Saturday, December 5, 2015

When the news gives you nightmares

In my dream, I was hanging out with George W. Bush. He had just won re-election again. He seemed like a regular guy. I asked him what he thought of Donald Trump. I said to myself, compared to Trump, he doesn't seem so bad. (I think I got this in my brain because I read somewhere that now Mitt Romney doesn't seem so bad.)

We walked by an old boyfriend. The boyfriend gave Bush a half-hearted congratulations, saying, "Congratulations...I guess." Then he started screaming at Bush, and I had to drag him out of the room. I said that if he wanted to get anything done, he would need to speak more calmly. I knew why he hated Bush so much, because I felt the same way. "If it weren't for his bombing of Iraq, the Islamic State would not have arisen from the chaos," I said.

We had a meeting. Bush said he couldn't remember what Planned Parenthood does. I said, "It provides vital healthcare to women." Then, someone started a fire. I bunch of us were running, running, unable to see where we were going. I ran through the Wesleyan campus and then wanted to get to Vassar. I asked Siri for walking directions, but she was busy talking to some people I could hear in the background. "Pay attention to your job!" I yelled.

We found our way out of the smoke and ended up at a little house where the people took us in. I was drenched from running in the rain and needed a warm shower. We looked out to the road and saw a stream of people coming to the house (refugees?) The owners said they didn't know how they could accommodate all those people, but they let us in and we had to scramble up some small stairs to where we could take that shower. (I think we still had Bush with us.)

I was missing school, no, actually it was work. But the worst part was when I looked in my bag and saw that I had only one of the boots that I had bought in Spain. I said I'll never replace it. Someone said it's probably in your other suitcase, and I hoped it was. I think this comes from having thought I lost one of the earrings Katie had bought me in Rome, and being so down on myself for not putting the little plastic thingies on the back, and then finding it in the couch.

Well, that covers just about everything.

After going to the Odyssey with a friend on Small Business Saturday last week and buying some books that I want to read, I bemoaned the fact that I am don't read as many books as I would like to. She asked what I was doing. I said, reading the newspaper, watching the news, checking out Twitter, checking Facebook, starting first thing in the morning. She said the news can wait and suggested I get up and read a book.

The next day, I read a story headlined, Addicted to Distraction. The author wrote that he was horrified to find that when reading a book, he realized he was reading the same line over and over, having lost the ability to concentrate. It is an interesting story that probably speaks to many of us. Among his distractions was "hungrily searching for new tidbits about the presidential campaign." He tried a detox just to see if he could do it. He succeeded, partially, but then drifted back.

I grew up needing to know. When we went on vacation, my father bought two copies of The New York Times so nobody would have to wait. My mother took hers to bed at night. She, too, sometimes had trouble getting to a book because she needed to read the paper first. We discussed politics and current events. It is not by chance that I found my way to a newspaper job.

The world is a train wreck; the Republican race is scary. It is hard to turn your head away. But clearly a break is in order. I am going to spend a lot of time reading a book this weekend. My only schedules events are walking Maddie and going to yoga. But first, I have to read The New York Times and check the TV news.

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