Over the Coals

Eleven o’clock.

C— is coming to pick me up at noon, so then we’ll go to Black Rock to have our appointment. It isn’t much fun growing older; I notice how my body is changing with age and I want to turn the hourglass over to start another lifetime. I remember a song called “Visine.” It talks about “the torture of growing old / You must stand there / You must agree…” You just have to accept aging and eventual death, however you deal with it: with belief in heaven or whatever helps. I was playing my new bass when I realized I had rubbed a silly blister on my left thumb. I can’t get away with the things I used to… The air is incredibly smoky today from regional wildfires, yet despite this, C— still plans on our rendezvous. I’m a little nervous but I’m trying mind over matter and the rational side of psychology. This is more black and white than the full color of emotional thinking; rather flat or two dimensional, but it helps me control the tendency to panic and paranoia. It’s very good for people with severe mental illness or simple anxiety or depression. Imagination can be my worst foe sometimes. It makes a catastrophe out of something small, fanning the flames to a conflagration… Most people swear by emotional therapies. However, fighting imagination with more imagination is illogical and infeasible in my case. How does a belief in “karma” help someone with paranoid delusions, for instance. It only makes them worse…

Quarter after one.

My appointment is done. I didn’t enjoy it very much; I felt I was in the hot seat, under scrutiny or inquisition, a severe test: almost as if I’d done something wrong. So, maybe I had good reason to dread this meeting. Or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood today. But it’s over with now, while the air outside gets still smokier and less breathable, and my thumb smarts for lack of a bandaid. 

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