July 06, 2009

State of Bliss

As often as not, keeping up on the daily news is too much for my little heart to bear.  During these periods I force myself to gloss over headlines in order not to be completely ignorant. When this practice triggers a panic that reason cannot suppress, I turn off most of my electronic devices and skip town.  

Lately, with the goings on in Israel, North Korea, Iran, Honduras, and Mexico, to name just a few, I was nearing my tipping point. A brief but necessary assessment of my precarious financial future pushed me over the edge. Consequently, I was forced to spend the last ten days with my best pals sailing around the Balearic Islands. I told myself there was little I could do to remove the crackers in charge from power, and even less sense in worrying about the future. The only sensible choice was to enjoy my holiday, and do everything possible to put off reality for the duration of my trip.

I ate too much, drank too much, slept too much, took too much sun, stayed up too late, and spent money I might have saved. I also laughed a lot. This is crucial since I am force-fed dreadful news about abused children, jingoists, scam artists, and corporate villains, as well as obliged to live powerless with the knowledge that big men spend their time blowing things up and threatening to blow up more. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling, preposterous, and unchristian. The fear and frustration eats me up. A point comes when laughter is not enough and I am forced to anesthetize myself.  Sometimes a glass of wine, or a trip to the cinema is sufficient. Other times, hours in front of the boob tube numb the mind adequately. For very stubborn anxiety, only drugs will do. The right potion can yield a total state of independence, or as my dear friend and artist, Grillo Demo, a longtime resident of Ibiza, calls it, un estado de independencia.

After ten days at sea, I had reached my estado de independencia. I imagine some of my friends did, too. I think we broke a record at Juan y Andrea, a beach restaurant on Formenterra Island, with a lunch that lasted from three in the afternoon until nine o”€™clock at night. By the time we left, not only had we consumed an ungodly amount of food and alcohol, my best friend, Andres White, had decided he”€™d ascend to the Holy See.  Andres’s decision to become the Bishop of Rome was taken for the glory, and perhaps also to gain access to the books and the buildings of the Vatican, as well as to combat his nouveau pauvre status. Not a bad choice for a single man, though possibly a bit restrictive for someone with little, if any, ascetic experience.  After that spectacularly long lunch, Andres blessed every meal we ate and managed to seduce us all with his endless parade of jokes. That is until he got knocked over by a wave while climbing off the dingy onto shore. Since then he has been working off his bad karma. 

Now that my vacation has ended, I have come back to the real world and those ubiquitous headlines. Having grown up listening to Michael Jackson, I was saddened by the news of his death. At last his bizarre behavior is explained. How pitiful that such a talented guy spent most of his adult life in a total estado de independencia. One can hardly blame him though; the poor sod never got a break.

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