Friday, October 20, 2006

Gathering My Scattered Pieces

At about 5:00 this morning, my wife brought my daughter into our bed. The kid was in no mood to sleep, so she kept kicking me and laying her ice-cold feet in the middle of my back. By the time I got her to doze off, my alarm was blaring. I hit snooze a few times, but ultimately had to face the cruel truth that it was time to get up.

I was running a little late, but found myself unable to get really motivated. I mixed a big mug of Nescafe Cafe con Leche with enough sugar to put some steel in my spine. Starting to get energized, I took my vitamins, chugged a glass of psyllium husks, checked my e-mail, and put in my contact lenses.

By this time, my wife had gotten fed up with my daughter and had fobbed her off on my sister, who was sleeping downstairs. This lasted for about fifteen minutes before my sister came upstairs, ready to start the day. Usually, I have to drag her out of bed to drive me to work; today, she was leading me around the house. With her help, I gathered my watch, my pedometer, my cell phone, my breakfast, and all the papers that I need to grade.

As I was leaving the house, caught in that dreamy space where reality has soft edges and the caffeine still hasn't kicked in, I thought about all the things that I needed to eat, do, gather, and check before I could leave the house. I thought about the cell phone that I use to keep track of time and keep in touch with my family, the pedometer that I wear so I can obsess about my health, the contact lenses that help me see, the vitamins that keep me healthy, and the caffeine that gets me going on some mornings. I considered my huge, ugly toggle coat that keeps me warm now that Fall is starting to kick in, the breakfast that gives me energy, and the e-mail that connects me to everyone in my life.

I wondered where I end and these other things begin. I can't function without my health, my eyesight, or my food, so can I really claim to exist separately from my vitamins, my breakfast, or my contacts? How about my coat or my cafe con leche? Part of me is in Massachusetts when my aunt reads a message I sent her. Part of me is wherever you are right now.

Maybe this morning routine of picking up all the things for the day is really just a matter of gathering my scattered pieces.


  • I think on some levels, this is a little like one's financial income. You know, where your expenses tend to rise as your income does.

    Your dependence on technology tends to rise as your access to technology increases.

    Dunno. Need to think about that one. Specially when I'm not exhausted.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At October 20, 2006 at 11:05 PM  

  • Part of you is here with me? I hope you brought your own coffee. The pot I made is mine, all mine. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 21, 2006 at 2:59 PM  

  • This is the trouble with writing when you're in a flaky tend to take the metaphors a little far.

    But still, sharing is caring.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 21, 2006 at 11:33 PM  

  • By which I mean, fork over the coffee.

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 22, 2006 at 12:33 AM  

  • I like the fact that you muse on such things.

    We need to update our understanding of what, exactly, "self" means when we are all teleporting madly through cyberspace every day. I'm still me when I'm there with you in the form of my expressed thoughts, but I've added your responses and become more than I was.

    Or maybe I'm just a figment of my own imagination.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At October 22, 2006 at 12:50 AM  

  • "Maybe I'm just a figment of my own imagination."

    I like that. The idea that we self-create, and that we control our own mental space while we occupy it. Very cool.

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 22, 2006 at 10:35 AM  

  • I think we are just figments of our own imaginations.

    I remember reading some buddhist stuff that stated that we aren't our opinions and we aren't our emotions back in college, and just sat there going "whoa. Fuck."

    same general experience with peyote. Taking it caused some very interesting perceptions of what we see as permanent, non-negotiable stuff (like societal conventions, etc).

    Technology is changing the way we define the self, and fast. But then again, Dewey and my old professor Garrison would say that technology has been doing that since we first started to communicate or use tools.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At October 22, 2006 at 4:05 PM  

  • I can't stop thinking about the pedometer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 22, 2006 at 6:51 PM  

  • You caught me, Lee. I'm part geek. Mostly on my father's side.

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 22, 2006 at 9:27 PM  

  • Perhaps it isn't pieces of you that you are picking up each morning... after all, it would hurt trying to get a good night's sleep with some of your pieces missing. Perhaps it's pieces of your armor, your exo-suit and personal MacGyver kit which you don before going out to face the world.

    By Anonymous Fredwardly, At October 23, 2006 at 4:18 PM  

  • Fred-

    Good point, but I'm not sure if I can function without my armor, exoskeleton, and MacGyver kit--I think we're inseparable.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 23, 2006 at 7:03 PM  

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