Mind Craft

Caryn is on personal business in Chicago, she is flying home today. One of her teachers from long ago passed away. They had remained friends over the years. She’s feeling the loss of her friend very deeply. As a matter of fact, when Caryn was going through chemotherapy at The Block Center in Evanston, Tom (that’s his name) sat with her during a couple of her chemo infusions. I met him several times. He was a good man. So, about last night…

I was alone with my thoughts. My thoughts keep me company when I’m alone. I like to control my thoughts. Humans complain about not being able to control their thoughts but I find it both challenging and thought provoking. I never got into video games but mind games have been a big part of my life; people like to play them with me. They say the first sign of losing your mind is not being able to draw a clock from memory. I find this ironic because keeping track of time was invented by humans; so was time; time is ever changing; like clocks; and the use of semicolons. I feel we really CAN control time, we’re just afraid of it so we don’t want to think about it. Yet we keep track of it because we think we don’t have much of it. So we run away from it while staring at it every five minutes at the opera. Non-human animals just exist; they have no agenda. Most human animals find “just existing” pretty appalling so they check their phones while just existing and this makes them feel different about existence. For example, if you take the subway everyday and you see the homeless guy asleep on the bench you are appalled that he is “just existing” without a phone to check; probably. Change that to a dog or a cat asleep on the bench and you have a horse of a different color. Besides, how many dogs can even afford a phone? So the Alzheimer’s test for losing your mind would need to be redesigned for the next generation. The doctors of the future will have to say, “Draw the screensaver of your phone from memory…then draw a kiss face emoji.” I guess that’s the idea— to master your own mind before attempting to control other human and non-human animals’. But isn’t that the point of Capitalism and the entire phone conversation…or lack thereof? Socialism. Communism too. All of the “isms”. Marketing. Marketing is all about mind control. Right? Who knows? Does the shadow? I lost mine years ago so I can’t answer that question. Anyway, at about midnight I had invited several thoughts to tea and so we stayed up late and got to drinking and thinking about life. And Life cereal. We wished we had a big bowl with marshmallows. I had the marshmallows. Dandies. They’re vegan. I’m not sure if Life is vegan. The cereal. I thought about the other life too. After a strong cup of Almond Rooibos and a quarter of a bag of Dandies it’s difficult not to steep deeply about life. Brooding while brewing. So, one of my deepest thoughts was about the actual act of mind control. That too requires mind control. Being mindful is really what being human is all about. Not to let your mind wander or lose your mind altogether. So I thought deeper about life and thought about living. “Where do I live,” I thought. I live in a one bedroom apartment in a neighborhood of New York City called Forest Hills which is in the borough of Queens. There are many apartment buildings in our neighborhood. Thousands of human and non-human animals live stacked on top of each other. So far I’ve only seen dogs but I’ve heard cats and birds in some of the apartments. One of our neighbors has a turtle that I’ve never heard but I’ve seen. Their turtle is green. We aren’t allowed to live with non-human animals in our building but people do and that’s just New York City; non-human and human animals break the rules; they cross on the red light. The middle school for young human animals across the street is attached to a human animal playground. The human animal children don’t have a grass playground to play on, they play on asphalt. I’m sure there are a few neighborhoods in Queens that have grass playgrounds for the human animal children, but in my neighborhood I haven’t seen any. However, the non-human animal park has grass for the non-human animals to play on. I’ve been living in this heavily populated human animal and non-human animal world since April of 2008. English is the second language for many of the human and non-human animals in my neighborhood. When I walk among the thousands and thousands of human and non-human animals I feel isolated at times, like I don’t belong to either the human animals or the non-human animals. They all seem to hate me because I’m from California. I say “Hi” and they look away. I say, “Have a nice day!” and they check their phones…I’m assuming for the time. Hence the work on being mindful continues. It’s important to keep your mind focused on the objective of being mindful. Although, when you try and have a conversation with the homeless guy asleep on the bench in the subway and he pulls out his phone and checks it, that’s when it gets really difficult to be objective about being mindful in New York City. Have a nice day.

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