March 31, 2018


I am inexcusably complacent on my level days.  I quickly turn a blind eye to the sine wave and walk the flat line as though it is mine to have and keep.  This happens every time I have a run of them, days or weeks.  The curvy bits are what bring negative interactions and intrusive thoughts and 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls, and it's during these times, crest and trough, that I plainly see how much personal growth I need to undertake.

It isn't "on my plate" with the mashed potatoes neatly separated from the cranberry sauce and turkey.  I can count to three.  The areas of punctuated equilibrium that are overdue make me feel like I'm in the Pleistocene, twelve thousand years behind.  Therapy sessions are cafeteria-style and we can put anything we want on the plate.  So much to choose from.  And they change from country-style steak to fried flounder on Thursdays.  It's a seemingly endless menu.

My heartbeat quickens a little.  If I don't start growing, faster, I could ruin my marriage, my career, my friendships.  Lille could succeed in executing me.  I could turn eighty and still miss my Teacher and still be terrified of conflict and still have impulses to claw my left arm.  

What if I never grow up?

I can't tackle all of this, not even in the next forty years.  The list is too long.  I envision a board room somewhere, with the Watcher (my friend's take on that part of me that would correspond to a soul, maybe) hammering on the long, obscenely polished mahogany table and demanding order, order!

"I call this meeting to order.  We're here to address a matter of great urgency -- oh, thank you, Jenkins, a glass of water would be most welcome.  A dire matter that requires immediate action in a multitude of sectors.  The future of the company is at stake and time is of the essence -- yes, Jenkins, I know I'm speaking in clics, thank you for your astute observation, now please take a seat.  You all have a copy of the four-hundred-and-twelve-page memo in front of you, and as you can see, some of the bullet points require four levels of indentation in Microsoft Word©.  That, fellow board members, is unprecedented.  It surpasses dissertations.  It surpasses legislative budgets.  Had we been operating as we should have all along, this list would not have amassed into what you see before you.  We are twelve thousand years behind.  I'll give you a moment to read through -- oh, for fuck's sake, Jenkins, what is it now?  Yes, we should have been working on all of this before.  Please refrain from speaking unless you have something pertinent to say, and pay attention.  Thank you.

"There has never been a more appropriate time to form committees to tackle these areas.  Our company must grow, progress, and that with efficiency and speed.  Please turn to page three-ninety-two.  I propose the formation of the committees listed, beginning there."

(page three-ninety-two)

*The Conflict Avoidance Committee.  You will be responsible for one of the most important aspects of our agenda.  Not only will you be responsible for identifying areas of inappropriate acquiescence that prove detrimental to our company; you must also actively create conflict addressing those areas.  During those conflicts, you will find a way to circumvent the Fight or Flight Department (the load of ever-watchful bastards) and keep them from overriding our executive functions designed to approach the conflict rationally, and from running off to Emotional Management with information to tip them off.  Once they get involved, god knows it all goes straight into the shitter.  Failure is not an option.  If this company cannot restructure its conflict-resolving processes, none of the other committees stands a chance.

*The Fear of Disapproval Committee.  Your responsibilities are intertwined with those of Conflict Avoidance.  You will prevent interference while they create conflict, interference from all directions ... the Division of Fear is powerful; do not underestimate them.  Especially that wretched administrative assistant, Lille.  Working here almost forty years and shows no sign of retiring.  She practically controls the department, in that gatekeeper role.  We'll have to toss her chair one day.  She's made a butt groove in it all her own.  Formidable, but we have faith in your ability to complement the other missions.

*The Self-Care Semantics Committee.  Yours is a unique role.  We have danced around a good bit of jargon that would have otherwise enhanced operations.  If I recall correctly, our standard has been that of considering the company above such petty words and all that they imply.  From this day forward, you will work to re-incorporate use of key words into routine operations, especially "nurture" and "creativity".  Please comb through the archives and note the absence of other words.  "Self-care" is seldom used, and be on the lookout for any references to "intrinsic worth".  We embrace these or fold, ladies and gentlemen.

*The Bodily Protection Committee.  You will work closely with the Motor Function Management and Dissociated Aspects departments.  Your task is a difficult one, as the vast majority of your time will be spent waiting for an opportune moment to contribute; furthermore, when such moment arises, you will have a window of approximately one and a half seconds to perform your work.  Thus, the strategies you devise must be capable of instant implementation.  I recommend beginning with the ground work of recruiting members of Dissociated Aspects as committee members and gaining their buy-in.  Only in this way can you reduce their active staff enough to prevent an impulse to injure the company strong enough to overwhelm your efforts.  You might also convince the defectors to disclose any information about top-secret plans to destroy the company in its entirety through previously inconceivable means and methods.  They're a nasty bunch, but they're protected by the Division of Fear and we cannot divest them through executive order.  Subtlety and the slow cultivation of dissent will be your blueprint for success.  Meanwhile, Motor Function takes orders equally from all directions.  If you succeed in preventing other departments from reaching them with requisitions for action, you will enjoy a good working relationship with Motor and your directives will receive priority status.

*The Hedonic Suppression Committee.  It is no secret that our subsidiary, the Hedonic Pleasure Center, has been enjoying a hitherto unlimited amount of control over the full company.  They are one of the few branches of the company that has seen perpetual growth and they enjoy solid support from nearly every department.  How?  By pulling the wool over their eyes and telling them the company is faring extremely well.  This is a load of tripe.  That is why I have selected board members hailing from the Rational Action Control Center to head this committee.  Current trends show that Hedonics has not diversified in many years.  It has focused all of its attention on eating for pleasure.  This practice has consistently drained resources from multiple areas of the company and until now, Hedonics has successfully evaded any efforts by Rational Action to audit and shed light on this.  Committee, you must hire staff and train them well, as your task is to successfully supplant Hedonics in what will probably prove to be a hostile takeover.  Fortunately, any appeal they make to our board will fall on deaf ears.  Following the takeover, you will alter policies in such a way as to return a balanced distribution of resources throughout the company.  Hedonics may continue to operate, but it must be reduced to occupying a small suite of offices in the back of the building, functioning only through requests made in triplicate that must be examined and approved by this committee and staff in Rational Action.  The requests will often be ridiculous, but approve one now and then to keep the staff content.  As destructive as they have been, they are nevertheless a regrettably vital part of the company.

"You now know your assignments and have been apprised of the grave position the company is in.  Please begin after lunch today.  Harness any capital or asset that you encounter if it will help you succeed.  I shall expect regular reports of your findings, any unexpected barriers, and innovative solutions.  Thank you for coming.  Oh, mother of god ... Jenkins, wake up.  The meeting is over."  

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