It pulls me closer to the ground. It subtly hides itself from me, even in lucid dreams. It exhibits me in front of the crowd in a listless state, as they jeer and stare with heartless curiosity. The piano is played as the sideshow performs. Normalcy was yesteryear’s dream that turned into a fantasy. The stage lights are too bright and roaring of the crowd too loud. The nothingness of the void beckons me with the promise of long and restful sleep. It says it can make the constant torment of my existence go away. Once, I thought I had been lying in a field of sweet smelling white gardenias, with heavenly angels holding me in peaceful warmth, but I awakened out of my daydream to hear the keys of the piano playing once more. The show must go on, but how long will I have to perform? Perhaps a drink, or two, or three, or four, may grant me reprieve. I am a regular so the bartender knows my name. “The regular?” Yes indeed. “One White Russian please, and keep them coming.” Maybe a few cigarettes a day will help to keep the pain at bay; but what about the Surgeon General’s warning? To hell with the warning; I will deeply inhale the carcinogens to ease the constant tension, palpitations, and useless ER visits. Well, don’t forget to be a good citizen and curb your secondhand smoke. Yes of course, I will smoke in the comfort of my own home; well, maybe on the porch. Eager friends with seemingly good intentions tell me to drown my sorrows in a bottle of whiskey. I tell them I prefer a nice triple distilled potato vodka instead, and that anxiety and sorrow can’t be drowned, only submerged for a time. Perhaps I can grow new neural pathways every three or four days? I find myself listening to Bach these days for the most part, (Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor is a favorite) but who cares. I’m craving an Irish coffee; I mean a well made Irish coffee and a nice cigar. As a child I always admired Franklin Roosevelt’s dapper look at Yalta, sitting in the center being flanked by Churchill and Stalin. His black velvet collared cape, pinky ring, well tailored suit and cigarette in hand. I always thought that’s how a man should look. Honestly, I still like the look now. Inconsequential, I know, but still. By the way, family came over for the holidays and raided my cupboard. All my top quality coffee is gone. Guess who has to take a trip to the store for more? Yeah that would be me. Of course with the way my brain is wired I couldn’t take much of the small talk and had to excuse myself from the table. My brain feels literally fried from the viewing of the 24 hour news cycle. The garbage on the radio isn’t much better, music or news wise. I can stomach NPR, but that’s about it. I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions, to hell with it. I don’t like the holidays anymore either, it’s become an annual chore. Doing this and doing that for what exactly? The traditions of old have been washed away in consumerism and overindulgence. People go on eating binges and stuff themselves to the point of gastrointestinal discomfort, pretend to like you, or somehow identify with your personal issues and small talk you to death. Hoards line up to buy overstocked junk at local big box stores, but that’s another subject entirely. This post was initially supposed to be a poem, but has turned into some sort of rant, excuse me. Perhaps more fiber in my diet for 2019? More fiber a day keeps the IBS away, or maybe adds to it? Who knows. Anyway, Cheers! Happy New Year!