Midnight at the Oasis I typically don't remember my dreams, despite what my previous entries on the robot have seemed to imply, so I don't normally know why I wake up in the morning with a song in my head, or lines of dialogue from a book or a movie running on repeat so loudly that I usually wind up spontaneously saying them out loud while in the shower. Earlier this week, I woke up with the word "mellifluous" on repeat: a word I love the sound of, but find myself able to pronounce with the relative ability of a native of Tokyo (I have tested this out on a Tokyo native: I will never lie or engage in hyperbole on happyrobot. Everything you find here is the Word of God from his mouth to my fingertips).
So I was surprised but not shocked this morning to wake up and discover that, for the first time ever, I had not a line or a song in my head, but a conversation. And a conversation that I haven't had yet. But I woke up with it all mapped out in my head, the person I need to have it with, the way it's going to go, what is needed to start it, the whole thing. And it's not one of those, "Son, we need to have a talk" conversations. It's a fairly ordinary conversation, much like waking to have The Emotions "The Best of My Love," stuck in your head even though you haven't heard it since you last saw Boogie Nights. The problem is, when you wake with a song you haven't heard in years, you can just search it out and play it to get it out of your head. It's much more difficult with a conversation. I need to arrange to see this person surreptitiously, and talk to them until they say something that enables me to continue this conversation with them (since it's not something I can just blurt out as a non sequitur).
I think this is probably God punishing me for not celebrating Lent as He thinks I should. God is perverse and subtle this way--always tormenting you just enough so you aren't actually convinced He's doing it, and definitely not enough to make you actually believe in Him if you don't.
Still, Ash Wednesday is my favorite of the Christian holidays that I don't participate in. Much much better than Maundy Thursday. It's never quite so easy any other day to identify in one quick glance exactly those people I don't want to be stuck in an elevator with: just look for one of those with a forehead bearing the Mark of the Anti-Beast, and suddenly find that you "remember" one last thing you need to grab before you head down to 6.
This is hardcoded into our DNA by evolution, because not only in doing so do you avoid protracted exposure to people who might proselytize you into a religion that makes you severely cut down on the sex, but also because...well, let's just say those people with ashen crosses on their heads routine and without question consume "flesh" and "blood" ritually. These are the last people you want to be stuck with for an extended period of time without food. Just think about that for awhile.
And while you're doing so, I'll be raising a glass in their name. Lent is well under way now, and Mardi Gras is a distant memory for those who shouldn't be able to remember it in the first place. Lent marks a sober period of reflection and sacrifice for those of you who are into this whole reflective sobriety and sober sacrifice thing. As for me, Lent marks a period where it's easiest to notice my particular perversity: I find indulgence to be infinitely more satisfying when I know it's verboten, and I know there are others out there denying themselves the enjoyment that I'm having. The Greeks knew this, and their most horrific punishments involve denying people the thing they most wanted. Who wouldn't kill for wine pressed from the grapes hanging just out of reach of Tantalus? Indulge yourself! As Robert Heinlein wrote, moderation is for monks!
Of course, at its extremes, this can lead to attempts to make cocktails out of NyQuil and cheap vodka when you should be bedridden. But shit, man, it sure beats parsimony. Especially since I spent an entire month with no real vices what-so-ever.
All of this is building up to the real point: that you can't give up your vices--especially drinking--the same week as Valentine's Day, no matter how strong you are (this entire post was not intended to be the first robowriter to complain about V-Day--getting out a good whinge before it gets lost in a sea of "fuck V-Day" cliches is just a fringe benefit. Also a good antidote to the "I Love My Boyfriend!" bullshit that others may in fact put up).
Actually, that's not really a "real point." You either like Valentine's Day or you hate it, and I don't carry enough weight with any of y'all to change your mind--and I'm betting the few who I might carry enough weight with...well, you already hate Valentine's Day, so you're with me on this. Besides, all arguments for and against Valentine's Day were articulated to you sometime back in Junior High, so a "Fuck V-Day!" post is pretty much the height of cliche, like a comedian's routine that mentions anything having to do with flying.
Anyway, so it's Valentine's Day. So what? A friend of mine from college recently referred to me as the World's Original Sex Camel. As far as I can tell, she means that I'm able to survive long dry spells without having to dip my head into an oasis. I guess I'll be alright.
So unless anyone has a better idea, I'll just celebrate Valentine's Day the way it should be celebrated: with a bottle of Ole Granddad and a Bangladeshi hooker. I'll see y'all on the other side of the bender.