Tuesday, Jan. 1, 42 A.B.

Frantically Pumping My Brakes By Ear

I'm - I'm sorry.  I'm not ready for this.  Nothing in my life has prepared me for 2002.

That old  Frankenstein 1970 movie prepared me for the low-taste horrors of the Me Decade.

George Orwell kind of prepared me for the Reagan years with his 1984.

Arthur C. Clarke at least tried to prepare me for last year with his 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If anyone has ever spent a minute trying to prepare me for 2002, however, I missed it.  And if anyone I know had the decency to attach a lifeline to my belt before I sailed off the map into terra incognito, it seems to have slipped off.



Hmmmm... I guess whoever said "Panic never improves a situation" knew what they were talking about.

Now what??

*Ransacking my brain in the forlorn hope of finding something useful*

If nostalgia is a bittersweet longing or homesickness for things, persons, or situations of the past, what's a nostalgium?  A bittersweet longing for a single thing, person, or situation of the past?  Has anyone ever built a nostalgitorium so a lot of people can go and enjoy an evening of bittersweet longing together - perhaps in the dark while seated in comfy chairs?  Of nostalgilosis and nostagilitis, which means inflammation of the memory and which means swelling of the memory again?

Well, gee - THAT certainly was helpful, wasn't it?

*Drumming my fingers on my copy of Miss May, 1968*

You know, it's not as if I'm homesick for the past.  It's just that I'm getting a bit tired of having my consciousness smeared across the years like roadkill across asphalt.

As a child I longed to know what the future held, and now that I know... well, so what?  There's no way for me to convey the info to the kid who cared, so what's the point?

On the other hand, that kid had access to a lot of info which I'd enjoy knowing now (such as what it's really like to have never worn glasses, and whether or not women really used to wear pants suits) but he had no way of knowing that - and no good way of conveying it to me even if he had known.  Brat that he was, he probably would have refused, anyway.  The bottom line is that I end up feeling less like a single person than someone whose mind has been smeared across four decades now, each little piece being rendered unable to communicate with any of the other pieces in the process....

Does anyone else feel this way?  I can't be sure, but it doesn't seem that they do.  Most people seem to think of themselves as being swept along in a river of Time and enjoying the ride.  In contrast, I suspect Time doesn't move at all.  Instead, I feel frozen in an Eternal Now like a fly in amber.  Only other things aren't frozen - they're free to move in a steady stream through the amber, slowly eroding me away in the process... like so many temporal trespassers or tourists intent on carrying away a little bit of me for a souvenir....

Ah, but don't mind me.  All of this is probably just a brain murmur - possibly brought on by the fact that I've just spent several hours taking down our Christmas tree.  I thought it was my wife who was addicted but perhaps I'm the one who's showing the first signs of withdrawal.


Sorry.  Seems old habits die hard.

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(©1959 by DJ Birtcher - just for old time's sake)


Sudden Question:  I've often heard about ancient cultures which had monoliths.  Why have I never heard of a single ancient culture which went on to develop stereoliths?  Did the sheer excitement of hearing a lith at all kill everybody off or what?