S T R E A M # 1 4

This is fine. This is good. This is the way it’s going to be. This is not a curse but a blessing. This is not a prison but a sanctuary. This is peaceful. Green. The skies are blue. Frequently, you only hear the birds, or the crickets. There are, however, intruders: unwanted noise from lawnmowers, leaf blowers, home-improvers, and home builders. And then, of course, you’ve also got the commuter trains. None of this is new. This has been the way of things for decades. And this will continue to be the way of things for decades to come. And I shall now attempt to dispense with the word: “this.” That is, at least, for the remainder of  _ _ _ _  page. Now, then, where would you like to go to school? Do you want to go somewhere far away? Or would you prefer to be close to family and friends? What do you fear? If you were to go far away, would you fear the possibility of not making any new friends? Would you fear being taken advantage of? Would you fear the possibility of getting lost? What you have to understand is that ANYTHING is possible. Even if you stay put, you may lose all of your family and friends. Between alienation and death, the ways are numerous. So, I say, BROADEN your horizons. Whatever that means. To you. GO. As far as your legs will carry you. Or, until your car’s tires flatten. GET LOST. But, enjoy it. Embrace that state of uncertainty. Mind you, I’m a hypocrite. I tend to stay put. Which is a mistake. And, by the way, I’m not keeping track of whether or not I’ve used that word I’ve promised not to use again on this page. Oops, just used it, didn’t I? Anyway, don’t bother keeping score. Points. Are points a good thing? Or are points evil? Are points inherently evil? The question is valid. The answer is a matter of fashion. Most things are matters of fashion. More things than you are willing to admit are matters of fashion. Ever Transient Fashion. Fashion exists to fill the Void. We think that there is a void to fill. You’re convinced that you have a void to fill; yes, you’ve been conditioned to believe as much. Call it a faith, if you like. It fuels our economic engine. It does. But, no, I’m not informing YOU of this as much as I’m reminding MYSELF of this. (There’s that ugly “this” again.) There’s always something else to consume—something to fill the Void. Pizza, beer, donuts, cigarettes, music, trinkets, doodads, jewelry, clothing, movies, football games, video games, etc. None of it is ever enough. 
YOU ARE PAC-MAN
(Or Ms. Pac-Man.)
[Or Pac-¯\_(ツ)_/¯.] 
Together, all of it, it’s never enough. The Void makes room. It swells to accommodate. Or so it seems. But what if there is… no… Void? What if there never was a Void to begin with? As a newborn, you required the basics, and the basics alone: a warm blanket, your mother’s milk, a thorough burping. But, as you “matured,” you were conditioned to want more. (This isn’t to suggest that you should harbor a desire for your mother’s milk long after you’ve passed through puberty. No, that is not my point.) The dilemma, in a nutshell: How can there be economic growth if we limit ourselves to the essentials? Capitalistic consumption is the most powerful economic force in our society. Hollywood’s A-List shows us the way. Spend. Borrow. Spend. God forbid you save. Anyway, God, we are told, wants you to give more to the Church. For just one minute, consider yourself whole. That there is no Void. Then try for two, or maybe even three minutes more. Then five… Then fifteen… Then twenty… Then forty-five… Then six months. After that, treat yourself to a cookie. Make it a good one. Patronize your local, independent bakery. I should’ve been a pastry chef. Bottom (and then some) reached. 
   4 June 2008 

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