August 12, 2020

Two years ago, I was in a hospital having a heart attack.  I made the decision to let nature take its course.  I had already lived a full, adventurous life, and was grateful for it.

I declined the recommendations of the cardiologist who said I would most likely have a stroke without treatment.  I then made decisions a dying person needed to make.  I kept exercising because I wanted to stay as healthy as I could until I died.  I had, after all, spent many hours exercising since my 20s.

When I was still alive a year and a half later, I stopped planning to die just in case I lived longer.  Some of my strength returned, but the usual deterioration of being in my mid-70s continued.

I was still running out of money, so I began again to wonder what would follow the end of my money.  But, I still believed I would not become long lived enough to be moneyless.  I still owned a house I could sell.  I also began to learn more about fighting for affordable housing and homelessness, two ever-growing, sickening problems in the county I live in.

And then came the pandemic.  My attention turned to dealing with being in lockdown, especially being a car-less prisoner.  But I had a serious problem that most of my neighbors didn’t share — Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS).  It came along with menopause at 50 and hung on.   My body could no longer sleep normal hours.  I turned into an extreme night owl, but still fortunate to be able to sleep 8 good hours at a stretch.  Some with circadian rhythm problems are not so lucky.

My very bad luck was to be living in a building with a unit on the second floor where they were tearing absolutely everything apart piece by piece, to then  reconfigure it.  The cacophony was bad enough.  But the starting time for construction workers begins with the birds, albeit much less sweet and melodious.

Have no doubt.  Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  The contractor finally promises the job is about to end.  But, six months later, I am still being jarred out of a deep sleep too early for my body.  This morning, I crawled to the carport away from my home and slept on a pad on my carport floor to enable sleep with less noise.

In our retirement village where they are going to great lengths to protect us from dying from Covid, I have asked for help, but they don’t care about my problem.  Yes, I’ve tried a variety of earplugs to pull myself through the days, and calmly walk the cool Village at night with the coyotes, skunks, and squirrels.  You see, unlike others my age, my hearing is quite good.  There is no hearing aid I can turn off.  And drugs are not an option.

I have felt nature’s pain for decades now as she and the animals were ravaged, pillaged, destroyed for a variety of motivations.  When I wondered why it was that way, there was a professor at a dinner party long ago who announced that “the big brain experiment was a bust.”  That made instant sense to me, especially living in Los Altos, California, then the 1960s home of ZPG (Zero Population Growth).

Humans are a curious species, indeed.  Gregarious, relentlessly chasing after learning, they accept no boundaries or limitations.  They love power, and easily become so addicted to money, Money, and MORE MONEY.

But they are also very emotional animals, swaying this way and that way in their own sense of importance.    Yes, humans are a somewhat complicated species that brings a rare sense of humor to life.

And yes, they are filled with so many contradictions and paradoxes,  of which kind hearted and cruel only touch on two opposites.  They thrive on hubris.  They strive for immortality as their right.  And they are killing the earth, and their own species.

Long live the doomed ridiculous species!



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