Sunday, January 3, 2010

Irrational Fears

A number of years ago, during a time of detoxing, depression, and unusual withdrawl from society, I found myself wandering the halls of my local grocery store. The shop itself was particularly unusual in that it was the only one that I had been to with carpets throughout the entirety and a no Spam. And given that my whole mission in venturing to the store was to purchase a can of Spam to make Spam fried rice, I found myself even more dismayed than usual.

While wandering the bulk food section I had an epiphany of sorts. While standing in front of the dried beans and split peas, I realized that somewhere out there, someone was in a situation much worse than mine. For all of those peas had to be split. Someone in a factory in the middle of some agricultural community filled with silos of peas is having to split peas for all of eternity.

I pictured the individual standing in front of a conveyor belt with a butter knife and an unending mountain of peas rolling his way. With each pea he halved, a little piece of his soul would die. He would stand alone at this station by himself, working all day to fill bags of split peas for people so they could make vomit-colored soups that no one ate at the school cafeteria. In essence, his life, his career, his duty was an exercise in futility.

Have you ever watched those really bad sitcoms where people have sudden flashes of alternate lives they could have lived in a blink-of-an-eye, where they could have married their high school sweet heart or some other occurrence only to shake their heads and break out of it in a second or two? Well, I kind of had something like that, except, I stood in front of the split peas hyper-ventilating worrying that I was going to become a pea splitter for the rest of my life. Of course, I also hate the smell of peas. I don't know why I even stopped. In the end, I didn't buy any groceries. I never found a can of Spam. I fled the store in a frantic panic and decided that cigarettes would be a more adequate meal for the evening.

I tried to explain what happened to one of the three friends I had kept in contact with during this period of self-imposed exile. Their advise was that I needed to get out more. This was also the same time frame they though that I was about to cover my windows with aluminum foil to keep the fluorescent lights out (strange story about the layout of my apartment). So needless to say, my seeking of advice didn't get much help.

So with 2010 now here, let this not so inspirational message make you realize we are all just one step away from becoming pea splitters somewhere...or...we are never far from having our friends consider us crazy.

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