Tuesday, April 28, 2020

I am not what I was.

Of course nothing’s seemed normal for about four years now. That’s getting broad and political, but you can’t really help that, can you? You have half the country not believing in science. Half the country not believing in facts. Half the country thinking know-nothingness is good and healthy and somehow the way of god.

But somehow, I thought I’d escape the whole thing. That being over 60, I’d leave this mortal coil before the dark-forces on superstition and religious zealotry and agendas over data would take control of the entire universe. I had faith, I suppose. Always a dangerous thing to count on when the demons of dumbness run so deep.

I didn’t think it would happen to me.

Here’s how it began.

Like I’ve done virtually every morning since 2007, I posted something on my blog yesterday morning.

In minutes, ping!, I had gotten a comment on LinkedIn. Hardly unusual. I’m not Gary Vaynerchuk, but one of my popular posts might get 75 or 150 comments. That ain’t bad really and I do my best to read them all.

This comment was like so many. “Smily-face emoji. LOL! Spot on.”

Then it hit me.

After all these years living in the world’s greatest Dunceocracy, in the three months since I was shit-canned from what was not long ago a vibrant agency, in the two months since I left my home in Manhattan for the Gingham-shores of Connecticut, I didn’t any longer feel spot on.

I turned to my wife.

“Do I look spot on to you?”

She gave me the a look like she had just chugged a gallon of sour milk mixed with gravel. She turned balletically on her size sixes and exited the room like a cat burglar, without a peep.

I tripped downstairs to get to work.

I didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel spot on.

I felt queasy, uneasy, the opposite of lemon-squeezy.

I called my therapist. We’ve been seeing each other since 1995. And not seeing each other since March, when we switched to phone sessions.

“Dr. Lewis,” I said when he picked up. “I’m not feeling spot on.”

He asked me to explain.

“Not sharp,” I offered. “A little slower than usual. Not making connections. I just don’t feel spot on.”

He thought for a moment. I heard him stroking at his metaphorical beard like an old Viennese Freudian.

“I see,” he suggested, wisely. “You’re not going to like this,” he continued after a pause that cost me approximately eight-dollars in session fees.

“Something to do with not being breast-fed? I told you, my mother only liked me as a friend.”

“No, not that,” he said gravely. “Worse than that.”

“What could be worse than that?

“Don’t worry,” he half-answered. “There are some drugs that are effective in laboratory animals and account people.”

“Give it to me straight, Dr. Lewis. I can take it.”

“You’re not spot on. You’re spot off.”

This time, I paused. “Spot off?”

“Yeah, it’s the opposite of spot on. It’s happening to a lot of people right now.”

“Spot off,” I said.

“$450,” he said, hanging up the horn.

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