6 Little NotesSubmitted by electrictoothsyndrome at 2006-03-01 12:49:48 EST
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This is turning out to be one of those days I'd rather not be alive - and the day's just started.
I wonder sometimes what is chemically going on in my brain on days like this. Did the serotonin eject from my penis in the night during that nice dream? Oh yea, that's right, I didn't have any nice dreams.
So many dreamless nights strung together can't be good for a person. It's like so many loveless relationships. After a while, I guess, you just don't miss it.
Sometimes I fantasize about retreat. Escape. Running away from the rat race. Then I realize that I'm not really in that either. Besides, that's just not that practical - running away - so instead I fantasize about murder - about lining up all those people that piss me off along a long wall and turning the crank of a Gattling on them.
I heard somewhere once that although the Gattling gun was in use during the Civil War, the army didn't use them very often because they were too expensive. Soldiers were only expensive if they were alive. Better to send them in, I guess, than pay them. I could be wrong...seeing as the source of this information is my brain. Hasn't exactly been reliable lately.
Sometimes I guess you just get tired of looking for alternate sources of information - just like you eventually get tired of forging your dreams and, instead, settle for being dreamless. Dreams get overgrown quicker than you think. Blink and you miss 'em.
The mind is a thicket. I don't even know how I get to work most days. I just sorta end up there, like I've sleepwalked the whole way. Or sleep-driven.
I instinctively pour myself a coffee and plop down in my faux leather office chair while I wait for Windows to boot. Most times I close my eyes during this process. I could use the extra rest. I could use a vacation. I could use a nervous breakdown. I need to double-check my insurance policy. I think they cover things like that. A lengthy stay in a cuckoo bin could be just the thing I need...six months staring at an off-white wall while searching my soul for color. Nowhere to be. No one to please. Sounds too good to be true, I guess.
I open my eyes at the behest of the Windows startup jingle. Those six notes must have made someone exceedingly rich. Those six notes echo in cookie-cutter, fluorescent-lit buildings and over cramped corner desks in homes around the globe every single day. I often wonder who wrote that little tune...those six little notes. Did they come to him in a dream? I wish my dreams would go so far. I wish I had dreams.
I wonder if it was a work for hire or if the composer gets royalties from some magical counter that tabulates the number of times Windows users restart their computers and, thus, play that song. It pisses me off to think about it. Either way, I lose. I didn't write those six notes. I don't own them. Though by now, I suppose nobody does. It's like classical music. Might as well not charge people for something they've heard so often they could just play it in their minds. I've thought about disabling that little startup jingle, but then, what would remind me to open my eyes? Besides, I guess it makes me feel connected to keep it on.
It's strange, you know, to think about the difference between your life and a computer. To think that for all our attempts to distinguish ourselves from animals, we've only aligned ourselves more closely with them.
"It's our capacity for rationale," they say, "that distinguishes us from animals." This always makes me laugh. And hearing that Windows jingle reminds me of the truth...that six little notes still have power over us despite all our rationale.
To be fair, some point to our capacity for recognizing beauty and art that makes us different from both animal and computer, but I don't reckon that's a very conclusive study seeing as I can't remember the last time someone asked an animal what was 'beauty'. But really, who gives a shit what animals think anyway? We rarely even take the time to care what other people think, why should we care what animals think?
I liken the search for that spark of humanity in animals and computers to listening for microwave signals from deep space for intelligible patterns. The signal takes thousands of years to cross the distance between our planet and the ones we're listening to, so why bother really? Unless we figure out a way to travel there in a reasonable timeframe, it wouldn't do us much good to know if ET was out there 100,000 years ago, would it?
I heard somewhere that they sent a radio signal into space that contained a mathematical code that contained graphs and pictures representing things on earth, our genetic code, and the like. I guess we figure if we can't infest their planet by going there, we can trick them into developing humans from scratch. Someone should tell them not to play God, 'cause they might be unlucky enough to stumble across his image in a code. I think it might be a cruel, but funny, joke to send all our major religious texts along with our genetic code...just to mix things up a bit.
I think I also heard that some less ambitious team had sent a capsule into space containing objects from our culture here on earth, you know, the sort of thing you might bury in your back yard, but they sent it into space instead. Elvis records...that sort of thing.
I wonder if they sent Microsoft's six little notes. I wonder if an alien race might already have discovered those same six notes. And I wonder if that would spark an interstellar copyright suit. Who would have jurisdiction over interstellar law? Just like on earth, I figure, it would depend on who had the bigger guns.
I look at my coffee and notice it's running low. Time for a refill and perhaps a smoke... People often talk about the addictive properties of tobacco, but caffeine is often underestimated in its addictive properties.
It's a vicious cycle, caffeine. You didn't sleep well last night, so you gulp down that black life-blood all morning until you reach something resembling a normal state. Then as the day wears on, your energy finally catches up with you just in time for bed. Then you lie awake for hours while the precious minutes tick by. Every so often you roll over to see how many you've lost, and it's always more than you expected. Eventually you make it to something resembling 'sleep' only to discover your alarm clock is now screaming at you in its singularly annoying way, and it's time to do it all over again.
Pretty soon you realize those minutes have stretched into years and you realize that a whole portion of your life is gone...sleepwalking.
Yesterday, as usual, I went into the break room and someone had taken the last of the coffee without starting a new pot. So I put a new pot on and, on a whim while I waited, I decided to check out the literature on the back of the can of creamer.
Did you know that coffee creamer has absolutely ZERO nutritional value? I didn't know that until yesterday. Why even bother printing the panel if it's all a bunch of zeros? Why not just print in big bold letters: "THIS PRODUCT IS USELESS TO YOUR BODY, BUT YOU WILL PUT IT IN YOUR COFFEE ANYWAY"? Seems reasonable enough. I guess my plan to stock my bomb shelter with coffee creamer is out.
Strange, though, that for something with zero nutritional value, it sure contains a lot of soybean oil. I think I heard once that soybeans are supposed to be good for you. But now that I think about it, it seems counterintuitive to trust something that can be burned as fuel. But I just thought about it again and realized that would mean I distrusted all the atoms in the universe and that kind of hatred just seems a little excessive even for me.
Oh, but to shut this brain up for a little while without feeling like total shit!
It's always a trade off. I leave it on and it runs away – even into the wee hours of the morning. I turn it off and it's back to sleepwalking and "how did I get here"?
For now, I seem to have written myself awake. My eyes are open and my head is clear.
I think, today, I'll throw a monkey wrench in the system and restart my computer just to hear those six little notes again.
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