Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another late night walk

Last night when I got off work I grabbed my book and flashlight and started walking. My first destination was the square. When I got to the courthouse, there was a group of about 15 kids, probably high school age, standing on the grass between the sidewalk and the courthouse. One had a guitar and was singing "I Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot, and the others were singing along. I remember kind of liking this band, especially that song "Meant To Live".

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside

I like that song.

Britney had mentioned something about a friend of hers from her church inviting her downtown to the square to sing after work. Since Switchfoot is a Christian rock band, I thought that maybe this group of people was what her friend was talking about. Anyway, I stood around and watched them for a while, then did a couple more circuits of the courthouse, and left.

Next I found myself walking down Hickory. Now, at night when I'm reading by flashlight, my eyes get adjusted to the bright page and my peripheral vision becomes useless, unless there are streetlights. Walking on the sidewalk is kind of a challenge, because I can't see exactly where I'm going, and I tend to stumble off of the curb quite a bit. So, when it's late and there's no traffic, I usually walk down the middle of the road if I'm in a residential area. I usually don't walk in the middle of the major city streets, but since Hickory is one way, I didn't have to worry about people driving up behind me, so I just walked down the middle of Hickory towards Fry Street and kept an eye out for approaching headlights.

About halfway to Fry Street, I heard somebody yell, "Hey, what are you reading?"

I stopped and saw a couple of guys standing in their front yard. I called to them, "I'm reading a fantasy novel called 'The Fey - The Changeling'. It's the second book in a five part series, and it's really good." I walked over to them and explained the book to them.

"So, do you read a lot?"

"Yeah, all the time. This is kind of a hobby of mine, walking late at night and reading by flashlight."

"Wow, that's a cool hobby. Kind of dangerous though, walking in the middle of the road like that."

"Well, Hickory is one way, so I don't have to worry about anyone coming up behind me, and when I see headlights, I just get out of the road."

"True... why the middle of the road though?"

"Because the sidewalk is too narrow, and I can't see it while I'm reading, and I tend to stumble. Sometimes I don't see a curb coming and I'll fall ass over teakettle."

They laughed. "Hey, what's your name man?"


They introduced themselves... and well, shoot, I already forgot their names. Anyway, I told them that I work at 7-Eleven. They said they'd come by and say 'hey'. They seemed pretty cool; one had dreads and the other was just an average looking college kid. Maybe I'll make new friends.

After that, I headed towards Fry Street. As I was passing Riprocks, I heard, "Hey Ash!" I turned and looked, and there was David! I stopped and we talked for about ten minutes about the old days at 7-Eleven. David had a friend with him, and he said that they were out hitting the bars. He asked me if I wanted to drink with them, but I declined because I really wasn't feeling that good... I've been sick for the past week. I just wanted to continue my walk and read. So, we parted ways with the promise that we'd get together soon and hit the bars.

When I got to Fry Street, I took a left on Fry and headed towards the campus and heard "Hey man, so you're off work now?" What? Everybody is talking to me tonight... I turned, and there was a guy I recognize as a customer from 7-Eleven. He had his van set up on the curb with the side door open, and was selling herbs and pipes and stuff. I approached him and explained again about my late night reading walks. He said, "Do you have a cold man?" My voice is pretty messed up right now, so I guess it's obvious. I told him that I had some kind of bug, and he loaded a pipe up with some kind of herb and said that it was good for opening up the sinus passages and loosening the phlegm. I took the pipe and hit it a couple of times. We stood there and talked while I hit the pipe for a while. It smelled and tasted nice, but I don't know if it actually helped my sinuses.

I gave him a three dollar tip and told him that I'd buy a couple of ounces of it from him the next time I saw him, when I had cash. He said it was $15.00. That sounds like a good deal, and even if it doesn't help with my cold, it's pleasant to smoke, and it actually really relaxed me and made me feel calm and peaceful.

After that I walked around the campus for a while and read some more until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, then I walked home and hit the sack.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Loud, unwanted sounds

Have you ever noticed how when you sit down on the commode your farts are magnified a hundred fold? This is a dilemma for me. Usually, when I sit down to pee, it's because I don't want to make any kind of sound while doing it. This goes back to my childhood, when I was afraid to make any kind of sound while using the bathroom, out of fear of waking up my dad.

Now I'm a man, and any man worth his salt will never admit that he EVER sits down to pee. But there are instances when this must occur... sometimes you're too drunk to stand up to pee, other times your back hurts because of a kidney infection, and other times you're just too damn lazy to stand up whilst doing it.

So anyway, back to the topic, about how toilets magnify sounds. So, the main reason why I sit down to pee is so that nobody will hear the 'TINKLE TINKLE SPRINKLE SPLINKLE' of the peeing process (this is possible by practicing blind aiming at the inside of the bowl above the water line). But at the same time, when I sit down, my body construes this as... "Ok, time to get rid of some toxic waste, the solid kind! Avast ye mates, man the helm and get ready!"

NO! Says I, to this. And although I am quite successful at consciously regulating bodily functions when the need isn't imminent, my subconscious almost always succeeds in sending a few gas bubbles down the tail pipe. Thus, when I sit down to pee, I almost always find myself battling between the urge to fart and the urge to pee. My subconscious betrays me almost every time. I think my subconscious has a sense of humor. It likes to play practical jokes on me, especially when it knows that the jokes will be LOUD and OBNOXIOUS.

Hey, the joke is on you, subconscious! You are me, and when you make me fart in the commode at 200 decibels, you are playing a joke on YOU TOO!

Take that, me.


I have a theory on sleep, which has most likely been thought of before, like everything else that has already been thought of that doesn't have anything to do with the 12th dimension.  Anyway, the primary reason why we sleep isn't because we need REM, or dreams, or to recharge the brain, or to organize memories, or to clean out the subconscious, or any of that other crap that people are saying.

The reason why we need sleep is so that we can divide our lives into days.  Imagine one continuous, conscious life, without any concept of tomorrow.  Life would become unendurable if there wasn't a tomorrow to look forward to.  Everything can change tomorrow, right?  Because it is another day, another chance to get it right.  Now, if there were no such thing as sleep, every problem we have would just continue to build up and up and UP and UP AND UP AND UP!!!  Until we 'splode.

So, in order to prevent the 'sploding from happening, we need to experience oblivion now and again, to get a fresh start and a second chance on things... to have a feeling that we are 'starting anew'.  Tomorrow is always a second chance, no matter that most people have thousands of tomorrows to look forward to.  It's only the 2nd tomorrow that matters, which is every tomorrow.  All of the other things, like dreaming and recharging and all of that hogwash, are just secondary factors to the primary need not to 'splode.

Not to say that 'all of that hogwash' isn't necessary.  It's just a side effect of the main purpose of sleep... to give us another chance.  We all need another chance, right?