Well. Here we are. This is certainly a situation I never saw coming and, for the record, I don’t like it. I don’t care for this at all. Somebody took my recipe for getting on with life and won’t let me cook anymore.
Legs that were once confidently slinking around the kitchen at 5 a.m. ready to tackle the day are now carrying a less confident torso. The head sitting on top is convinced life is still a valuable pursuit in the midst of what is – all of us know what is right now. Just that activity involving hands, legs, arms, knees, and toes feels different for some reason. Something is off.
Do you feel it? Some crazed goober snuck up six inches behind all of us and clank-smashed the biggest stainless pan … and now we’re hanging upside down off the ceiling in fear with our heads arched back, looking down … wondering what the hell just happened.
I let go after a bit. Couldn’t hang on any longer. Frankly, my attention span gave out as I believed the b*stard who started this whole thing walked out. But, I did find a pot to wallow in. The water is warm. C’mon in!
Here’s what I can do. Maybe you can sit in this kettle of mixed up emotions with me – perhaps even grab the spoon and stir? Help me understand. I’ll list the ingredients of my coping, soothing, sorta soup-sloth and we’ll see if a sip-tasty spoonful comes of it.
Here’s what I’ve been doing in the coping kitchen of my life. Oh, and I’m being a rebel …. no apron of shame here.
Ingredient #1. Nervous eating. My favorite by a mile. Snacky temptations. In first place are salty pretzels with their tempestuous off-eight shape and no redemptive carbs. I’m not so much a pretzel stick fan – kinda boring – as I am more a loopy pretzel kinda guy. So many options there, although I process them the exact same way. Every. Single. Time.
Nachos and salsa, or hummus, swings around the corner in second as a nice alternative if I’m plinking away on the computer. Baby carrots can substitute as well … although I didn’t realize they’re not as healthy as I once believed. Trail mix, cookies, honey nut cheerios are always in the race as are grapes, apples, klondike bars and leftover pizza.
All of these, if available, give my hands something to do, temporarily acting as a transport of yummies. That’s where the satisfaction lies – unconciously placing potentially delicious digestibles into my mouth, down to a happy belly … making a very happy Doug. Over and over … and over.
Ingredient #2. Busy work. Papers, pens, music, desk drawers, boxes of unknown origin, cards, … so much to do I never realized was so important to do. Moving insignificance from one unimportant place to another. Boy, doesn’t that say it all? File this. Fold that. Found this. Figure I’ll need this later? Finally done …. nope. I spy another freakin’ file-folder flop-mess on the fringe of finality that is in need of fandangling. Ah, F*!!
I invite busy-ness by never allowing it to leave. Surprising I even offered to allow partial grabiness of the spoon above. For my life’s purpose, busy can be an acronym for Be Useful, Save Yourself if used contextually correct. Useful in the context of picking up processed pulp and placing it somewhere else, thus saving myself the aggravation of trying to find something else to do.
Ingredient #3. Bloated binge time with big T.V. I choose to sit, mainly, and combine ingredient #1 with this entertainment medium. The two combine to make the most delicious waste-of-time-stew. Actually, that’s not fair to either. Munchies are awesome and most of the shows I find ravenously appealing, so to shovel a heaping pile of waste upon them is stinkely unfair.
What’s unfair is my age. Waking up hours later to find half-eaten nachos on my lap and a screen saved bzzz-ed reflector ten feet in front of my split ankles without knowing what happened to the blind lizard that fell off a second story balcony hours ago? ….. that’s unfair! Now, I could go back, reset the program, and rewatch the show … but what’s the point? There are too many other different shows to attempt: comedians, TED talks, YouTube everythings, music videos, concerts, games, and my personal favorite …. the blank screen – where I can see my reflection close up. I, for sure, am able to wiggle juvenile faces as if someone on the other side of this limited broadcasting universe is being amused by my antics. That’s, like, all the above wrapped up in one, provided I can stay awake long enough to enjoy it myself.
Ingredient #4. Free Internet Poker. Nople encouragot gamblot. Latin for “I do not want you to think my desire is for your life to be about chasing aces”. Mine isn’t, ahem, either. Just because I know my way around the one site, recognize most of the users and their playing styles, and sometimes mix in ingredients #1, #2, and #3 while in a hand doesn’t mean I’m there a lot …. right?
But, I kinda am.
And I like it. The messy math, pushy players, unknown angsts, what’s they going to do-ests, crazy calls/folds/&checks, …oh, and the creative language I get to use occasionally. You know the kind, right? The messy dog poo find on the carpet at 3:25 am, or the chair leg / little toe meet-up kind of adjectival, archival, ancestral-be-proud, profound proliferation of probable profanity type. A literal spew all of us can beckon during a painful whimsey of fate.
Sometimes I win and find no need for anti-normal language. The victories are magnificent. Peaceful. To invest hours and receive one-thousand actual non-monetary credits as the top winner? Well, wait ’til the phone company gets notice that I’m paying them in online casino credits!! They’ll be Jack-thrilled, I bet (see what I did there?😄😉).
Ingredient #5. I spent my later teens watching Johnny Carson. As an adult, I teared up as he began his last speech, sitting alone on a stool, atop a mark on the very stage he stood making me laugh along with millions. In that speech he spoke a phrase I’ve never forgotten: “And so it has come to this ….”
And so it has. We are shut down. Completely. Whatever this means to you, I’ll allow that. There is no definition sitting well for any of us. I am at a loss for what to do. Here we are. Damn it, we’re here.
My last ingredient – my go to – is here. My Doughugs. My space. My words. My one heartbeat at a time. I will never, ever be shut down.
Find your heartbeat that can never be stopped. For the record, you don’t have to like what’s going on, but stay in the kitchen, hold on tight to the recipe you love for your life … and keep your head up.
I’m here in the stew pot writing. Come on in if you get bored. We’ll find something to do.