Thursday, June 21, 2012

Diamond Tortillas

I woke up at four am the other morning singing the words "diamond tortillas" over and over out loud.  Why?  I really don't know.  Just because my subconscious rents space in my general vicinity doesn't actually mean I have any control over it.  My interactions with both diamonds and tortillas have been pretty minimal over the years and I am rather at a loss to explain my burst of nocturnal song.  I even googled the term but that didn't produce anything useful unless I am likely to visit a Mexican restaurant in Missouri which I assure you I am not.

I very rarely dream and never before have I woken up singing about anything.  There is obviously some deep rooted psychological reason for my actions and it is imperative I discover what it is.  Actually I couldn't care less but without doing so I'm several paragraphs short of a blog entry.  Therefore I subjected my little ditty to what, for me, passes for in depth analysis.

Firstly let us consider the word "diamond".  To me that conveys several meanings.  Firstly value, then beauty and rarity.  These are the obvious ones of course but following on their heels are the words Africa, violence, suffering and (thanks to the marketing guys at deBeers) permanence. So that's the word diamond sorted.  After that we come to the word "tortilla".  Naturally that makes me think of Mexico and food but also peasant food, poverty, deprivation and want.

With the words sorted we can turn to the delivery method; song.  I was singing.  Singing is not something I normally do because I suck at singing.  Singing (when done by me) conjures up images of failure, awkwardness, unease and disassociation.  To convey a message by song would, for me, imply foreboding or concern with the inadequacy of the performance highlighting feelings of dread and inability.

Finally, there is the timing.  I woke up at four am for god's sake.  This is a time of darkness and vulnerability when my mental faculties are at their lowest ebb and my physical body, cocooned under a doona, is incapable of rapid movement and therefore unable to act efficiently for either defence or flight.

From all of the above I think it is easy to determine the reason for my early morning aria.  My subconscious is obviously deeply concerned about food security in the third world, the increasing price of basic staples, the very real danger of violence as a result of this and despair at the lack of genuine interest being showed by more affluent regions.  It's good to see that my subconscious has such an active social awareness because I have to admit that it doesn't bother me at all.

Of course none of the above explains why, when I woke up, I giggled for ten minutes straight.  Possibly my subconscious has a nasty streak after all.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Fact That You Think You're Healthy is Actually a Symptom

I hate being sick.  No surprises there, I'm sure everybody does but what I hate more than being sick is being pre-sick.  That general feeling of not being quite well while not actually feeling sick enough to take a day off work.  There is that feeling of unpleasant anticipation as you wait to see which largely indefinable pseudo symptoms will actually develop into something you can coherently describe to a doctor or leverage into a couple of days off.  Even more irritating is when they don't develop into anything at all.  I know it sounds a little odd to complain about not getting sick but after several days of dragging myself into work while feeling shabby I feel a little cheated if I can't get a day off at the end of it.

There's also the credibility aspect to consider.  Nobody can reasonably complain if you ring up and explain you can't come into work today because you have smallpox but there is little sympathy if you ring up and say, "I feel icky".  Particularly if you never actually come down with something.  You get an undeserved reputation as a hypochondriac.

What is needed, I think, is to for pre-sickness itself to be identified as a medical condition.  This would make things so much easier.  No longer would I be a whiny, self pitying freeloader.  Rather I would be the sufferer of a genuine illness whose mere presence at work would represent a heroic struggle against invalidism.  I would gain the sympathy of my colleagues and the understanding of my supervisor as I ring up to explain why I won't be in at work for the thirty fifth day in a row.  Anything I did manage to achieve would be seen as a triumphant struggle against insuperable odds.  I would appear on motivational posters and the sort of heart warming youtube clips that some people insist on posting on facebook.  Being pre-sick could become a career in itself.

Naturally as boundaries shift and being pre-sick takes its place as a genuine illness the position it currently occupies will be taken by being pre-pre-sick or, as it is currently known, well.  That will be the best result of all; when you can ring up your boss and say, "I can't come in today, I'm feeling fantastic" and have him reply, "Not to worry, get better soon".