The Woman in a Glass Box
Five times a week your eyes meet mine, as if in surprise that I have returned. It isn’t that you were expecting me, per se, recognition comes second, but there is a substantiality to our line of sight that can be felt viscerally. You smile sincerely from a prison that keeps us from ever having touched, ever having shared the same air. I can’t help but wonder during our brief exchange, who are you? What would you be like, freed from the constraints that prevent us from ever being real people to one another? Even though I know there is a brain behind those eyes, a person who probably has her own ideas about what type of crazy individual I am, these moments are still just an exercise in self-reflection. What would it take for me to ignore the fact that we are separated by far more than just panes of glass, to do something, create a reality in which I find out what kind of person you are?
I should know better than to commit words to any permanent form before I have been awake and lucid for at least an hour. This morning I awoke at three in the afternoon with the bitter taste of self-pity, self-derision, and brandy in my mouth. For three hours I overindulged in the fact that I am currently without a cellular device. Melancholia had taken the first steps toward depression and it seemed inevitable that my next human contact would be work tomorrow, which is negligent.
“Flipping a coin should win you happiness 50% of the time. If you’re running less than that, you should consider getting a coin.” – http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/03/shame.html
New Years Resolution #2: I refuse to let this year be in any way similar to the last decade of my life. Sounds complex, but I believe I’ve found a short cut. From now on, any time I have the thought I wish, I will stop myself and instead come up with an action that will bring me closer to that desire.
This year has only contained seven conscious hour for me but I managed to squeeze in productive errands, lonely, heart warming pho, and some reading. Alas, laundry is a thing that did not happen. Of shirts and pants there is no lack, but I will be re-wearing a pair of socks and underwear to work tomorrow. Taking care of yourself is hard when your schedule gets interrupted. Time to stretch, cuddle with Marlfox, and fall asleep feeling mostly good about today.
I lit up halfway through this anti-smoking ad. Its approach was novel if you are only thinking in terms of health advocates campaigning against smoking. As I walk into the house for a snack, thinking I should really do this earlier, an anti-smoking ad comes on the television. How kind of technology to save me a little bit of effort. Apologies, it was not an anti-smoking ad. The commercial was for Nicorette. A smooth, confiding voice assured me that his gum would decrease my cigarette consumption even if I occasionally slip up. It isn’t my fault that I’m a smoker, just give me a hug and some sympathy. In this country we chose an industrial complex designed to woo us without considering the ramifications upon services that are not necessarily the most humanistic in corporate form.
Then, of course, there is the government. Excuse me, our government. *shudder*
Translation: We both know you’re going to die. While you’re at it, could you try to do it as quietly as possible? Oh, and if you could manage not to cost us too much it would be appreciated.
There has to be some kind of research that goes behind these campaigns, right? It was published by the CDC. Or do they only do biological research? Was this ad designed by someone with a doctorate in behavioral psychology, or an art degree with a minor in anthropology? Research project for tomorrow!
Obviously, the Thai approach is more highbrow. We (the children) see you. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you to take care of yourself when you forget. I’m probably projecting. Those adults certainly gazed wistfully at the backs of random children that just proved themselves to be cute and audacious. I know it would have made my day. A few moments to enjoy the kind gesture, a soft chuckle, and a hand darting to my pocket for a cigarette. Two hours later it would hit, the sheer panic at having to care so much about myself that I never have another cigarette again for any reason. But who says I have to? I’m not even sure I find the idea desirable. If I can strengthen my mental resolve, create enough cerebral tranquility to be able to choose when to smoke or not, I will consider myself accomplished. These people do not have a problem because they smoke. The problem is that their life is such that it leads to activities like smoking. And that only if smoking is for them a problem. To offer a conjecture about a topic concerning which I have absolutely no knowledge: It seems unlikely to me that tribal sages of any continent spent any viable amount of time worrying about any of the substances they consumed.
The previous sentence is a wonderful example of why putting bourbon in my cereal makes me an alcoholic and 10:00p is an entirely reasonable bed time.
P.P.S. Wordpress is lying about embedding videos but I’m too tired to care