Dunt Dunt dudda Dunt Dunt dudda Dunt Dunt didda Dunt Dunt... Okay, it has been entertaining, but I don't know if I can watch Game of Thrones any more. The writers have outdone themselves following the hoary rule of tension, arc, more tension, character through-lines, conflict, more tension on top to keep the eye. Every detail a set-up for something new... Predictable, but mesmerizing, intriguing. I've had enough tension, my adrenaline is jacked, and I don't need any more, after my four shifts on the mound. I need to come down, and it's been three hours already, a spinach mushroom omelette, a start of the laundry, a walk around the block, unplugging a fountain drain clogged with leaves and pollen apparatus, a sighting of a bunny rabbit behind the chain link fence of an abandoned gothic embassy in restoration limbo (seeing the haunches of brown fur behind a box of slate tiles I wondered if it was another kind of rodent, a large one), robins singing back and forth on the parapets of ambassador's residences on high S Street, the conducting mockingbirds in the fresh leaved trees. I don't need to see another spear go through an armored chest or hear the sound of a sword going across something hard as if glancing off a stone as it swiped another throat open. For all of that has its effect, at a gut level, entering the eyeball through the medium of a flat high def TV screen. Is this all supposed to be cathartic, like the scream you get out of your system watching a horror movie?
I catch myself, during the week, getting involved in the ritual of the new show, the build up, the theme music, the catching up, the fix, all like a drug, the little bit new you get, the story of the dwarf guy that you'll be able to talk about with another fan. But I find myself remembering fondly the children's books, Richard Scarry's characters doing simple normal things, Huck the cat, Lowly the worm, the small every day stuff of operating motor vehicles, really quite something when you think about it. Gorilla Bananas rides a bicycle, and I feel in league with him. Gorilla Bananas tries to go sleep after being jacked up by a busy freakin' jazz night, no longer sure what is calming, what is exciting, what helps his monkey body quiet down, his long monkey legs seeking some relief from standing all night.
I need some Buddhist calm now. I need a hot shower or a bath in epsom salts to soothe sore foot, a stiff neck. I'd like to listen the Dalai Lama talking, or read from D. T. Suzuki, but that takes some energy I might not have, beyond two pages. Use my mind again, after the grind, the simple simpleton job, hammering out dustpans out of sheet metal, opening bottles, pouring wine, taking orders, keeping track, putting things on all the checks we then hand out when people finally say, okay, I think I'll take the check.
The wine does not work, the music preying on the emotions does not work, it all manipulates, makes one react like a puppet, bound to embrace emotions, when no reaction is necessary...
The more wine, the more Game of Thrones I watch, the more pop music I listen to, the more excited my emotions are, the more addicted to the excitement of them I am. Why did that take me so long to learn? The more wine I drink now, the more I'll want it tomorrow, the more acceptable a habit it will be. The answer is incense, candles, meditation, the freedom of thought into the nonverbal, where we no longer have to feel odd thinking, thinking this, thinking that, wondering, what will they think if I think this, and so on. They're in the same boat, after all.
I take a soak in bath salts, turning off the bathroom light, only candles. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times--Dostoevsky hated electric lights.. Is his story of the penal colony a rip roaring tale of conflict and adventure? No, it's an honest tale, a character study, a look at real life and its confines. It tells a tale of how stupid people get when, after saving and saving, conniving, dealing, they finally get their hands on the vodka they wanted, their first moments of relief and partial rapture, then the anger and antagonism and ego coming out, so that after their good time, even in the midst of it, they are miserable, and worse off the next day by far then when they started.
At this hour I keep searching for the delivering sip. I pour of the inexpensive Ventoux into a glass with three good ice cubes, in this hour it's still dark out. The birds seem to have receded, a lull, a nap before dawn, and I remember the all night study hall, and when it was finally Spring then you'd hear the birds, as if they all turned on with the first light, their eyes waking in their little heads, their little throat boxes warmed by the understanding of what was coming.
I know that something of my own personal story here in life is related to Buddhism. I've been, as a study on the behalf of mankind, I'd like to think so, a sort of prodigal son, even as I am in some ways less led by emotions as the next guy, though, yeah, in other ways more...
The body lain out, leaned back agains the leather couch, a trickle here and there of sleep, beginning to tickle here and there, run up the vein in the calf now that my skin is clean of all the stress compounds and the oils and the sweat of the night and all the wandering molecules.
There were calming parts of the night, words from the veteran, a few choice tales about the prominent citizens of Georgetown, Washington, DC, the meanness that lurks behind the successful and their picture perfect comfortable lives, taken out on the waiter. I'm surprised and not surprised at the names. To be calm and not reacting, that's the thing, the way through all the traps of Shakespeare's dramas.
The next day, neck still sore, hey, I'm doing okay, I discover, except for the great Not Knowing What To Do With Myself. I only had a small amount of wine, and so its vestiges have not pooled in the memory parts of my brain, to remember some sorrowful awkward moment of my college age adolescence, the pathways of regrets that seem to click like a record needle at the end. Only a small amount of that today. Which is a very good realization to make, that the grand emotional release one thinks he's experiencing after two soothing glasses of wine will become tomorrow, as in the case of any other exciting drug, the chemistry of depression. (I suppose there are some exceptions to the rule, but it's a slippery slope.) It might feel good at the time, but it leads to the brewing of that which makes us comprehend Noble Truths.
I wish I'd not been an English major, but taken up some science. Good thing that Buddhism has that scientific side to its understandings, even if they are largely beyond the verbal.