physical proximity to you, but they are not your true friends. They do not understand you in the same way. They are prejudiced and have had a different experience growing up which taints them. They cannot understand you.

You have carefully cultivated and collected your true friends as careful and precise as any good Pokemon trainer would. These are people who *get* you. They have suffered as you’ve suffered. They have experienced the same virtual experiences and same virtual arguments as you have and have agreed with you! They are indistinguishable from the real you in oh so many ways.

Mark 2016 as the year where various untruths have propelled candidates towards the presidency, yet no one gets up to do anything about it other than trade links back and forth to other articles online. Oh, I’m writing about it. Isn’t that enough? Here I am, pointing out that the other side lies. That should be enough, right? I mean, the other tribe must be *stupid* if they can’t see the truth laid bare before them. Right? I’ve done my part. I’ve shed light on the *truth*. I cut and paste a link. What else more can I possibly do?

It is 2016 and I’m guilty of consuming non-organic facts. I have consumed mostly processed facts because there is no fact labeling that will allow me to distinguish between genuine experiences and non-organic experiences that echo my world view.

It is 2016, and in this year, our poor old dog Gracie died. I miss the genuine experience of petting her and her joy at everything in life. However, sharing that with you is also a genuine experience even though it is not the same kind of experience as petting a dog. It is still real, however.

It is 2016, and the definition of reality is changing. This post is real. Fiction may become even more real as time goes on. It’s something we need to recognize as real. It is strange when fiction becomes reality. When the waters on the beach recede before a tsunami, you get the first sign that something is going to happen. 2016 is the year that the water first began to recede from the beach.

There is a different reality coming. The information age has yet to really have its impact felt on society and culture. We are still products of the industrial age. But the industrial age people are going away. We have exported the industrial age to other countries for cheap labor. We do information age work now. And information age work is a different new reality. It’s a reality propped up by fictions and infinite choices and communities.

What will happen? Who can say? All I can say is that things are very different. I can say that because I am both old and new. I am an old industrial age person who has worked in the new information age and consumed many non-organic experiences. Some could say I helped bring on the new fiction through technology. That would be a generous assessment of my contribution.

Maybe calling the new reality a fiction or lies is too harsh. Perhaps a more neutral term could be “non-organic experiences.” But perhaps that is just another fiction and another lie to hide the truth— that words and communities can form a new reality around you and that you can be forever tainted by those beliefs and ideas to the point where you are resistant against opposing views and ideas.
When I grew up in the 70’s, parents were very concerned about children creating fictional worlds and inhabiting them with fictional characters in role playing games. Perhaps, instinctively, they understood the danger of becoming addicted to non-reality and living in a world of non-organic experiences that eclipse any real experiences they could possibly have. Maybe those parents were a last hold out to reality against the incoming age of information and age of fiction. Maybe they saw reality differently as communism and fascism swept the real world only a few decades earlier. Perhaps they foresaw a dangerous echo chamber trap of media and imagination in a self-contained fictional bubble long before such a thing was possible with cable news networks and social media.

Maybe when we grow up in a post-industrial age filled with abundance, our concerns and stresses can be magnified by non-organic experiences and we call those experiences fun because we have never had to struggle against the real world constraints of war, hunger, and famine. Struggling and achieving something is fun. We can do that safely in the virtual world. It is fun to capture Pokemon and have them grow and evolve. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. It is just as real a feeling as me reaching out to you through this blog entry.

I’m just pointing out that the world is changing. What you want to do with that information is up to you. How much importance you place on the real world versus the virtual world is also up to you.

For me, the virtual world is of utmost importance. It is my livelihood and my social connections and my entertainment. I suspect the same will be true of more and more people as time passes. I suspect some people will resist against this, just as any broad social change brought on by technology is resisted. But to what avail? We can’t put the genie back in the bottle, can we?

If we choose, we can have more organic experiences. I predict there will be more pet ownership in the next 50 years due to our reliance on the virtual world. Pets provide a wonderful organic experience. So, if you’re a stock market or business person, investing in pets as a consequence of virtual reality might be a smart thing to do.

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All Your Files Are Right Where You Left Them

When Windows 10 update finishes, it says, your files are all there right where you left them. This is an ominous message to receive. After my stroke, I feel like my memories are all there, right where I left them. Yet, something is still different all the same. I am missing some sense of scale of time or when the memories happened. The memories are all there, true enough, but they are all smushed together, as if an elephant had stepped on a grilled cheese sandwich. My memory is that smashed sandwich. All the parts are there, but it’s not quite the same shape as I’d left them.

There’s many strange aspects to having this new kind of memory that is different than before. I don’t know if I can do a good job describing it to you, but I can try. One of the weird things is that the feeling of a memory isn’t stored with the memory anymore. Maybe I lost that part in the stroke or maybe I never had any feeling about it in the first place. I tend to think it’s the latter since I was always pretty good at regulating my feelings. I probably did it all the time as a defensive measure. I doubt I relented for even a second. I think this is what people call “putting up walls.” My guess is that things happened that I remember, but at the time, I had suppressed the feeling at the time, so while the memory got recorded, there was nothing to record when it came time to record the feeling. It’s not that my feelings got lost when my brain got scrambled, it’s that they never happened in the first place. I think that’s what’s happening here, but who can really know?

This is strange, because I find myself feeling a lot of things about these memories that still exist that I never felt before. Sometimes, they are welcome warm memories. Sometimes, they are a bit raw and sensitive. Maybe what I’m about to describe is how people normally feel about their memories and feelings and I was somewhat abnormal before the accident for having the ability to suppress that. Maybe the stroke “fixed” me in that way.

I find myself having some pleasant feelings and some unpleasant feelings of memories that have long ago been stored and processed. These are very old memories with no particular feelings attached to them, but now I’m receiving very much new emotions about these old memories that could easily have been forgotten.

One memory that got me to notice that this was happening was of Beth’s feet. Beth was a girl I went to high school with. I think she was friends with my girlfriend in high school, but not really close friends or anything. More of an acquaintance, I guess. I don’t remember being friends with her, either. I don’t think we knew each other more than as classmates or acquaintances. Beth is my age now, around 46, probably. So, it’s strange that I have these feelings because of these memories of a high school girl from long ago as if it just happened recently.

What I remember strangely and inexplicably vividly are Beth’s feet. She went around high school barefoot most of the time. I think she owned shoes. She simply chose not to wear them most of the time. At the time, I recall, I thought that this was kind of dangerous and unsanitary. Imagine walking around your high school without shoes. Your feet would get dirty pretty fast with no way to wash them. Beth didn’t seem to care about that. She would prop her bare feet up on nearby chairs and things. It sounds way sexier than it was at the time which was rather mundane and somewhat unsanitary. Maybe there is something about writing that transforms the every day action into something more when that writing is complemented by an imagination. That is how my feeling about that memory has transformed. It’s as if it were stretched through the lens of writing.

Although Beth was a nice enough girl, I made no attempt to be her friend or to talk to her. Now, I have the feeling of regret that I didn’t do that. I don’t know anything about her at all, whether she was a nice person or whether she would like me. I just vividly remember the specific details of her feet and how she propped them up near where I sat in class. And in some sort of post-feminist way, now, I feel like it was a bit transgressive and bold of her to walk around with dirty bare feet like that as if it were no big deal at all. I now have the brand new feeling that I like that she didn’t care what people thought about it or even what I thought about it. She just did it and it was who Beth was. She was the one who walked around in bare feet, enjoyed the visceral feeling of it, and didn’t care what you thought. I find that really cool now in a way that I didn’t when I was in high school. And I feel some regret for not recognizing how awesome it was then and letting her know how I felt about it. Maybe that is not the kind of conversation you have in high school with a girl your age who is also your girlfriend’s acquaintance. It is kind of a weird conversation to have at any age, really. I don’t think I could have even had the same kind of feelings about post-feminist empowerment when I was a teenager. Such a person didn’t even exist yet. But now, here I am existing and responding to these memories as if they had just happened.

That is a lot of feeling to process based on a small detail from a long time ago. Imagine if you remembered a girl flipping her hair or chewing on a long strand of hair in high school in great detail and a flood of new emotions came over you because of these meaningless, yet precise and vivid details. It’s a strange thing, but not altogether unpleasant because I get to visit a familiar place, and time travel into myself from an earlier time. I feel like I am still me, and not my teenage me, experiencing these old memories. It’s rather fun in a way to experience old memories in an unexpected new way. But there is a certain sadness, too, to this kind of time travel. This is the regret I was referring to. I can feel different things about a moment long ago passed. But I can’t express myself in that moment to the people who are in the past that is but my memory of them. Beth is probably around 46 with kids and a husband and maybe even kids who have kids. Who really knows, right? The Beth I know from 30 years ago doesn’t exist anymore except in my memories. The Beth at the time probably would not have reacted too kindly to my idea of her dirty feet as a kind of post-feminist transgressive action. Or maybe she would. The sadness is that I can never find out because Beth from 30 years ago is gone forever, but it seems like I can because it’s like it just happened and I can still respond to it. But I know it’s not true. But for some reason, I still feel that it’s true. And that feeling causes the feeling of regret. It’s a strange thing. There’s no word to describe a kind of regret that you have about not having done something that exists only as an illusionary feeling in your memories. What do you do with such a feeling? Certainly, it would be silly to act on such a regret. But also, doing nothing doesn’t seem quite right either. But doing nothing is exactly what my former self would have done, almost certainly. I’m not very accustomed to processing feelings. It’s something I’ve been able to avoid doing for a long time. Like a pile of unwashed dishes, it’s just been piling up and haunting me and waiting for me to take some sort of action. Yet, I don’t. So, although going back in time can be pleasant and fun, there are some strangely unpleasant side effects to it. I’m not sure what to make of it. I think it’s still worth it, despite the strange negative feelings surrounding it all.

A different, unpleasant feeling that I have sometimes is the feeling that I forgot to feed Gracie or that Gracie wants to eat, but I won’t let her. Gracie was notorious for waking us up far too early to get us to feed her. Now, she had totally trained Jennifer to feed her early by waking her up at inappropriate times, but I was determined to be the boss and try to teach her to only wake us up at the right time, that is, she should be taught proper doggie manners. Needless to say, it never worked. At the time, I felt like I had a purpose, like I was carefully training a dog to be a better dog.

Now, I feel differently about it. My friend is hungry and I’m being kind of a jerk about it. She can’t make her own food because she has no hands. But my friend can talk to me and tell me that she feels hungry now. I feel bad and my eyes are welling up a bit just thinking about it now. It’s not her fault she can’t make her own food. She would most certainly make us both food if she could, I’m pretty sure. She’s a good dog. She means well, but she’s just a dog and has her limitations. But all she can do is tell us it’s time to get up and get food. “It is a good time to wake up. Don’t waste the day! Today is going to be fun! Let’s eat and make it a good one!” she seems to be saying to me now. But that was not how I felt about it then. Back then, I was like, you crazy dog, it’s 4 am right now. Wait at least an hour. And if Jennifer isn’t here to get up for work, please wait longer, too.

 

I’m so sorry, Gracie. I saw you only as a dog, a thing to be trained, and not as a friend. I miss you, my friend.

Maybe this is what normal people feel, all the time. I’m sorry also, to all you normal people, with all your normal feelings, for acting however I did at the time. I know now that I must have seemed very alien to you at the time. Maybe this isn’t how normal people process their memories and emotions either. I can’t really know for sure, but this is what I have to deal with now, and it’s all kind of new to me. Not being sure if what I’m experiencing and how I’m experiencing life is the same as everyone else. But I suppose that’s true of everyone. Maybe it’s a little bit more true of me because of my smashed grilled cheese sandwich type of memory that maybe other people don’t have it like that.

Or maybe there’s a simpler reason to this. I’m reading Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore which has an eerie, disconnected metaphysical feel to it. Maybe I’m just overly influenced by this book while I’m recovering.

Or maybe, what I’m hoping, is that what I’m feeling is not caused by Murakami’s writing, but is a reflection of the truth of it. Maybe I am experiencing something real he tried to describe in his novel in figurative form. I feel like my experience is something new, but similar, because it is not exactly the same as what he described, but similar in feeling. It is not the same. it is not a copy. But it could be an influence. I really don’t know.

I am going to enjoy it while it lasts. I may go back to being my old self and back to building walls. I don’t think it can be helped. That’s just how I was built from the beginning. It will be a little bit sad to change in that way. You could say that this event changed me in some fundamental way. What’s strange is that by taking something away, another thing is added. Now that my walls are taken away, everything is different. Things are a little scarier because even small things can be tinged with regret or sadness that I didn’t realize could happen. I suppose, like everyone else, I’ll just have to learn to cope with it.

 

 

 

One Hit Wonders

Why are one hit wonders so maligned? Because they lack the stamina or talent to do more? Well, you who are of zero hit wonders, who are you to judge those who have created something that brings joy, sadness, and wonder to the world for one brief moment in their lives?

Why are we so greedy as zero hit wonders to want our one hit wonders to devote their lives to honing their talents and producing great works for our own selfish amusement? Yet, not a single one of us lifts our finger to a guitar or piano or pen or paintbrush to create our own one hit wonder for others to enjoy. How can we be so demanding of others, but not of ourselves?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each person created their own one hit wonder in whatever field they were best suited to expressing themselves? Each person had that one novel, that one movie, that one painting, that one song that they shared with the world and lasted forever? So what if this one hit was the high water mark of all of the culmination of the years of a person’s lifetime? What is the alternative? To never mark and commemorate such an occasion with a song or painting or book or movie that will last throughout humanity for the rest of time? Or the other alternative is for the zero hit wonders of the world to cling desperately to the hope that the creator of the one hit can recapture and echo whatever special talent into a second similar, but not entirely original hit that strummed and resonated with the inherent emptiness of never having created or hit a high water mark of their own? That we should drain the one hit genius of all of his life in search of something to fill the emptiness that is the lack of our own high water marks in creativity? Is it not work to create even one wonder, much less many? And yet, who among us are willing to devote the time to even a single wonder, much less a lifetime’s worth?

Let us not judge the one hit wonder, but celebrate it instead. Let us be that one hit wonder, whose moment of passion intersecting with talent and experience creates something original which resonates with other people, if not forever, then at least for a moment. For that moment, let each of us bask in the echo of one person’s peak of expression and let us all resonate with it until the next person dares to stand up and offer her voice to refresh the diminishing echo with a booming new thunder.

I want to live in a world where we are all each one hit wonders for a time. Needless to say, such a world would be wonderful.

 

The Taste of Today

I didn’t like today. Like a food that someone said I should like, I tasted it and found out it wasn’t for me. I read too much Facebook today, it seems. The story of the people who had been killed in Orlando was still fresh and Facebook was a buzzing hive of activity around it. Normally, I might have enjoyed the chance to join the buzz and voice my opinion on the matter. Not today. I did, a little bit. But I didn’t like it. Though the killings didn’t happen today, it was the same as if it happened right then in front of me. I wondered if any of the victims had read my previous blog entry before they were murdered. I knew that that was incredibly unlikely. Although my social network did reach into LGBT circles, I doubted that my personal blog could have stretched to those poor unfortunate people. I’m just not that popular or interesting, to be honest.

In my previous entry, I surmised that any of my readers could have died before I do, if there were enough readers. And each of those 50 people did in fact die, not knowing that going to a party and having fun with friends and meeting new people was going to be the last thing they would ever do. But every day is like that for each one of us. We never know if the current day will be our last.

I didn’t like today. Maybe today would be my last, too. I don’t know. It didn’t taste right. So, I took a nap. And with my condition, if you take a nap, you might not ever wake up. Today may be my last day. But it might be your last day, too. You’re probably not too concerned about it. So, I decided not to be too concerned about taking a nap. I felt like taking a nap, so I did. What’s the use in worrying about it?

After I woke up, I started to read Kafka on the Shore. I snacked on some red grapes while reading by myself in the van. They were sweet and snappy with a kind of satisfying firmness to the sweetness. And the day got better. I was transported to Japan where I spent a lovely day in a mysterious new place with new people. I forgot about what happened in Orlando, and the day tasted sweet, like what people told me it should have tasted. I grew a little bit more tired after reading. And even though I already took a nap, I decided it would be okay to take another one, even if it could be my last.

After I got up, I started to type upthis blog entry to record how I felt after reading the book. Now, though the day is sweeter, I am still a bit sad. I’m a bit sad to know that those 50 people will never be able to just take a nap and read Kafka on the Shore while snacking on red grapes. I know there could be a lot of politics that could go with that statement. And my former self may have brought up something else to go with it. But my current self refuses to believe they are really gone. They didn’t believe they would die that night and and thus they certainly are just waking up right now and opening up the book and entering the library in the book and snacking on red grapes in a van with a cool breeze coursing through the window. That is what I wish if wishes were being granted today. It shouldn’t be so unfair. When I beat the odds and others don’t. It shouldn’t be like this when I beat the odds and have another day. The extra day I get should be one I choose. I should get my wish for free. What do you think? I wish maybe that others could taste what today tastes like, too. Through this entry, maybe people can taste today a little bit. Both tastes. A little you don’t like, then, a little later, you like it. Like a neopolitan ice cream when you don’t like one or two of the flavors. It’s still overall pretty good.

Maybe tomorrow will taste better. Maybe it will be my last. I don’t know. I’m glad to have shared the taste of today with you. I hope you can taste many more, even if the taste doesn’t entirely agree with you.

 

 

 

Donald Trump’s Inauguration

I have this fantasy that Donald Trump somehow gets elected. In this fantasy, Trump gives this fantastic speech after being inaugurated. Here’s how it would go down.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you! Thank you!

CROWD: Trump! Trump! Trump! TRUMP!

Please. My fellow citizens, please. I love that sound. The sound of my name. But you know what would be tremendous? I would love for you to hear my voice. And the only way… the only way that can happen… Thank you! The only that can happen is if you give me your attention.

After a moment, the crowd quiets down a bit.

My fellow Americans, I am humbled and amazed to stand before you as your President of the United States.

Crowd cheers. Trump motions with his palms down to quiet the crowd again.

Thank you! Thank you all again. I want to thank my supporters. I never thought this could happen. I mean, I literally. <shaking his head> Never. In a miieeeelllion years. You know… I never spent one dime on this election. Not one! You know, like you, I thought that American democracy was broken. I thought that without corporation money, no one could get elected.

Trump raises his arms in victory.

But here I am! I proved ’em wrong!

Crowd cheers loudly again.

Fellow Americans, I want you to know. You should know, there was a plan all along. We never thought we could get this far. This was plan B, you know. But it started to work so well, we ran with it. That’s what you do in business; that’s what you do in life. If the ball is in your hands, you run with it. And we did that. We scored a touchdown!

We scored a touchdown for America! But, my fellow Americans, I want you to know something. I have a secret. And it’s been hurting my heart to keep it from you. My heart hurts. Truly. But I have to let you know the secret now. Because plan A didn’t go so well, we went with plan B. But I’ve been a strong supporter of plan A. Strong. Never changed.

My fellow Americans, we scored a touchdown for America! Always remember! Touchdown! Because we are going to win this thing for America! When we started, we focused on one thing. One thing. That was plan A, this one thing. But as things got crazy, it looked like the one thing— this sure thing wasn’t so solid. You know, I like things to be 100%. If I do something it has to be 100%. I don’t like failure. I don’t like losers. So we were going to win this thing for America with plan B.

Let me be clear on this point nation. This was the plan all along. To elect the best candidate for the job. Plan A. Best for America. The BEST! For America!

Trump chokes back his emotions. Those close to the new President could see his eyes welling up with tears.

For that reason, starting effective immediately,

Trump pauses and in a rare moment of humility, breaks his alpha male gaze at the crowd to look down at his notes.

I resign as President of the United States. I resign. You heard it right. I resign.

The crowd is shocked in silence.

My running mate has already resigned. This was the plan all along, my friends. I have already selected and sworn in a Vice President who will become a great President. The best. The greatest you have ever seen. Far better than what I could have done as President. Believe me. It’s the truth. I hire a lot of people. That’s what I’m best at— recognizing excellence. I demand excellence. I only hire the best. ONLY THE BEST! This person has been a great friend of mine for a long time and I trust my life, my business, and my country to this great, great friend. And in time, you will too. This friend is the most trustworthy I’ve ever known. More than any of you out there. And maybe even more than me.

Although I may do a good job as President, I can’t if I believe there is truly someone much better at the job. Today, as of this moment, Trump is fired. Someone better than Trump will be hired. You know I never say that. You know I never say anyone is better than Trump. So, it must be true. That is the one thing I could never lie about— someone better than me. I want you to welcome your new boss with all the trust and faith you put in me.

Today, I proudly present to you, the best, the absolute best, of all of us Americans…

Trump takes a breath and gives a dramatic pause.

Madame President Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Trump applauds and leaves the stage while the crowd is still too shocked to react.