Wednesday, May 30, 2012



From "The Lost Journals of Old Pop Drivel"

There are days, or parts of days, that when I close my eyes I am involuntary cut loose of any tethers to the proximate dimension and freed to float in a instant dream. I may feel as if I've been gone for hours though when I return only a few minutes have passed. These forced daydreams are becoming more common as I grow older and often, (doubtless as a result of the pain medication I take to relieve chronic peripheral neuropathy in my feet) but not always, include floating.

I've been told I have a problem with floating. Even though this behavior is, so far as I know, 100% limited to dreams, it's effect on my waking hours is equally problematic, I'm told. Why would an innocent, unobtrusive float through the neighborhood be an issue? Especially my floats, which on a good day are like swimming through the air - a lazy breaststroke void of breathing concerns, where I can dive like a snorkeler to examine something that warrants extra attention. Even on a bad day, where my floats are ghostlike, I'm blown about the air willy-nilly, unable to control my speed or direction, and feet-less, meaning I should probably get some work done before I attempt a landing - even on those days, floating doesn't feel like much of a problem.

Then there are the days that, even though I may appear rooted to the earth, all of my being that you can't see is floating. Floating fiercely, not to be roped, cajoled, herded or otherwise tamed into any semblance of commonplace communications. These are the times when I wish I could stop the floating and collapse into a bowl of warm vanilla frosting, and, after apologizing to those I so rudely floated over or past, take a resolute and purposeful walk in the woods. Just yesterday I found myself apologizing after floating through a corporate conversation, then suddenly, shockingly admitting that I was "lost". Getting lost during one of these inscrutable conversations is nothing new, but blurting out the fact that I had not in the least bit been paying attention to the loathsome bullshit the youthful exec so enthusiastically painted across the virtual whiteboard was indeed new and, I must admit, a real showstopper. This is when floating has it's potential downsides, perhaps, so long as you buy into the notion that polite, meaningless conversation is the backbone of global commerce.I will let you be the judge of that.

It is on such all-day floats that I can cover miles and miles of digital territory without remembering a single site. After I've returned and taken root again I may enjoying a breadcrumb tour a day or two later. It's like having a video camera strapped to my forehead for several hours before passing out during an extremely robust tequila tasting. Fortunately those days have been on a long hiatus and show no signs of returning soon. Even so, I just closed my eyes for a moment and could've sworn I was in Lanai (one of the Hawaiian Islands I've never visited), preparing to play golf.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Sure, if the notion that you may be losing your mind doesn't bother you it's an absolute gas! Someday if my prayers are answered and my dreams come true I will no longer be dependent upon a daily diet of prescription pain meds to be able to navigate my ever-increasing responsibilities, not to mention that walk from my office to the kitchen, to the car to the gig, to my bass to my chair and back again, stopping at my easel, and then to bed to give it another go the next day. Then we'll see if that universe of floating is still just an eyelid away. Next time you see a helium balloon that's escaped the birthday party, still smelling vaguely of sweet vanilla frosting, stop and listen. Is that the sound of someone floating on the wind?

Peder "Old Pop" Drivell - September, 1967. Las Cruces, New Mexico

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