The Peppermint Tea

I’m coming down from the soothing lull of peppermint tea right now. I have a nightly routine in which I brew a pot of peppermint tea and veg out on the couch to give my mind a break. That reminds me. I must get more tea.

The routine works well but sometimes my brain is trapped in convulsion, thinking of the ways and means that might shape my next contribution to the world, and wondering if that addition will give light to someone else. In my younger mind, contributions were about praise. I relied on a smattering of compliments to realize my “safety”.

That idea of safety proved to be my undoing.

This is why I laugh as “We are the poisoned youth” to the tune of “Tom’s Diner” reverberates through my smart phone’s square speaker. It’s deliciously dirty. Of course, Tom’s Diner is transcendent because it’s a subversive melee of being aware and yet unaware. The hilarity of Vega’s track rests on the idea that Vega’s wafting through her life. This wafting is captured in the redundant, ubiquitous chorus line of the song. The chorus line is a audacious coping mechanism, that masquerades itself to commoners as something happy. Those that believe this song is happy only reveal their ignorance.

Psychosomatic. That’s the adjective that describes people in my generation. The generation before us knew their viability. They were instinctively stronger than we are because their life experience taught them to be.

How do you be visible without being super-imposing? That’s the real challenge of those in my position. How are we to contribute without all the stress passed down to us from our parents? How do we graduate to “matter-ing” without wrecking the good we’ve got?

Some people turn to faith. Others poor themselves into work, kids, or family. What about the single men and women existing in the shadow of accomplishment? What do that they do while they wait for a moment of grace that might never arrive?

Some light up weed to escape a mental anguish that cannot be cured because succumbing to mental health treatment is a defeat.

I’m a disabled person, and although I exist in this impenetrable bubble that feigns a steel exterior, I am vulnerable to my environment. Make no mistake, it’s not the world outside that terrifies me. It’s the world inside my head. The inner man is the one who is capable of the most destruction.

Motivation can seem esoteric. Self-help is an industry as deep as reality television. We must shore up our own confidence. Achieving that is difficult when Christian life is telling us macabre ideas like “Pride comes before a fall.”

The Fourth of July is tomorrow. We’re going to celebrate American Independence. I won’t be on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter because the burgeoning swath of “happy” family photos is the last thing I need to see. Not that I seethe with jealousy at families. But real families are never as blissful as the photos that represent them.

If there is one thing I can conclude sufficiently with much corroboration, it’s that Literature saved my sanity. Literature furnished for me a joyful respite. When I fail to connect with people, I connect with perspectives, observations, prose, ephemeral musings, and ornamental semantics.

One day soon I’ll find the humans to share these mysteries with and they will accept it and not tolerate it while trying to hide a painfully obvious discomfort.

Have you ever thought about the peppermint? The elderly always give them away to kids and other adults as a breath freshener. They smell sweet. I only learned recently that peppermint things offer relaxation that rivals chamomile.

Sometimes I’m more pepper than mint. But I cannot apologize for that. I’m the sum of my experiences. While I’m not a virulent man, I’m definitely against shading the facts of life to prevent a maudlin bit of truth or fact.

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