Saturday, March 10, 2018

Delirium? Episode 3: Preferences and Constraints

As I said at the beginning of Episode 1, I’m no James Joyce but like the idea of free-associative writing. So, unedited, uncensored, I offered the thoughts that flew through my head as I sat here at my keyboard. 

I feared that my words could be chastised as self-absorbed, politically unacceptable, who knows what lurks in the hearts of men and women. But the comments were all kind. Interestingly, all the comments weren't on the text but on my reading of it on YouTube.

So, I offered Episode 2, and here, Episode 3:

I go all the way--Obsessive deep dives and then a sudden screeching turn to something else. I did that with bromeliads, with rose breeding, with article-writing for Psychology Today. No harm done there but I fear that could happen to my lifetime of 70-hour workweeks, even if some disgusting disease isn't the cause. Increasingly, a voice whispers in my ear, saying things like, "You didn't make much difference anyway. Go have fun." or "You're not as good as you've thought. Give it up." Or "Everyone can't be wrong in pursuing happiness. Only you, the schmuck, obsess about productivity, maximally benefiting your sphere of influence." Stay tuned. 

It seems so random which pop songs end up being hits. The winners and losers usually seem interchangeable. How much of it is the song rather than the marketing or whether the singer is particularly outrageous? Blinking bustiers, with the singer's career boosted by a conveniently timed equipment malfunction? Does it help be the biggest Trump hater?

I like people-watching. For example, does that guy look well? Is that child's sour face characterological? Is that person's prematurely balding and early paunch signs he'll die young?

I like getting a good deal. I think most people do. That's why it's important for me to try to make every client feel like he or she is special, that we have a special kinship or that I feel particular empathy for their plight. 

I love the owners of hole-in-the-wall restaurants. They work so hard and so long to give sustenance and pleasure to others, all for a price than even poor people can at least occasionally afford. I respect restaurant workers too but I know that those small restaurant owners work insanely long hours and usually have invested all their hard-earned money on a venture that is very risky--Most restaurants go bust. 
I also love coffee. It so, as my mother used to say, "agrees with me." It sharpens my thinking and raises my baseline mood from a 4 to a 7, even an 8. Even decaf seems to move me to a 5 or 6. I've met people with recurring cancer who are more upbeat than I am. I'm convinced that one's genetics more than external events affect demeanor. 

Okay, I've taken up enough of your time, assuming you've even stayed with me through all these zig-zags. I thank you. And I do welcome your comments. Just don't be mean. 

I read this on YouTube.

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