I often find myself wondering if I’m experiencing the onset of early dementia
(Where are you Sally Ann?)
There’s too much time on my hands and I can’t for the life of me recall what I did last week
(An internet search on your name only brings back the painful words “In Memoriam”)
It runs in the family….mostly on the female side but I was never one for tradition
(You’d only be forty five or forty six)
Sometimes I find myself going off to some pretty dark places in my head and the date on my return ticket seems to stretch out further and further
(I remember playing chess on the stoop in front of your house in Brooklyn like it was only yesterday
And the joy I used to feel is now tinged with an odd sense of foreboding or regret
(We were so young then, it was Boris Spassky versus Bobby Fischer and we’d re-create and debate their moves as if they were our own)
Is this the beginning of my downward spiral? Given my past history I thought my moment would come in the blink of an eye.
(But then you went your way and I went mine and you became of all things a doctor and I became, well, I just became)
Since my grandmother, mother and sister all went the insanity route, I thought maybe by now they’d have found a cure
(Because that’s what you were going to do, were born to do. Is there any hgher calling than that?
But I guess I’m wrong, so far, they haven’t found one.
(Where are you Sally Ann? I need you now just like I needed you then, as a friend)
And another light goes dim and I can’t see that far into the future anymore
(And maybe this time around as a little more than a friend. Can you kill something and at the same time offer up a cure?)
But the past is getting clearer by the moment.
(Where are you Sally Ann?)

Brainwashing or Genetics?

It's hard to judge what has more of an effect on human behavior.

People sense physical pain, and obviously that's a biological reaction.

People also sense pride and shame; that's pretty much a social construct.

Sexual arousal is a bit more difficult to deconstruct - obviously the need for reproduction has hard-wired the desire for sex, but is there a gene that makes most men more attracted to women with a "woman's haircut" rather than a "man's haircut"? That sounds more like cultural brainwashing to me.

Money's just paper,
but we're made of skin.

I took a stroll through the shelves today.
row upon row of book hedges.
Paused to trim a little from this one
and a smidgeon from that.
Decided to make a concerted effort on the health thing
too much inactivity, too much complacency
too much fatigue, too little motivation.
Pricked my finger on a thorn.

Browsed through the leather bound journals
mostly just to feel the covers and smell the earth.
Snagged two poetry books
just because it was drizzling outside.
(Billy for me, because I like him
Wisly for you, because of you.)
Swung by the coffee shop,
because it's a coffee shop kind of day.
The kids are off doing their social teen things.
I am once again on my own.

When it pours, I'll watch Vantage Point
the heavy rhythm on the A/C raising the tension.
And later, when it is over,
when I am bored channel surfing
I'll open my books
perhaps with candles lit
and a glass of chardonnay
perhaps with a good bar of chocolate
light jazz in the background

perhaps because I have nowhere else to go
and no other place to be
or perhaps because I am exactly where,
for now, I should be.

I'm in the desert.  Mary is telling me about how she got back together with Charles while I was away.  Cut.  I'm alone.  The desert is now a baseball field.  A ball-throwing machine appears, I have a bat in my hand, so I start swinging.

I suddenly become aware that I'm not really moving my arms.  "I'm dreaming, this is a lucid dream," I say out loud.  I realize I can do whatever I want.  Everything goes black.  There is a white dot below me.

I hadn't really thought about what I would do in a lucid dream.  The dot grows and illuminates the scene.  I'm lying on the grass, looking at the sky.  The sky is white, and I see tree branches with incredibly green leaves.

I sit up, I'm in a strange courtyard.  I get scared, I start to panic, I want to wake up.  "Wake up!" I scream.  The scene starts dissolving, but I don't wake up.  I close my eyes very tight and then open them up as wide as I can.  Nothing.  I do it again.

I'm in my room, it's dark.  I sit up, look at the window.  It's not my window.  I wake up.  This time it's for real.  It's light outside.

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