the little man in the control room up in the top floor of my skull asked himself about the little man in the control room up in the top of his own... what kind of vehicle were we riding into the sunset, or maybe walking. never before have i been given this many different numbers about myself. i now know what all a whole variety of chemicals in my blood do and how much happened to be in those little plastic containers the nurse filled from a vein in my arm. there is a harmony to all of the values somehow. my mother and i spent an hour or so comparing the english, german and latin names. and then she also somehow tried to look for patterns as if she wanted to confirm that i am indeed her son. our blood systems are clearly separate now. not only have i not been part of her for more than 38 years, i also live in a different time zone, with a very different nutrition system for over 12 years now. i bet a lot of my hair is now made out of corn, and soya and apparently also some heavy metals. it was bad enough for the department of health call me from albany. a friendly man explained to me that i was not being poisoned by some russian spies. i must have eaten too much of predatory fish about three days before my blood test. too much of fish that was too big. "how big are the fish you eat?" the doctor asked me. "when they arrive on my plate they tend to be about this size." i answered like a real jerk. so there. it apparently is true. eating too much of "high quality" tuna will make the mercury levels even in my blood go through the roof. and then they will keep going. and then a little more. but supposedly the mercury in the tuna is not the same stuff that i must have collected plenty of growing in one of the most polluted areas of europe in the 70's. the tuna mercury apparently somehow leaves the body after a few days? the other stuff not as easily? it could also be a complete fabrication by the little man inside of my skull, trying to make himself feel good. not quite dead yet. still walking up the hill. somewhere. somehow. and then there was the wii fit. i have been at least measuring my weight for 31 days, daily now. and during that time i somehow lost 9 pounds. without really doing anything... almost. but then the wii fit is also not the most scientific way to keep track of one's weight. the funny wii board on screen suggests that i could use it to weigh objects, for example. the printed instructions refine that information. the objects would need to be about 7 pounds, or the data will not be any good. still, this is a beginning. i now can keep my hips in a rotary motion, while looking at the television for 10 minutes. and that's not the pro level yet. looking forward to the 30 minute version. i also managed to keep still and look at a slowly burning candle. and i also did especially well in the exercises where wii just trusts me that i am doing something. and i actually do something. (amy holds 9 out of 10 records in ski jump. pretty amazing.) and then there was my carbon footprint. i received a WIND Power Certificate in the mail just yesterday. it looks like i purchased 523kWh of wind power generated electricity into the system. i thought it was a lot until christine at work showed me her certificate. 4980kWh maybe? about ten times my amount? should i have left the freezer on after all? had the air conditioning running all through december? should i have switched my light bulbs to have finger thick filaments? it just occurred to me that christine might be using an electric stove. and she might also be cooking more and that i am fooling myself quite a bit by not doing that enough. (hmm...) so yes, i used wind power only to keep the house bright at night and to even power the wii fit and my buddy tivo (and this mac.) but what about the daily ride to work? what about the lunches composed of often exotic foods that did not make it here by sailboat, i am sure. what about the magazines i have subscriptions to. the books i often buy in europe. okay, i do not have a car, have not had one for 12 years. i have managed to reduce the number of my flights by using conference calls. even the office where i work is powered completely by renewable energy. (that's a lot of computers.) but there is so much hidden stuff. so many hidden pieces of information. so much i have no idea of. ... okay, things are hopefully not so bad. the first step here is that i am much more aware of my action now. that guy who was disgusted when he first saw that coffee was served in thick styrofoam cups when he arrived in the us for the first time in 1993 is back. i am not a person who hugs trees, but i actually enjoy training some in my apartment. i am not a person who will stop eating lemons because they are flown in from california, but i plant some of the seeds and am beginning to have a little collection of little lemon buddies here. (they are pretty funny plants if you ask me.) i see the world a bit differently again. i am now again reminded that i am as much part of the bigger system as a toxic cloud over a forest... or an oil spill on a beautiful beach?... so that plenty of data about me was a good thing. i will not think about it too much right now, maybe. writing this much about it is plenty. plenty. i wonder if the electricity that powers your computer comes from a clean source. i fool myself into thinking that my electricity comes from here. and i know that there is not an extension cord from the wethersfield farms that goes all the way to the outlet that powers my chumby. but it does feel pretty awesome that the new yorkers who have chosen to switch to "clean power" reduced CO2 emissions by 450,000,000 pounds per year (i guess they used pounds because 225,000 tons does not sound as spectacular?) and that this is comparable to planting 160000 trees and taking over 37000 cars off the road. now i do not know about the size of cars taken off the road. i do know thought, that planting a tree is really just the beginning. i have some 70 trees growing on my balcony right now. and they fit into a bunch of boxes. and watering them will probably eat some energy for a while. it is going to take them a looong time to actually start eating any of the pollution outside my window. but still. a large amount of small deals, makes a big deal. so i feel like something is changing. and since i am a human and dull and only able to perceive change... it feels like i am actually alive. and that makes the man inside of the man inside of the man who wrote this... a little happier. there is obviously no man inside of a man inside of a... but that a completely different story... or actually... it is not one. and that's great too.
June 2008 Archives
it is almost every day that i switch trains at west 4th street. i am not the only person to do so, of course. if i were, there would probably be no way to switch trains there. i get out of the f train, walk up two flights of stairs, wait for the e train and then take a seat on the east side of the car, so when the sardine box fills up with all those long islanders and new jersians at 34th street, as well as all those upstaters, westchesters and connecticuters at 42nd street i still have a chance slip out the almost closing door at 50th street. (that's where work wants me.) so almost every day i switch trains. i switch from the f to the e, at west 4th. yesterday the train switched on me at west 4th. instead of me taking the stairs and waiting for the e, it was the f that switched the tracks, turned to an e, and delivered me without a transfer to 50th street and 8th avenue. i remained in my seat. just me. i was the only person left in the car when all stood clear of the closing doors. it felt very unusual to have this happen to me. though i guess i actually happen to it? it felt as if the train had switched. and it did. except that i was there, really enjoying it. i was late and there, it happened. as if i wanted the fruit from a high branch and the tree just fell. as if i were a hand longing for a clap and... ... hmm... somehow though every ride on every train is a gigantic miracle. and every seat on any given morning is a bit of a miracle too. and it is not the tree falling that is the miracle. the tree itself and the fruit on it is. or the space around it is. the sets of stairs on west 4th street are. the thought of the stairs is. trains running below ground at all times are. the metal their wheels are made of and the tracks on which they run, touching with just a tiny portion of their circumference, again and again, seemingly never ending, or perhaps never not. at the end of the day what i found out was that there happens to be too much train in me. i will need to donate some of myself somewhere, to reduce the amount of train track in my body. here we are that one huge living thing. a miracle amazed by itself. look at it. here is the inside of your eyes, between this word here and the thought of it in you. and yet they are both just openings to the thought that builds the world and makes trains switch.