Sunday, September 25, 2005

Post Employment Fever!

Author's note: To be read with snappy-rhythmed samba in the background, like the music to the end credits of "Brazil."

When I got fired Friday I was in a sort of surreal euphoria. I had meant to go to the tea shop in chinatown. But I ended up at the Time Square stop. And there was some music—the guy was playing "Brazil" on a cheesy keyboard and it was really danceable, and he had the little dancing figures moving their butts. And I aped the moving figures. It was a good moment. I was just left reeling, and I could dance in the 42nd street subway station. And then I danced over to the scientology table. I started talking to them as I grooved. One guy asked me if I was stressed yeah. Heck, I just got fired. He wanted to know if I knew the book he got. Dianetics. Of course, I said. You know what's it's about? Yeah, like emotional tone scales and such. Well, he said, that's part of Scientology. But this is Dianetics, he said. But it's all part of a continuum of the philosophy or whatever, I said, right?. He wanted to know how I knew about emotional tone scales. I said I dabble in esoterica. I'm interested in ideas. Then some other people came up and sat down to use the magnetized emotion readings. And so I danced along to the infectious beat over to another Sci-Fi table. And I sat down and I picked up the pair of cylindrical emotion meters. I said how do these work? And she told me to sit down and hold the electronic emotion readers. She asked me if I had any stress. I said, heck yeah, I just got fired today. I was futzing with the cylinders and she told me not to move around. I said it was hard not to move because the music was so fun—really makes you want to dance, and she smiled and said , yeah. But I have to be still she said. And we looked at the metered over the right part of the scope—that's the stress area. And she told me to think of something stressful; I said, laugning, that that was easy! I just got fired! And so the stress meter went to the far end. I watched it dutifuly. It was wavering a bit, but it mostly commited itself to the upper range. Okay, she said,
think about something else stressful. Okay I said. And tried to think of something else stressful. And I said you'll have to excuse me, I'm having trouble thinking of something else. That's okay. Take your time. Okay, I said, I'm thinking about something else. I was thinking about the lack of female companionship in these vast tracts of my short life, and I pinpointed it down in my mind. But I was still reeling in the wake of being fired just an hour previous. I told her I was thinking about this other problem, but I can't get the idea that I was just fired out of my head. It was just really making me so angry. She said that was okay. She asked if I knew this book. Dianetics. And I said of course. I said Of course, L Ron Hubbard. He was a science fiction book writer. I used to read some of his stuff. Most of it isn't any good. But I read this one called The Lietenant and it was pretty darn good post-apocalyptic story about how everything is in chaos and this army lietenant leads his army, trying to get in touch with the rest of the armed forces, trying to bring law to a lawless land—I think he gets shot at the end. She nodded her head with those cult-glazed eyes, because she didn't seem to care, muttered something about how she knew he was a writer—I said I don't think The Lietenant in print any more, but you should check it out-- she handed me the book and made me read the back cover. And it said something about our „reactive mind“ and I said, what's the „reactive“ mind? And she said that it's a place where all your bad thoughts and feelings go. Why is it called reactive, I said, I mean not every one of our mental processes that are „reactive“ are bad. For instance, if I'm too close to the subway when it's coming out of the tunnel on past the platform my mind reacts automatically by making me step away from the dangerous zooming machine! You're missing the point, she said. The reactive mind is where all our bad thoughts come from. Well, why is it called „reactive?“ Isn't that a sloppy term? You should call it a „negative reactive mind“ or something. And she said that I was missing the point. So I left her off the hook on that one and I read more of the back cover. And it said that if you get rid of the reactive mind then you get rid of your stress. That's very problematic idea for me, but I didn't go into detail because I was distracted by the quotes on the bottom of the page. There was one from John Travolta, and another by Chick Corea. I said, Oh Chick Corea! He's great. Well, I mean his old stuff was great. Oh yes! She said. Yeah. He was in this group in the early seventies called Circle, and it was with Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton—Toni Braxton's dad by the way! I said—and Sam Rivers, brilliant musician, and I think it was Stanley Clarke (or was it Dave Holland—Stanley Clark and Chick hooked up later, maybe) and Chick Corea with Barry Altschul—an amazing drummer, I said. He's really great. It was great band. (And, yes K-man, and other Jazzheads, I think I got the Circle -line-up wrong) and they called their band Circle because they were going to circle through all the world's different belief systems. And they tried buddhism and Islam and whatever and when they got to Scientology Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke decided to stick with it and the band broke up and Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke started Return to Forever which I liked when I was kid but in retropect they were terrible. And then my cellphone rang so I was off the hook, I said I had to take this call and I stood up and took the call and didn't return to the scientologist table.

1 comment:

error said...

It's too bad you left. You could have ended your stress forever, if you just became a scientologist.

Although, personally, i think dancing is a better way.