Sentient Beans

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Pain becomes part of life. Everyday takes into consideration the number of steps, or better to say the minimum number of steps to complete a task. But I moved blindly from day to day, searching to find an accommodation between my workaholic ways, and my new responsibilities. The stress that I felt, and the pain that I felt grew and grew everyday. It had been hard to feel good about myself for years. Accomplishment in a career that seemed to be slowly killing me, and the new weekly regiment that left little time to enjoy the things that I thought I was working for. This is not an uncommon feeling for many of us. Yet the increase in economic compensation was steadily losing ground to the economic demands of the Planet and the satellites. Any mention of receiving an accounting from the Planet was greeted by a flood of defensive maneuvers from Janet. I was unaware, and still am to this day, of the depth of emotions any mention of expenditures elicited from the Planet.  She was on a different operating system from the one I was on , and there was no finding an interface between the two.

Perhaps it was the Planets way of dealing with an empty life. For some  having a home and two satellites would be a fulfilling challenge. The opportunity to be a stay at home mom to some would be the most precious of gifts. The most ideal situation that this existence can bestow some would say. So many in our time cannot affords that luxury. The chance to be there through the early years long after maternal corporate leave runs out to many is an unattainable extravagance. Apparently it was. Yet there is so much to do and to experience watching the growth of a new human, who would choose to turn them over for ten hours a day to well investigated strangers. Good references or not you still never really know.

But the planet was an adrenaline junkie as well. She thrived on the company of others. The challenges of a career creating and transacting commerce is a drug all it's own. The appreciation of peers, the social interaction of others, and the feeling of a job well done is a reward we are all bred for these days. It is how our society bestows perceived value on us all. Although much lip service is given to the value of the interplanetary family unit, the rewards are not at all apparent externally. It is a value that can only be felt within. I can only speculate that the Planet need more exterior assurance than she received from within, and to my shame from me as well.

So to the planet it was like being cast adrift in space with no communication other than the arduous tasks demanded by the new moons. A vast emptiness that needed to be filled with the only tool she felt were available to her.

Credit Cards.  

  Credit Cards can be a blessing. Used judiciously they can facilitate immediate gratification, help retailers and governments keep track of your spending, and even make a profit for those that issue them on the juice especially if you get a little behind for a month or two.

  They can also become toxic when used on a planetary scale. When you add to the mix the legalized pyramid schemes commonly known as Multi Level Marketing, the dreaded MLM, it can only set the stage for a disaster of global proportions.

  While the Planet was gestating satellite number two, she began to dabble in that most insidious and ever present grandmother of all MLM schemes, Our Lady of the Pink Cadillac. Mary Kay.  Well the planet began to nibble at that bait but birthing took priority. But after young Addison was orbited, The Planet bought into Pink Caddy dreams with a vengeance.

Now I am sure that thousands of woman have made this work for them by building their business a little at a time , reinvesting their sales to resupply their inventory, and slowly build their pyramids. This however was not how the Planet operated.

  Judith Janet Planet not only needed to buy monthly inventory at levels that would put her on pace for her ultimate dream, regardless of the existence of any sales at all, but she also needed to have people do the housework, and care for the satellites as well. The Planet, a true aficionado of self help books, had read that to achieve success you had to live your life like that success had been achieved already. Step one of business plan apparently was to run this enterprise on credit cards till it was in the black.

  However the only black on the horizon was the black hole our unwholey union was spinning into.

Yes , unwholey.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Postpartum Planet

     Perhaps postpartum depression will last a few moths in many new mothers. But on a planetary scale and by my count it can last thirteen years. All the doctors and all the pharmaceuticals could never, it seems set the Planet on her axis again. Perhaps it was the Planets attempt to overcome the overpowering dynamics of hormones and brain chemicals that made planetoid number two more of a cry for help than another manipulative deception of the Planets. Perhaps, like the hair of the dog for a hangover, nature called for another satellite to cure the bodily imbalances brought about by the first heavenly un-docking maneuver. However speculating on the Planets motives and machinations as I was quick to learn were a fruitless endeavor.

   Co-dependence has often been described as: "when I die your life will pass before my eyes." So it is with planets and moons. The planet thinks that it is doing all the work by supplying the gravity that keeps the moon in orbit. Meanwhile the moon thinks it is doing all the work with the constant rotation and falling into the Planet while supplying tidal motions of the oceans that keeps all things in flux and balance. In fact both are doing their part in the order of things. Neither able to stand back and appreciate just how codependent they are. Who is to say whether this is a healthy or unhealthy state of affairs. It just is.

   So was the Planet from the very beginning trying to pull me into economic orbit only to cast me off at the first advantageous opportunity? Was I so dense and out of touch that I didn't notice? Was I so intent on playing my new role that I thought, as well as my DNA told me I was supposed to, and apparently I was destined to play that I failed to take the hint? Was the Planet even aware of the why and wherefores of her actions and inability to act? Where we both just fulfilling our perceived roles while both ignoring where we all were headed?

  So many questions that even hindsight cannot answer. As was made apparent from the very first visit to the marriage counselor, the Planets communications were shutting down. Enter denial and I ordered the same. The Planet shutdown communications with that marriage counselor. Thus begins a search for an answer. Unfortunately as with any answer the right question has to be asked. The endless trip down the South Shore was in it's infancy as was this galatic crisis. Was it a gibbous or a waning moon? yet all planetary considerations move at their own speed.

   The Planet remained silent.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pink Mist

The fact of the matter is children and Planets are not owned. We just become voluntary care takers for each other and those that have been placed in our sphere of influence. Often I found myself woefully lacking. But push on all parties did to try to keep open lines of communications. But storms in Indiana often bring down power and communication lines. Bring them down it did. Slowly at first. One could say the Planet's and my infrastructure would be deemed structurally deficient.

Unfortunately at this time no such inspection had taken place.

But it would.

Then there was the SS line and it’s daily reminder.There was a palpable quiver up my spine upon my first of many daily arrivals from Hoosiervillie. What I saw on the first commute on the first morning of what would become a sixteen year ordeal should have been warning enough. The manifestation in the world of the harbinger of bad things from a dream ten years previous should have been heeded.

I dreamt in October of nineteen eighty, before the world had been subjected to Ronny and the Rayguns that I was boarding a train. The platform was high up on a huge wood framed trestle. Up and up I climbed until I boarded the train. It took off like a roller coaster giving all aboard the ride of their lives. On an on it went tossing us like clothes in a dryer. Then it stopped in a huge high grass prairie. The train to return home was on the other side of this grassland. As I walked towards my train home my feet got heavier and heavier. Then my legs felt like they were in cement. I could no longer pull my legs through the high grass. I was stuck and would never get my train home. There is no going home.

So on this first morning of the first commute when I pulled in to the station I saw where that dream train ride had begun. I felt I was in another world. How true it was . It was the Planets world now. I had changed many things already. There was much more to come.

But on this morning as my train arrived in Chicago and I came face to memory with the scene of that ten year old October dream which became my October nightmare all rolled into October 17, nineteen hundred and eighty. The day of the pink mist.

As I worked through another day of pain I counted all the good things that had happened to me in the decade since. Although there stood a reminder of a prescient dream, I counted my blessings on that December nineteen hundred and ninety morning. Things in my world couldn't have turned out better.

  Or so I thought