As good as a cuppa

I had slipped into sleep and fell deeply.

Ten hours later.

I microwave a cup of coffee from an old pot.

Function over taste.

Immediacy and no waste.

I snatch the cup by its handle, immediately after the ding.

Heat radiates into the nerve endings of my fingers and palm.

Too quickly. Hot sensation becomes burning.

I hold the cup midair, as the realization is apprehended.

I will my hand to stay clasped about the handle.

I lower the mug to the counter.

No spill. Nothing dropped. No broken glass.

It takes two seconds but the difference seemed an odyssey.

Time slowed as I accomadated° a mini-crisis.

°Courted a-coma-date.

A Comma.

I pay attention to your punctuation.

68 Coffeecake/86 Crab. tuesday

If you comment: it’s not exactly rocket science, you sound like you think you are a rocket scientist.

The silver couple arrives. She forgets my name but gives me a new one each day. Curly Sue. Dimples.

Today, I am Goldilocks.

She asks the bartender my name when she thinks I cannot hear. She suggests I read the poem Casey at the Bat. Hum, huh.

The village beach preservation busy body society has two tables held for them. One for the men and one for the women. Twelve seats total. Only three women come. They talk the politics of healthcare and about the addicts in their lives.

Our speakers play almost decent, easy listening blues. If you can imagine such a thing. Almost-Stevie Ray Vaughan comes on.

Nearly-Suite: Judy Blue Eyes plays.

We are slow enough that I actually noticemusic is playing.

And, time moves slowly now.

The reservation for six at noon became 4 at fifteen ’til

.All named Pat.

“You are pulling my leg, right?”

“No! It’s Pat’s Day. Okay, now I am kidding you about that. We are all named Pat.”

He and the other Pat (only two have arrived) laugh uproariously.

Mike comes by to make a reservation.

He shows me his Book of Answers.

“My wife found this in 2000. Ask a question and flip to any page.”

He carries a green street sign in a plastic sleeve under his left arm, hugged against his ribs.

He adds:”You don’t have to tell me the question.”

I silently ask the question on my mind.

Tolle Lege.

The page I flip to, it reads:

it is not guaranteed.

That figures: I think.

The thing about which I framed my inquiry is not guaranteable.

He and Tony will return for lunch tomorrow.

A regular left me this.

Cartesian-ism

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

_____________________________________________

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” say the lesser apes.

“You’ll see it when you believe it,” you said.

Cogito, ergo sum.

What René Descartes is remembered as saying.

Je pense, donc je suis.

How Descartes first wrote it.

I think therefore I am.

(tautological?)

“Whatever I have up until now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the senses.” (7:18 Principles)

But Descartes feared a deceptive God or an evil eternal deceiver.

Could he trust the apprehensions of his physical senses?

He could not disprove that his sensations were not the result of deception; so he dove into doubt. How is sensation different from perception?

“We have a true or genuine perception of something if, when we consider it, we cannot doubt it…In the face of genuine clear and distinct perception, our affirmation of it is so firm that it cannot be shaken, even by a concerted effort to call those observed things into doubt. (7:145 Meditations)

Descartes tried to free us from “I’ll believe it when I see it.” He tried to disavow the authority and immediacy of knowing the world through sense and sensations. He did not believe that his five senses could apprehend truth in a way that overcame his doubt.

He found doubt and did not believe.

His belief was not dependent on sensual stimulation.

I’ll see it when I believe it.

I think therefore I am.

Perceptions that I cannot find a scrap of a reason to doubt, may be genuine.

So, we doubt the hell out of everything; and, if we exhaust every doubt of which we may conceive, we firm up our grasp of reality. Through dint of doubt, all doubt is removed. This is intellect.

“I think.” He couldn’t find a doubt about it, so he allowed his capacity for thought and doubt to validate his existence- that he “is.”

His sensations could be virtual reality, so he doubted what he saw.

When he had no doubt that he “thought”, he then believed he truly “was.”

—————————————————-

Empiricism resists and refuses the subjective realm, and is founded on a principle of obtaining information via senses and standardized measurements.

Science, empiricism, and Western culture say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

I got a (dumb) cell phone in 2002.

My family got dial up internet in our home around 1998.

Before the mid-1990’s, we could not be in two places at once (physical, say, a restaurant, and cyberspace).

The advent of Facebook, Instagram, selfies, social media and internet culture creates a condition for, “I’m seen therefore I am.” I validate myself and reality by reproducing images of myself digitally which I post to get views online. I act the role of myself in a construction that I calculate. I show what I want when I want to in the hopes others will come to know me as I have shown myself to be.

My sister’s generation operates on “I’m seen therefore I am.”

Little digitally savvy savages.

Groups eating together and everyone has a screen. Silicon is always in hand. Take it away and they sweat.

The viewpoint of this age group: I am capable of being observed by others, this validates that I “am.”

The desire to be seen, get friended, followed, liked, hits is the want of confirming and calculable feedback that digital you has been observed and accepted by others. The cyber persona may be chosen moment to moment, so to speak. Day to day personas are less so chosen.

They’ll believe it when they see it.

Yeah, we’ll cure cancer,

And pigs can fly,

God exists,

Well, that is, I’ll believe it when I see it’s already been done.

The more individuals who say likewise, then the less individuals we have working to solve these problems. Presumably, the people waiting to see it will not be trying to manifest it. Why would they?

To them it is impossible until somebody else says, “I’m going to believe it is a possibility to cure cancer, and then I will find out if I can realize that possibility, perceive it.”

There is a lovely lack of cynicism in “I’ll see when I believe it.” There is a proper dash of humility regarding our own self-awareness.

————————————————————–

“I’ll believe when I see.”

This, however, indicates an inherent incredulity and it absolves the self of accountability.

That which cannot be seen or sensed stands on unbelievable ground.

“I’m seen therefore I am.” I see myself and receive systematic, calculable feedback that others have seen me. This validates that I am. I can show it you, point at it.

Alternatively, “I think so I am” puts the onus of doubt back on any given individual. She talks of what can or cannot be seen/perceived at this time. She does not have to state a belief position. This frees the mind in the sense that here belief follows one’s own perceptions, and, perceptions may be addressed through the process of doubt. I do not choose my beliefs as much as I become aware of them. I do not choose to believe based on what I have or have not perceived.

My beliefs are revealed to me by the things I perceive and then I am unable to doubt them. What I see allows me to come to know my beliefs and tweak them. My belief in the possibility of things does not necessitate their appearance.

I’ll see less things on earth than things I will see in this lifetime. Shall I really constrain myself to such a small set of experiential data?

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

Monday’s Hostess

It is nearly sunny over Puget sound by eight a.m.

My feet pound pavement. Walking to work.

A simple luxury of the highest order.

A man hugs three people outside the osteria,

one at a time,

ring around the roses style.

Lighting a cigar, he and his bulldog walk away and across the street to

my side of the road.

They precede me by about six feet as we walk.

I inhale deeply the spirals of smoke that follow him.

I feel less sheepish about the plumes of vapor I emit.

He stops to let me pass.

“Don’t want you breathing my fumes.”

“I was enjoying it.”

I was enjoying it, too.

“Showbiz Kids” comes through my cans.

Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy.

Five minutes later, I arrive at the cozy, little bistro located on Main Street. Two blocks from the water. I see the beach town’s Monday morning is already in full swing. Live and bumping with mostly silverhairs, at this hour.

The exception being a thirty-something couple that I wager is still out from last night.

They drink a lot of water.

(No one likes ice in their water here.)

I hum my hellos to the front of house crew.

I get mumbles back. It is early.

I announce my hellos to the back of house who are singing a song in Spanish that I have never heard. They wave enthusiastically. They have been here three hours longer than front of house.

Their coffee already kicked in.

11:05 a.m.

and, the sun finally asserts itself, breaking free from behind clouds.

This thrills and disappoints.

I am already sweating. The A/C unit has not worked since I started.

I am used to the heat from my former life.

I hear garbled voices rise:

“[Something, something, something] Moroccan immigrants!”

Followed by:

“[Something, something, something] So what?! People look at you funny? Big deal.”

I doubt he knows what that feels like, but

what do I know?

As he leaves, I smile and offer the obligatory: “Thanks for coming in. Have a good day.”
He halts.

“No!” he says, then approaches me.

Stepping in close.

“I had a friend and when people told him to have a good day, he’d say, “Don’t you ever tell me what to do.” “

I laugh and I mean it.

“Well, in that case, I sure hope you have an awful day,” I say with nonchalance.

He looks confused then smiles.

“This one, huh?” he says to no-one, indicating me with a finger.

“Didn’t you learn pointing at people is impolite?”