From Choices: I Unsubscribe

Early morning and I remember. It was summertime. The sky was blue and the world was still young to me. I was still young. I was also the one that always woke up early. Everyone else was asleep. Mom was upstairs. The Old Man was sleeping too. My brother Dave was asleep in his room and me, I was up already and outside in the backyard.

I have always found my town interesting during the early morning hours. The day has started but no one has ventured out. This was especially so on the weekends.

All the houses around mine were sleeping too. It seemed to be a good time to be a young boy, and to be outside in his backyard, and waiting by the pool.

For the record, this was the first year we had a pool like this. The pool itself was not totally in-ground. The reason being is it was slightly above, approximately 3’ above ground to be exact, which I believe was done as a way to avoid the hike in property tax for an in-ground pool (or at least, so I was told).

I could hear the sound of cicada bugs chattering. I have always appreciated this sound. I associate this with my better memories of youthful summertime and the warm winds that pass through the leaves in the trees.
I have this dream sometimes. I am back at my childhood home for what seems like a visit. Everything is exactly as it was when I was a boy. I never go upstairs to my old bedroom. For some reason the stairs are not an option for me. I can see them but still, I don’t go up. I know my parents are in the house somewhere but I can’t find them. 

I head into the kitchen and find myself looking at the sliding glass doors which opened up to the deck behind my home and led outwards to the pool, which, of course, The Old Man built with a few of our family friends. 

I can see my backyard as it was. The early morning sky is already sun-filled. I can see my neighbor’s yard. Her name was Laura. She had a big garden in her yard. Laura had dogs too but none of her dogs are outside in my dream. No one is around. I can sense life but I can’t see or find anyone. 

As I walk through the kitchen, I approach the sliding doors but I never seem to walk through them. More often, I wake up around this point. I wake to realize this was just a dream. 

I don’t know where any of us go after we die. I really don’t. I’d like to believe we go someplace other than just a grave. I don’t know what happens to our energy or the spirit. I suppose we transform or change and enter the universe in such an infinite way, like “Ahhh” and then we finally let go of Earthly ideas such as guilt or shame and the uselessness of resentment..

This life we have is short. I know this is true or should I say, at least this is true to me. Some lives are even shorter. Some are unfairly short and others are long. The truth is I have no idea how long we have. I don’t know how much more time this rock of ours will spin around the sun.

All I know is I try to stay away from watching the news because the news is depressing. Then again, drama creates viewers and viewers build ratings. This is the way things are.

We have become a finger-pointing society; all too quick to blame, and too quick to prosecute others with no judge or jury, just straight to character assassination and the electric chair. No one deserves a second chance anymore. Fry-em all. They should have thought better in the first place, right?
(Wrong!)

Maybe this is why I need these dreams sometimes. Maybe I feel the need to feel safe as a child in my childhood home. I suppose these dreams come to me when my energy is disturbed by the news of upcoming storms and an ongoing virus, which, according to some people, this is only a hoax until the next upcoming election.

Either way, I see the news as a constant stream of worry. I seldom notice anything hopeful. Then again, I am reminded of a picture I saw. In the picture is a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Above the glass is the word, “ALCOHOL” and below are the words, “Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.”

And it’s true. The world loves a good story. I know this. In fact, I’ve been trying for years to create something that sparks the interest of a few people. But hey, so it goes, right? 

I was sifting through my emails and noticing the amount of junk that makes its way to my inbox. I saw this word a million times before. However, yesterday this word took on a new meaning.

At the bottom of my unwanted emails is the word, “Unsubscribe,” which means I can click on this and my email address will be removed from the mailing system. 

I like this word. Unsubscribe.

I wish there were more options that came with it. Thus, I would click this button more often. I wish I could say the word and the results would be the same. I could walk past people and hear them talk about their politics and say, “Unsubscribe.” I could hear people tell me their thoughts about the Corona-virus and say it loud. “Unsubscribe,” and I’d never have to hear from them again.

When it comes to the case of the common hatred and political bullshit, I say, “Unsubscribe.” In the case of race baiting and racial profiling, bigotry, antisemitism, and one sided views that refuse to open up, I say to them “Unsubscribe.”

When it comes to the people that feel the need to tell me their unsolicited advice and impose it even when I ask them to stop, I say “Unsubscribe.”
I  hereby unsubscribe to the following:
Prejudice, hate, ignorance, and greed.
I unsubscribe to the constant bullying and body shaming, intellectual snobbery, social injustice, stigma, and shortsightedness.

I unsubscribe to my own need to be “Right,” and surrender to the truth that I, me, you and yours, collectively together; it seems we don’t know as much as we think we do; therefore, I unsubscribe.

I would like to withdraw my subscription to the religious minds that seem to believe their views are enough to get them through the gates and into the Kingdom of Heaven. And as such, this seems to give them the right to look down on others with judgement. Meanwhile, the last guy that was able to walk on water supposedly died a long, long time ago. Nevertheless, I say, “Unsubscribe,”

I would like to withdraw my subscription to the constant battles of morning traffic and congestion as I cross over the George Washington Bridge. I take this trip at least five days a week, to and from, back and forth. Although, admittedly, there is a piece of me that appreciates the view of my city as I approach from the west side of town. 

As for the masks I wear on a daily basis, I will continue to wear them because I celebrate my right to choose to wear them; however, if given the choice, I would say “Unsubscribe,” and I would never have to wear a mask again.

I am wondering now if everyone gets this. I wonder if someone from another part of the world or if someone were to read this, like say, ten years in the future; would they get it? Would they understand? Would they wonder what Covid is or would they wonder why people wore masks.

For example, I don’t know where you were at the time but I remember exactly where I was at 8:48 a.m. on September 11, 2001. I can talk about this with someone that just turned 20 and they would look at me with a blank stare because they wouldn’t know. They wouldn’t understand. They never lived through it. But I did. And if I have my way, I’ll live through this pandemic too because in the case of me against the pandemic, I unsubscribe.

I’m done sifting through the news or the news feed on my social media. I am officially unsubscribing to all political posts from both the right and left. Effective today, I am officially unsubscribing to all the medical and legal advice that comes from Facebook (or Fake-book as I so often hear it called) and I am no longer following anyone that thinks Facebook is always fact.

I think I will stick to the memes which say “The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.” I think I’ll just stick with goodhearted videos of a deer playing with rabbits in a field or the precious ideas of Daddy coming home from the military to surprise his kids at school. (Those always choke me up.)

As you may or may not know, I am a fan of Socrates.
Something he said keeps coming to mind.
“Enjoy . . . It’s later than you think.”

I think this is good advice.

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