What Happened When I Quit Coffee? (Everything Fell Apart)

I think most people are too afraid to tell you what I am about to report.

I don’t know why I am back here writing another confessional blog post. These blog posts don’t mean anything. They just fill the stomach of this gluttonous beast called The World Wide Web and make a few people a lot of money while us content generators get nothing but mediocrity and marginalization.

But really, I have nothing better to do. I am frustrated and maybe even a bit depressed and writing has always been how I process these feelings. You should see the stuff I don’t publicly share.

Two months ago, I gave up coffee. After three difficult days in bed with flu like feelings, I was free of the drug. I love coffee. My favorite time of the day was waking early, making a cup of coffee and then reading while listening to records. Coffee brought a feeling of euphoria and interest into my mornings. Most of my life I was miserable in mornings, but once I began drinking coffee, mornings became the time of day I looked forward to most.

Then I had to quit drinking coffee. In summary, here is what happened:

I was working a lot and thinking too much. I started a new business while running a full-time private psychotherapy practice. I am not a business person so all of this felt very unnatural to me. Obviously, I got run down. After three years without being sick, I came down with the flu. The flu turned into a bad case of shingles. After four weeks of having shingles, I thankfully healed without taking any medication. I rested a lot. Doctors where stunned I healed so fast without taking medication but I felt the ravages of shingles on my body. I felt weaker than I have ever felt in my life. Vulnerable. I would ride my bike or walk and feel like I could pass out. My anxiety kicked in. I started having anxiety attacks again. I was almost incapacitated. And as a result, I had to quit drinking coffee.

And because of all of this, my favorite time of day became the most miserable time of day for me. Few things are more difficult than being denied the thing you love most. In fact, all the times in the day became miserable. Life became one long unbreakable spell of monotony and banality with a bunch of never-know-when-they-will-happen-anxiety-attacks sprinkled in. I was happy to be free from the terrible wrath of shingles, but life with anxiety and without coffee was (and still is) difficult to adjust to.

This morning, once again, I woke up in a bad mood. Toward the end of the work week (Thursday), this is how I usually feel in the mornings. I am done with dealing with people. I have had enough of the whole racquet that goes into making a living. I am burned out on playing the game. I’ve had enough and don’t want to play anymore.

As I sat on my couch with a cup of hot water in my hand, this feeling of dread and hopelessness flooded my insides. I thought about the day ahead and dreaded having to go through it all again. Normally coffee would come to my rescue when I found myself in this predicament. Coffee would add a feeling (the high) of euphoria, excitement, energy and interest into the darkened penetralias of my soul. It would give me that push I needed to roll that Sisyphean boulder up the hill yet again. But now without coffee, I just didn’t want to do it. The climb felt too hard. I felt too uninterested and worn out. The hot water in my coffee cup wasn’t cutting it. Everything felt mundane and banal. Life a continual repetition of the same fucking things. Without any coffee to push me through these feelings, I fell into despair.

In that moment everything felt dull, monotonous and uninspired. My marriage. My work. My hobbies. My sex life. My intellectual life. All of it dull and monotonous. I didn’t want to do anything but sit there on the couch and not move. Watering my garden, meditating, reading a book- all of it, dull.

Is there anyone who experiences deep passion and interest in the things that make up their life moment after moment, day after day? Are there people who are almost always passionate and engaged in their lives? Does this really exist in reality or is it an unreal standard that has been created to keep us all trying to achieve it? I have a feeling it is just a myth, but still it bothers me when my life feels so monotonous, banal, passionless and without any genuine interest. Something in me feels like life should not feel like this but maybe this is how life just is. Maybe the American power structure that we all live under is what creates this kind of mundane, banal, monotonous, ordinary, law abiding life we all exist within. We are all continually trying to escape from how shitty it feels and this is the very thing that keeps the gears of power and capitalism churning.

We use booze, coffee, computers, sex, smartphones, TV, food- anything we can get our hands on to help us climb out from the reality of our existence within this system. We are continually trying to change the channel to a better station (I know I am). The coffee and booze (our most popular and most destigmatized drugs) help us to become more interested in things which would normally feel very dull and mundane. These drugs help us to feel passion again, in a life which has become passionless. We need our drugs, our drama and our smartphones to bring some stimulation into our lives or else things feel dull all the time. I mean common, the moment things feel dull or drama free, the most common thing for people to do is reach for their phones.

Familiarity breeds contempt. No matter how wonderful your life is. No matter how great of a job you have. No matter how cool your partner is. If you see it or them in the same way every single day, you will start to hate it or them. Oh, but you should be grateful for the things you have. What bullshit. This sentiment just causes people to feel worse about themselves. I should feel grateful when I am miserable is like asking someone to feel grateful when they are stuck cleaning someone else’s filthy house. Possibly, the reason you are miserable, is because of the routine, the repetition, the lack of real interest, the mundane nature of capital driven life within the system we all live in. Just going through the motions day after day. The struggle to survive. Doesn’t matter how many wonderful things you have around you- if you are around them every day you will feel contempt towards it. This is why we love our phones so much. Every time we pick them up there is something new and different waiting for us. Why do you think social media is so deeply addicting? There is always something new going on.

In a sense, coffee would provide me with a new feeling every morning. It would help interrupt the feelings of banality, monotony, dullness, lack of interest, which are all a result of the system in which I live. Everyone is trying to out run these feelings all the time. What a recipe for disaster. Coffee would provide me with a feeling of happiness, stimulation, engagement and hope. Trust me, we live in a culture where almost every business, idea, building, book, movie, album and on and on was created because of coffee. America is a culture built on coffee. You are probably needing coffee just to read this right now. Without coffee most of this shit would have never been done because things would just feel too isolated and dull.

And this brings me back to where I was this morning. Not wanting to do a fucking thing. Just mired in the misery that has become our dull, collective lives. Not wanting to play the game anymore. Sick of the routine and without coffee to push me forward into enthusiastic willingness. I was expressing all of this to my wife who was sitting the chair next to me (lucky her), drinking her morning cup of coffee. She listened and added a few thoughts of her own. Her perspective was frustrating me. She couldn’t possibly understand as she drank her morning coffee. So, I sat up and asked her if I could have some of her coffee. Enough was enough. I drank half her cup and now here I am anxious, a bit more excited, slightly interested and as a result, writing this.

 

 

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When Young, How To Grow Old Gracefully.

Ok, listen. Now that all the old folk are asleep, I can tell you.

When young there are certain things that you can make sure you do in order to grow old gracefully. As someone who is 87 years old today, I think I am in a position to comment on this too often ignored subject.

So.

When Young:

-Masturbate regularly and cut the shit about feeling guilty afterwards. Common. Just have fun and blow off steam.

-Make sure you sit in the sun, in as little clothes as possible, as much as possible.

-Be outside!

-Wear bathing suits as much as the climate permits.

-Use your body. Be physical as much as you can. This is very important because those who use their bodies as much as possible when young, age the best.

-Be creative in some way.

-Be naked. Be naked as much as you can. Your body will never look as good as it does now. Get over your insecurities and just be nude, preferably around others. If you are not naked now you will feel like you missed out on something very fundamental and important when older.

-Rebel. Humans are not meant to be fit in boxes. Our brains atrophy and we grow dumb when boxed in. A dumb older person is never an attractive thing. Rebel! Those who rebel when young often maintain their edge into older age. An older person with an edge is always a sexy thing.

-Party. Go to parties. Dress your best. Look sexy. Flirt. Socialize. Be out and about. Enjoy having other people check you out. Thank them because this will not last forever. People stop checking you out as you age. These will be some of the best times of your life and it is always those who partied more when young who have better stories to tell when old.

-Do some drugs. Enjoy drinking. Maybe even smoke for a period of time. These activities will loosen up your brain, let you unload and have fun. But know moderation. Those who abuse substances when young do not look good when old. Many don’t even get to get old because of their inability to be moderate.

-Meditate. Learn how to just be in states of peace. Be present for your life. You will learn how to be a less stressed out person. An older stressed out person is always an ugly sight.

-Again, use your body but in sexual ways. Be sexual! Your body will never be as ready for sex and as desired to be sexual with as it is when young. Growing older makes a person less desirable sexually and often less interested in sexual interaction. So use it while you got it. Fuck away! Have fun! Those who are more sexual when young always grow older more gracefully. It is the ones who have tons of sexual hang-ups when young who just become dicks and bitches as they age. They also tend to grow fat but this is often because they have given up on their bodies since their bodies were always such a threat.

-Be sexy. Look good! Girl or guy, make sure you put in the time to looking the best you can. Not only will you get a lot more attention but you will also have much more fun. You will feel better about yourself and you will be desired by everyone. A young person who is attractive to everyone when young always grows older with more confidence and civility. They tend to maintain their good looks into older age because they have developed the habit of putting in the time needed to look good.

-Read as much as you can. This will help your mind from atrophying and becoming like all these forgetful and inarticulate aging dumb vegetables I am now surrounded by. Reading helps to maintain a person’s attention span and an older person without an attention span just becomes a miserable, dumb, checked-out adult. We call these people Nimrods.

-Eat healthy food. Get enough protein so that your sex drive and brain cells have enough food. Take vitamins to slow the aging process. Eat a lot of raw green vegetables to preserve your gums and teeth. Most old people who look like shit and have rotting gums when old ignored these things.

-Don’t take yourself so fucking seriously. Get out of your fucking head. You are going to die. Everyone you know and everything you do is transitory. Stop with the bullshit. Get out of your fucking head and chill out. Enjoy being young. Get over your problems because when you get to my age you will not be able to remember what they were. This means that they do not matter. So have fun. Read. Exercise. Take care of yourself. Be outside. Be in your body. Fuck. Watch porn. Meditate. Socialize. Masturbate. Exercise. Wear bathing suits. Be naked. Hang out with other people your own age. Break rules. Be creative. Rebel. Party but learn moderation. Be free-spirited. Be wild. Be strange. Look good. If you don’t do these things I promise you will not grow old gracefully. You will just be a miserable, over weight old bore sitting on the couch unable to get off your phone. Trust me. I am surrounded by them.

The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.

My Penis

I enjoy taking my penis out. It is something I need to do for my mental and physical health. Doesn’t everything and everyone love going out? Why should penises be excluded? When I take my penis out it is like breathing in a deep breath of clean air. It is a great relief. It feels good, like taking a long sigh.

Obviously, I try not to take my penis out when other people are around (my neighbor sometimes catches me when I am in my backyard). People are easily offended and I do not want to create a public scare. Can you imagine? Local psychotherapist arrested for taking out his penis. No thank you. I would much rather avoid that fate. So, I take my penis out only in private places.

Most people tend to think of taking your penis out as some sort of perverted thing. What narrow minded crap. Is taking your son or daughter out perverted? Is taking a date out for dinner perverted? I don’t think so. Why should taking your penis out be any different? The penis spends long hours every day stuffed behind tight fighting clothing. How would you feel if you spent most of your day to day life crammed in? Taking out my penis is an important thing for me to do. It provides much needed release. It allows my penis and testicles to feel less sore. It lifts my overall genital mood.

It can’t be healthy to keep the penis stuffed away most of the time. The penis (and testicles) need to be let out a good amount of the time. They should not just be taken out when going to the bathroom. The penis needs fresh air. It is a very sensitive organ and the fresh air does it a lot of good. It helps the penis to feel more alive and if the penis feels more alive, well this just means that the man is more alive. When the penis starts to die, so does the man.

I take my penis out quite regularly. I take it out when I am in my backyard. I will take my penis out on breaks from work. We will go someplace where there is no other people around and for a few minutes several times a day, I will let my penis be free (kind of like a smoke break). When I am out in the city I will be sure to take a moment or two to find a private spot where I can take my penis out. I am out having a good time so why should my penis not be able to come out? Keeping the penis stuffed away beneath pants and underwear is not healthy for anyone. It is probably the cause of a lot of male disease and wars. So much unhappiness and poor health could be avoided if penises were taken out more. Just imagine if someone like Donald Trump would take his penis out more. If he could just find a private spot in the back of The White House and air out his penis several times a day. He would be a different kind of President. Maybe we could all avoid the Trump induced catastrophe, which is soon to come.

My penis needs to be taken out just like anyone else does. Who the hell would be happy if they were stuffed away all the time? I try and pay more attention to this and provide my penis with the kind of open space it needs. It might seem strange to some, especially to those who might catch a glimpse of me just standing there with my pants down and my penis hanging out. But to remain healthy it is something that I need to do. It is important to keep in mind that to remain healthy we all need to do certain things that may not make other people feel good or happy in the end. Taking my penis out several times a day is important for both of us, so despite what others may think (especially my neighbor who tends to get upset when he sees me standing in my backyard with my pants down and my penis hanging out), I have no intention to stop doing something that is obviously so crucial for my health.

Bad Mood Mornings. Conversation #Who Cares.

Some mornings I am just in a bad mood. I don’t want to talk with anyone or do anything. I want to sit and simmer in my bad mood. Stay away from me. Don’t talk to me. You bug me. I find you incredibly annoying.

Of course it is yourself that you are annoyed with.

Probably so. In the mornings I feel tired. Heavy. Uneasy. My lungs feel stiff. I am groggy. The opposite of clarity and lightness. Everything is heavy and constricted. How could anyone be in a good mood feeling this way?

Not many people. But can’t you just snap out of it?

Not right away. I need time. It is a gradual process. It seems as if all the yuck and grog that collected overnight takes time to dissipate away. Not even two cups of coffee fully gets rid of it. By noon or one I should be out of it.

Do you think there is an emotional reason for feeling the way you do?

It feels very physical. But maybe there is an emotional aspect to this. Like I hate everything. What am I doing with my life? Why can’t I just dedicate myself to writing a novel or making a graphic novel? Why do I avoid all the things I want to do and do other things instead? Why can’t I just dedicate myself to one project until it is finished? These are things I think about. Maybe my frustration with myself causes me to feel some of the way I do. I don’t know. But I also know that I just physically feel like shit in the mornings.

Maybe it gathers up. Maybe you feel shitty and unhappy in your life because you are not doing what you feel you should be doing and you have to do things that you do not want to be doing and all of the pressure and stress and frustration collects like mud in a creek and overnight it solidifies and hardens and in the mornings leaves you feeling all clogged up and constricted.

It is possible. Why can’t I just focus on writing a novel? I have three or four unfinished novels and I can’t seem to just focus on one and finish. What the hell is my problem? Twenty years of this! I read, I listen to music, I hang out, clean my house, work at my job- I do everything to avoid working on the things I want to work on. I just don’t get it. It is very frustrating. Really upsets me.

Maybe you are just lazy?

Maybe but I don’t think it is that simple. I am writing this now. If I were lazy I would not be having all these conversations with you. I do a lot of work just not the work I need to be doing. I am always avoiding the work I need to be doing, like writing a novel.

I don’t know what it is.

Now I am just tired. Working at my job the past three days has taken everything out of me. I feel like the disgusting sponge I threw away yesterday. It is just all too much. I just want to check out. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. Fuck off. I just want to read, listen to music and be left alone. I don’t want to be having this conversation.

So why are you?

I don’t know. I was hoping to figure a few things out. I’m just frustrated. I feel like crap. I am stuck and now I am beat down from my last three days at work. I just want to isolate and be left alone. Fuck you and fuck everyone else.

You won’t feel this way later.

I don’t know. I do often feel like fuck everyone else. I try to like people but honestly I feel like people suck. People, the vast majority of people, really suck. Maybe I even suck.

You are just in a bad mood right now. Go chill out. Go do some things you enjoy. Just chill out. Let yourself relax. This too shall pass. You just have to wait it out. You will feel better later.

Maybe.

You will feel a bit better.

I want to have wild and crazy sex with slutty women.

I know you want to escape. You want pleasure because you feel like crap. That is not really an answer. Just a temporary escape.

I want a temporary escape. I want naked female bodies on top of my naked body.

Not now. Just chill out. Relax. Dont give in to sexual fantasy right now. Take it easy. Read. Draw. Listen to music. Just relax. You will feel better later.

I don’t trust myself. When you don’t trust yourself to do certain things everything feels frustrating.

Probably so.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

 

Competing With An iPhone 6 Plus For My Wife’s Attention. Conversation #23.

What’s the problem?

Is it really a problem or is it just the way humanity is evolving? We are growing these technological devices in the same way that a fin whale would grow a longer tail to be able to escape from human predators quicker.

I don’t think the technology is the problem as much as your reaction to it is. Whenever you see your wife checking her iPhone you become angry.

Not every time but a lot. She used to grab my crotch all the time. Now she grabs her iPhone. How can I not be upset? I wrote about this in an article I published with BOMB Magazine a while back. This has been going on for a while but seems to have become much, much worse with the iPhone 6. Now she is on it all the time!

All the time? Really?

Ok not all the time, but it is a continual thing. She is constantly checking it. Scrolling. I remember when I used to walk into a room and she would be reading a book, making art, napping, meditating, playing with herself. Now I almost always walk into a room and she is droning out on her iPhone! It is a sad thing to see.

Why?

Because I am convinced that it dulls the mind, body and spirit. I know some people think that this technology is a great thing. It connects humanity more. It allows us to transcend physical limitations. It allows to share and communicate far, far beyond our physical boundaries. It allows us to consume valuable information. And on and on. Blah, blah, blah. I see the iPhone as just another unnecessary human development that has caused us to devolve more than evolve. It has literally turned us into operating systems. Isolated Androids with shitty attention spans. I hate it.

But you use your iPhone a lot?

I do. I have been sucked in. But I don’t use it nearly as much as most people. I am not on social media. I don’t scroll much. But I do use it to connect with certain people (email and texting) and to check out a few websites on a regular basis. Yes, the device allows me to feel more connected and engaged but now I feel less connected and engaged in my own life! I never remember feeling as isolated, dissatisfied and alone before the iPhone and the internet. It feels like I made some sort of Faustian bargain.

I see. Using your iPhone and the internet is the deal with the devil?

In a way it is. I don’t really see it as a inherently “good” technology. It is putting a hypnagogic spell over a massive amount of human beings. It is turning us all into followers. Dependents. People have literally become addicted to their phones. It is a serious addiction. Right now because everyone is doing it, it is perceived as being normal and safe. But in time we will see the obsessive way that we use our phones today in the same way that we view a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. It is an addiction and I hate to see my wife suffering from it.

And do y…..

Not to mention that in time we will see that these smartphones are bad for our health. The amount of radioactive frequencies and other yet to be discovered carcinogens emitted by wireless and our phones will be seen as dangerous to human health. It took a while for humans to realize that cigarettes were dangerous to human health. Same with these phones. We are such idiots. Humans are so impressionable. If the Big People Who Make Big Money on top say it is ok and safe, humans will consume anything until they find out differently.

So you feel like your wife has fallen into this spectacle?

Look, I am not innocent either. Using the metaphor of cigarettes I smoke about a half a pack a day and she smokes a pack. Maybe more. I don’t really know what the introduction of these phones into our lives have done to our relationship. There is little information out there about how these iPhones infect relationships but I feel like it is the same as having another lover. Women and men love their iPhones. When the iPhone is lost, they freak out. When the iPhone is close by, they want to check it. They want to be on the iPhone all the time. Just like a lover. No one talks about it but these iPhones are like having another lover in a relationship. So it takes away from the time and engagement that we spend with one another.

Don’t you feel that relationships just gradually become less involved and engaged over time? Even a hundred years ago this was probably the case.

Probably. But it is happening at an accelerated and more severe rate. I bet that these smartphones are damaging relationships that could have been great and lasted a lot longer in ways that we are yet unaware of. I bet these smartphones take a massive toll on the quality of our relationship. My wife and I used to be engaged. We used to have deep conversations. This does not happen at all anymore. It seems like we have forgotten how. Every time we begin a deeper conversation it seems like one of us just wants to cut it short and check our phone. The phone is more engaging than we are at this point. I can’t compete. It is turning us into something much more superficial and banal every time we pick it up.

I don’t disagree with you. There is a lot of information published about how these phones cause people to feel more connected with the larger world but much more disconnected in their immediate environments.

Yes! It is creating a bunch of isolationists who do not have a strong enough attention span to invest in deep and meaningful conversations with the people around them. Since when did it become ok for everyone to be on their phones all the time? Everywhere I go people are droning out into their phones. Parks, bars, concerts, restaurants, walking down the street. Seems as if everyone is hooked into this World Wide Web and hooked out of their immediate life.

It is the way things are going my friend. Get used to it. It’s now seen as sexy and cool to be on your phone.

Oh god.

It’s just the way it goes right now.

I know. I think this sometimes. I tell myself to just accept it. But I have a difficult time seeing my wife and fellow human beings looking like these vegetative zombies. There is nothing sexy about it. Not a pretty sight. I value aesthetics and there is nothing beautiful about a person zoning out into their phone. Maybe this is some of the reason I have become less attracted to my wife. I think she looks beautiful when sitting besides candle light, but when the glare of digital light from her iPhone floods her beautiful face, it is a really unattractive sight.

Yeah, no one looks good under that smartphone light. It destroys a person’s complexion. Sucks the life out of it. I think these smartphones destroy people’s libido also. Everyone gets their juice on-line and we do not need it so much from one another.

The smartphone as a kind of castration.

Yes. Exactly. Yes people are more connected, but you are right in a way- it is a deal with the devil.

My wife used to write poetry, be a prolific reader, make art, dance, be wildly sexual and shine with joy. I don’t see much of any of this anymore.

And you blame it on the iPhone?

Partially. I am sure other things are to blame as well. But now she is obsessed with Instagram. Her creative engagement is through Instagram. She posts a lot of pictures and looks at a lot of pictures. What a waste of time!

Maybe to you. But she is only thirty. This is what young people are doing more and more. Creative expression is happening more and more on-line. It’s a virtual gallery.

I don’t like it. When you post an image it really only lasts a few hours and then is gone forever. No one will see it anymore. The internet does not care about our creative expression. We are all just feeding its insatiable appetite. A slave to its constant need to be feed. It’s a horrible thing we have all become dependent on.

Don’t say we all. You don’t do it.

No thankfully. And I hate to see my wife doing it. Makes me very sad. I just want my wife back! I want her attention to be more on me and our life together! I want her to grab my balls again! I feel like her lover has taken her away. She is having a difficult time staying focused on our relationship and her relationship with her iPhone at the same time. She is struggling to be married to me, be present in our life together and have this lover on the side. Our relationship is getting neglected.

I see. This is what often happens when someone has a lover. This is why having an open relationship in a marriage can be challenging.

Yes. I suppose I just want more of my wife’s attention and I hate feeling like I am competing with an iPhone. I don’t feel like I can win this competition. The iPhone spends much more time with her than I do. When I point out to her that she is on her iPhone again, she becomes angry and defensive. It is like I am threatening to pull her away from the thing she loves. So I can’t say much. Now, every time I walk into a room I notice that she tries to hide her phone from me. She tries to pretend like she was not just on it. Just like hiding a lover. But I know she was just getting off on it. She can’t hide that from me. I see it in her face.

Yikes! It has come to that?

I am afraid so. She has started to hide her iPhone usage from me. This is how addictive it has gotten. I am terrified of when the iPhone 7 comes out. The iPhone 7 could be the end of my marriage. I don’t want to think about that right now.

Frightening. And then what about the iPhone 8 and iPhone 9? What will our relationships look like by the time we all have the iPhone 10?

I can’t even imagine. Maybe there will be no need for human-to-human relationships anymore.

Is that what it is? Are these smartphones threatening to cause human relationships to become extinct? Is the future a place where there really is no more need to be in a human relationship? Maybe being in a relationship with a human being will just become so much of an inconvenience that they gradually become unnecessary as we isolate and drone out more and more into our connected smartphones.

This could be the extreme consequence of our smartphone addiction. And then when relationships are all gone, we will begin to wake up because we will realize how important they are.

Possibly. But this process will take a long time to come full circle.

Yes. Sadly we are only at the beginning.

Brave New World.

Yeah. I just looked out my writing studio window. It is a beautiful summer morning and my wife is sitting naked in our backyard garden. Her coffee mug is besides her and her legs are crossed. There are birds and butterflies all around. She is staring into her iPhone.`

 

 

 

 

 

Conversations With A Celery

 

What is it like being a celery?

It is not so bad. Takes me a long time to grow but I do not mind that so much. Gives me the ability to be patient, kind and calm while knowing that soon I will be eaten.

Yes! That does not give you any anxiety? Knowing that soon I am going to eat you?

No not really. I had almost a year to prepare for this. That year was spent being very still. I took in my surroundings. I lived fully, so I do not feel like I have anything to lose. I do not feel a need to have more of what I have already had.

But what about the pain of being eaten? I will be chewing you up into many pieces in my mouth. This does not cause you any concern?

No not really. Us celery do not really feel any pain. After such a slow growth process, and so much time spent being still, our ability to react to feeling things has been greatly diminished. From what I have heard from other celeries, being chewed up and eaten is not that big of a deal. I have accepted my fate. When I was growing up I was educated by older celeries who prepared me for my eventual end. All of the celeries that I grew up around knew that one day soon they would end up serving the purpose of being something for human consumption.

Wow. This is a very noble and calm way of looking at things.

Yes. I had good teachers. Don’t you notice that you have already eaten half of me and I am fine? I am not at all bothered that I missing my other part. I hope that it was good for you.

It was good, yes. Especially with the peanut butter that I put on top.

I never understood this. I do not know why you humans need to put peanut butter on the celery. I feel like we are good enough as we are. But I know that humans are a very complex species, who often need a lot more than we do in order to be satisfied.

Yes, this is true. We do need a lot of things to be satisfied.

Yes. Celeries are not the same way. We are content spending our lives just slowly growing in the same place. Spending our days and nights standing still, going nowhere is very satisfying for us. We just love our lives and we love being surrounded by other celeries.

This is nice.

Yes. We also are happy knowing that one day we will be ingested by humans and that by eating us we will be able to benefit human health.

What do you mean?

It gives us meaning knowing that when we are eaten we will be beneficial for treating high blood pressure, digestive issues and heart rate regulation. It is such an honor to be able to help someone else in this way!

What? Are you kidding me? You are grateful that you will be chewed up, swallowed and digested?

Yes. Celeries love self-sacrifice. It gives us meaning.

Ok. This is hard for me to understand since most humans are the opposite. We want what we can get for ourselves. We hate self-sacrifice and are miserable when we have to do so. We want to make something of ourselves and do not care about anyone else in the process (unless they make us feel good). Self-sacrifice for other people’s benefit is a very foreign concept for most humans.

Yes. I know. This is why your civilizations are on the brink of complete collapse.

Yes. It is true. We have made a mess of things.

You are a very messy species. But we celeries are happy to help in whatever small way we can.

So do you mind if I go ahead and eat you now?

I don’t mind. Go ahead. This is the moment I have been growing for.

Ok, well thank you celery. It was a pleasure to get to know you a little better before eating you.

The pleasure was all mine. I am glad I can serve you.

Chew…chew…chew…chew….chew…chew…chew…chew….chew….chew…chew…swallow.