Throughout my adult lifetime, I’ve always been, to varying degrees, inordinately anxious, especially under stressful circumstances. The very best thing I can possibly do on the eve of a big moment of truth-a significant trip, a job interview, or some other milestone-is simply to relax and to go to bed even earlier than my accustomed bedtime. Besides that I enjoy reading, playing my guitar or any other simple relaxing activity. I also occasionally watch television, but that’s not a habit of mine anymore. I’ve always quite bitterly despised the telephone so it helps if I can scrupulously avoid that particular thing. I absolutely never even think of taking any risks whatsoever with food. If I know I am going to be subjected to pressure, my diet the day before is inevitably simple with absolutely no spices whatsoever. Any risk of stomach trouble would be terrifying. I always put whatever materials I may be obligated to have in my possession-a number two pencil, identification, money or anything else of any importance-in a very safe, easily accessible place the night before I need them. For the past quite a long time my anxiety hasn’t been overwhelming, but it’s still sufficiently significant that I can’t play games with it.
Albert wandered into the bathroom one morning to get ready for work.
“Clara?” he called out from force of habit.
He got no answer. She was away visiting her parents. Now he could at last have some free time to think. The silence was deafening though. The long-married man both enjoyed the break from routine and missed her company.
“Life is filled with confusion like that,” he thought out loud.
He proceeded to shave and to brush his teeth, eagerly awaiting his coffee and the Daily News. More importantly, he was eager to call her that afternoon.
There are several job descriptions that would drive me out of my mind. I can’t possibly do anything that involves heavy lifting or heights since I’ve always been irremediably incapable of dealing with things like that. Perhaps if I were ever forced to pick one job that would be absolutely irrevocably forbidden to me, no matter what, it would have to be anything involving a telephone. Although I can understand that it’s always unavoidably mandatory to spend at least a little time on the phone over the course of any job, or any other circumstances whatsoever, if I were ever to get a job that required me to spend a significant amount of time anywhere near a phone, I should surely go entirely out of my mind. For as far back as I can remember I’ve never been able to stand anything about this most horrible of things. I can’t stand the sound of one when it’s ringing. I can’t stand to be anywhere near anyone who’s talking on one. Whenever I’m forced to talk on the phone I always cringe with extreme impatience and anxiety, hoping to get it over with as soon as possible. To have to spend forty hours each week of my life dealing with something like that would be pure and merciless torture.
Over the years I’ve been known most certainly to have my share of inadvertent gaffes, from the time I heard Z.Z. Top’s “Two Step Boogie” as “Tube Steak Boogie” to the times I’ve answered the phone by saying “Telephone” instead of “Hello”, and the time I pronounced “NOmenclature” as “noMENclature.” Inappropriate behavior has always come quite naturally to me. To this very day my cousins from western New York remind me of the times I was visiting them, mostly during the 1980’s, and had all kinds of missteps involving their dog Muggsy, my polka dotted jammies, and all sorts of other horrendous missteps. My cousin Vinnie especially likes to talk about his visit to Lindenhurst during the late 1970’s when I sideswiped a school bus on the way to Robert Moses Beach. Those are just some of the highlights of my lopsided adventures. Please stay tuned for ever more yet to come.
I’ve never been able to stand excessive noise. For as far back as I can remember I’ve always had an entirely intense aversion to excessive volume. I come from a world where there was entirely too much yelling. Having always bitterly hated and resented noise, I’ve had quite a difficult time coping with many things that are taken entirely for granted with most people. Everyplace I go, even to church and libraries, there are so many entirely inconsiderate characters constantly talking out loud and allowing their cell phones to make all kinds of noises, without bothering even so much as to attempt to be a little considerate of others. Besides my problem with noise in general I’ve always harbored an equally insatiable hatred of telephones too. My niece and nephews are all still extremely young, so of course they all still go overboard with their favorite music. Whenever I tell them it’s too loud, they inform me that I’m the one with the attitude problem. Unfortunately there simply doesn’t seem to be any interest, among most people these days, in showing respect to others when it comes to noise. It’s a kind of arrogance that is most certainly not restricted to the young. I’ve known of very many people significantly older than I, who live by the assumption that if they choose to yell or to increase the volume on televisions, radios, or other devices as much as possible, it’s somehow other people’s responsibility to learn to deal with it. Many times over the years I’ve referred to the time, when I was working at Citicorp Retail Services in Melville, New York, next to a department where all the people were constantly laughiing and yelling. The incessant noise drove me entirely into all sorts of fits of rage and fury. Of course, as always, I was the bad guy. To my chagrin there are several things in life that seem to be governed by a rule that makes it clear that the most utterly and undeniably inappropriate approach to life will always be specifically classified as the norm. Of course noise isn’t my only pet peeve. I also can’t stand liberals or any other totalitarian control freaks. You know the type, those who chant manipulative dictatorial catch phrases, like “The only thing intolerable is intolerance.” , while simultaneously attempting to control other people’s lives with no questions permitted. That, however, is something I have been known already to refer to under several other circumstances anyway.
After an exceptionally long overwhelming drive, or any other prolonged source of aggravation, exhaustion and stress, I just like to hang around and to rest. Conveniently there isn’t any one and only thing that gets me relaxed. I don’t necessarily have to go directly to bed but I at least have to make sure that I don’t have anything extra on my schedule. Coffee always helps too. Unfortunately I don’t ever get to have any before a significant trip because it always drives me crazy. I have certain extremely seriously annoying problems under those circumstances. If I have no place else to go, though, I can have some and it makes me feel so especially nice. I often read too, or spend time online. These days I spend a lot of time reading online anyway. Another thing that keeps me relaxed is practicing my guitar. Conveniently with all my distinctive interests, there are several sources of rest and relaxation I can resort to. There’s one last thing i simply must explain quite clearly: I’ve absolutely never been able to stand the telephone so I make sure I avoid it entirely no matter what.
For some strange reason, this is my first post since the end of August. My birthday & my father’s are on September 16 & 25. We went, with my mother & Uncle Frankie, to Perkins on my birthday to get a nice meal. The waitress explained that we could have gone to Cooper’s because they give a free meal to the guest of honor. I’ve never liked seafood though & that’s Cooper’s specialty. I got a few phone calls that day from Mary Anne & family. Steve & Bridget left me messages on Facebook & Mary Anne, Michael & Sam all talked to me on the phone. I was especially happy that my cousin Gary even called. It gave me a chance to catch up with all the New York gossip. Fr. McKernan’s birthday is the day after mine. He was on a retreat in Chicago that weekend. The next week, for my father’s birthday, we went back to Perkins. Uncle Frankie wasn’t available at the time because he was visiting Fran. The traffic, on the way to Rte. 315, was absolutely unbearably bad because of construction. Fortunately, though, the construction only lasted for around a week after that. Unfortunately summer is long gone by now & we’ve settled into autumn.
Yesterday, although it started out quite nice, turned into quite an absolute nightmare at about 2:30 p.m. Uncle Frankie always wants me to go to his house to pick up his mail when he visits Fran. He’s there for Father’s Day now. I went yesterday on my usual mostly daily trip to get the mail. As soon as I first left there was a major bolt of thunder & lightning. Because of its having been such a nice warm day I honestly fully expected it to be just another lovely spring shower. It was an absolute nightmare from hell. There was wind that got up to beyond fifty miles per hour, along with hailstones & zero visibility. I got the mail from his mailbox. As soon as I got back into my car it occurred to me that I couldn’t see through my windows. I couldn’t even so much as dare to try to leave. I tried to call my parents but their phone didn’t work. I didn’t have Gino’s & Michelle’s phone number. They live only two houses away from Uncle Frankie. I couldn’t even dare to get out of the car so the phone was my only hope. Eventually it calmed down enough for me to try to go home. It was a long slow trip down Eighth Street past Wyoming Avenue. There were all sorsts of fire trucks & other emergency vehicles out. Eventually I got home. Amazingly it stopped after only a very short time. Many people’s homes & trees were damaged. There was no advanced warning of anything bad. On television there was a major storm watch for a lot of Pa. counties until 9:00 p.m. Conveniently I wasn’t terribly nervous or afraid but the frustration really got me crazy.