A few semesters ago in my Master’s program I took a class on the history of Vietnam. When we were learning about the beginning of the Vietnam War I didn’t focus on what either side was claiming, planning, or doing. I focused on the 17th parallel. Why the 17th? Did everyone know where it was? Did someone draw a line? How did they know where it was in the first place?
Perhaps because my mind is always spinning around on these topics I miss a lot of typical normal life things. I know it’s the circular thoughts caused by the bipolar, but that doesn’t make me feel less confounded. I run out of toilet paper, paper towels, and dishwashing liquid. Many years ago I came up with an idea that I think if you really consider it you will agree with me that it has some validity. These are necessities of life. When it comes to cleaning supplies they keep us from living in squalor (well, normal people, I still live in squalor). I think some department of the federal government should leave baskets monthly that contain cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, and feminine hygiene items. This would cut down on costs for local authorities who have to come out and put up notices that houses are unfit for living. Children would be kept with more of their birth parents, because they would have the supplies to keep a clean and therefore more livable housing. There, I just cut family services costs.
So, while I’m thinking of these things. Lately my mind has been bogged down by this idea of how fast the whole amount of knowledge in the world is growing, which let me tell you, is not an easy thing to have on your mind. Things get past me. In past years, groceries were kind of a mystery to me. I’d go every once in awhile and get things that sounded good. Or, I’d spend my very tiny monthly check at Target on my fetishes like pajamas, DVDs, and Chik Lit and then end up having to go to the food closet for food.
I went along like that for years. It never really bothered me, as long as I had cigarettes all was well. I had other things on my mind. Then one day I was actually cooking something. This is worth noting, because since I live alone actually cooking something from scratch is rare. It just seems pointless. I went to my spice cabinet for some pepper, started to shake the tin box and nothing. What?!? No pepper? Who runs out of pepper? How do you run out of pepper? It’s just something that’s there. This sounds like a ramp up for a joke, but it isn’t. I was honestly perplexed. How did I come to a place in my life where I had a. used a whole container of pepper and b. hadn’t noticed?
Now, the average person would probably say “Damn! Out of pepper, I’m going to run down to the store and grab some.” Not I. For about two weeks, I went around to everyone I knew and asked “have you ever run out of pepper? Have you ever heard of running out of pepper? Isn’t it something that’s just supposed to be there?” Honestly, I was perplexed, and driving everyone around me crazy.
Unfortunately, maybe it isn’t unfortunate, it’s just how my brain works and maybe in the long run there’s nothing wrong with it. But, that is the kind of thing that will take over my life, pepper. There are a million other ones. Cooking oil (it isn’t self-filling?), light bulbs, and batteries. But never before had I come face to face with something as mundane as pepper.
Eventually, someone dragged me to the store and bought me two containers of pepper just to be safe. Whew! Now, where’s the damn salt?