Saturday, May 9, 2015


"You're getting very sleepy." -- "Am not."

Have you ever been hypnotized? Me neither. I don’t think I can be. I don’t think I’m smarter
than other people, I just think that perhaps I’m a bit more reasonable. Are there actually people on the planet who will get sleepy if you tell them that they’re getting sleepy?

“Your eyes are getting heavy.” What? No they’re not. I wish I could be talked into being sleepy, but I find I’m unable to suspend reality long enough for a notion like that to grip me. Reason can be such a curse.  

Have you seen that video on YouTube where a baby is in bed crying, and the mother takes a light cloth and continually wafts it over the baby’s face? Magically, the baby, little by little, quits crying and then goes to sleep.

I almost believe this will work, but probably only with chloroform applied to the cloth. It’s just hard to believe that it took thousands and thousands of years for word to get out about this magical process. People have recently tried auto trips, vacuum cleaner rides, walking while rocking, sitting while singing and rocking… But no one thought to try the cloth moving gently across the bawling kid’s face. I assure you, I would’ve come up with that before I would the vacuum cleaner ride.

My sister, Jill, is easy to hypnotize. She actually quit smoking after being hypnotized. The doctor or counselor started out telling her to make her toes relax, then her entire foot and then her legs. Jill said that by the time he got to her neck she was a ragamuffin. The guy started telling her about how bad cigarettes tasted to her. The smoke was nauseating. He told her to keep repeating, “I will never smoke again.”  

Jill said that after that, when someone would ask if she smoked, she’d say, “I will never smoke again.” She said she’d just blurt it out without even thinking about what she was saying.

Unfortunately, the hypnotism only worked with smoking. Jill has tried to get rid of a host of other bad habits, but it just hasn’t worked as well. Did you know that Jill types conversations in her head while listening to people? Well, she does, and the doctor can’t make her stop.

Jill even says that she’s got a happy place where she goes when she gets angry or overly concerned about stuff. She asked where my happy place is. No one’s ever asked me that. And that’s a good thing, ‘cause I don’t have a happy place. Can’t think of one.

I used to enjoy sitting beneath the tall pines on the campus of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. I’d sit out there at night or between classes and just think of stuff, which is perfectly normal ‘cause I haven’t learned how to NOT think of stuff. My mind will not go blank. Oh, I’ll forget what I’m trying to say, but my mind doesn’t shut down. It’s just refuses to pull up the thing I’m trying to remember.

After all that, I don’t consider the SFA site a happy place, ‘cause even when I was sitting beneath the pine, I worried about chemistry class, homework, and research papers. Always worrying.

The four Hayter brothers once went on a mountain hike between Silverton and Durango in Colorado. It was the most beautiful country we’d ever seen. And, I would’ve enjoyed it had I been able to breathe. I had to walk in a stoop for four days while carrying a 75 pound backpack over rocky terrene. The only way I could breathe was to stop and force my body to stand up straight so I could actually inhale.

Big Al would say, “Wow! Just look at that valley down there.” All I could do was mumble between gasps, “Somebody kill him.” No, it was beautiful scenery filled with memories of sheer agony. Not that many happy thoughts escaped that trail.

There’s a large pond in a part of the National Forest west of New Waverly. It’s out in the boonies in an area that used to be the site of an old sawmill town. My good friend Rodger Parker took me there once. (Virginia’s Dad) The water on that pond was so calm. It held a reflection like dark glass. I’ve visited the location several times and have never met another soul out there.

Still, Camp Letcher is not a happy place for me. As I look over the area, I imagine the people who used to live there and how hard they must’ve had it. And, how most of ‘em are bound be gone by now. I thoroughly enjoy imagining the history of old home sites, but I wouldn’t care to live in those times.

When I explained all of this to Jill, she said, “You gooberhead! (dunderbutt) You don’t have to pick a place where you’ve actually been! You just make up a happy place.” I didn’t tell her how stupid that sounded, ‘cause I didn’t want to ruin her happy place. I would’ve ruined Al’s.

No, I consider it cheating to make up my own happy place. I just don’t have the state of mind to be happy about a place I’ve never been. I way over-think stuff.

However, I am tempted to have Kay move a light cloth gently across my face for a few minutes tonight. After talking about all of these mind trips, I’m feeling the least bit gullible enough to believe that the cloth across the face may just put me to sleep. I’ll even pretend to be crying if it helps. I’ll let you know. – Next time.


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