A surefire recipe for disastrous dissatisfaction is to combine cynicism with brain damage. Welcome to my life! I'm not 100% certain how I became cynical, but the root cause is probably based on a defective personality trait of wanting to experience as much as possible. Once that is done, things cease to be amazing or outstanding unless they truly are. The brain damage is primarily through rugby and my younger days where substances that rhymed with schmarijuana and other schmarcotics were liberally used. I have had at least 13 concussions, and as old age is nearing, I am definitely feeling the effects of them. My short term memory is completely shot. It really is going to become a huge issue for my wife and I pretty soon. Imagine early onset Alzheimer's in your mid 40's. I should probably rephrase the last sentence. It's going to be a huge issue for my wife. I won't remember I have dementia.
One of the things about Alzheimer's and dementia is often past memories are still vivid. And that is what I want to discuss today. There is a huge contributor to my cynicism. First, a quick backstory to this. What is the most incredible movie you have ever seen? I'm not talking your favourite movie. Or the best movie ever made. Which, by the way, is The Shawshank Redemption. It's not even opinion, it's confirmed scientific fact. I mean incredible by Avatar standards. Or Star Wars. Or Freddy Got Fingered. Ok, maybe not the last one. Unless you want to talk about incredibly awful. I want to talk about the most incredible movie I have ever seen. I was 17 when I saw it. The one and only experience I have ever had with 'shrooms combined with other substances resulted in several hours that transformed my life. Imagine a movie that was as visually stunning as 300 and Sin City combined with the inspirational theme of Chariots of Fire combined with the sex scenes of The Little Mermaid. I was watching something that gripping and captivating. It was the best cinematic experience that I have ever encountered. It had a cast as star-studded as Oceans 18. I knew when I was watching it that it was a life changing experience. Here is the only problem. I'm describing this movie and you are probably wondering what the hell I am talking about, because if this movie is so great, why haven't you heard of it before. It is because it doesn't exist. In reality, what I was watching was a potato cooking in a microwave. Apparently this was a source of great amusement for my friends at the time, because I sat in front of a microwave for several hours staring at the screen convinced I was watching the greatest movie ever made. It remains one of the most heart wrenching experiences I have gone through when I realized that everything I had just seen wasn't real. Do you know the feeling you get when you walk through a spider web and you think you can still feel some silk many moments later? I still feel that today about that movie.
I am not sure if the rest of you do this, but I swear this is absolutely true. I dream about reading books. In my dreams, the books I am reading are absolutely amazing. Many times the books are written by my favourite authors. Stephen Pressfield has written dozens of books he doesn't know about. John Grisham publishes a book every six months. Wait, he actually does that in real life. Never mind. I am aware enough to realize that I am dreaming, and then my mind goes into hyperdrive trying to memorize every word on the pages. When I wake up, I can't recall anything except the general theme of what I was reading. The only time I have been remotely successful is when I woke up my wife and told her that I dreamed I read a recipe for Bluerito Nachos, and they sounded delicious! Basically it's a dessert designed to look like nachos where the "torilla chip" is a blueberry juice stained graham cracker based chip, the "salsa" is a strawberry, white honeydew and mint concoction, the sour cream is whipped cream, and well, you get the fucking idea. Now that I'm describing it, I'm starting to wonder if these books are as amazing as I think they are.
Armed with the most amazing movie that I've ever seen that doesn't exist and the best books that I've ever read that disappear the moment I wake up, imagine how fun it is to go with me to the movie theater! This is also why I refuse to join a book club. Nobody wants to hear that the book isn't as good as my imaginary version I read last night. I can't be satisfied with the vast majority of the movies I see and the books I read. Damn. That's cynicism with a capital S, bro. Harsh realm.
As an adoptee, we imagine other sorts of things, mostly without the benefit of controlled and uncontrolled substances. We imagine what our life would have been like if we hadn't gotten adopted. We imagine what our biological nuclear family would be. And similarly, if and when we discover in real life what these elements actually are, possibly far too often it doesn't compete with what we had imagined it would be. I was thinking about why so many KADs are nuts, myself included. And I believe there is a cognitive dissonance between what we imagine and hope to be real and what reality actually is. The agonizing problem is that we cannot dwell in the imagination, but we feel its reality because it is so powerful. For me, how I've been able to process this is to become cynical. Nothing in reality is as good as my imagination. Except Westworld. That's pretty damn good. Wait, a second, can someone please confirm that Westworld really exists? Because I hear the alarm clock beeping.
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