Let me get my review of the Democratic debate over with. I watched it in the showroom of an electronics store on Los Gatos Blvd. in the eponymous city, where Hillary's face was duplicated fifteen times around the room which, though slightly disorienting in terms of telepathic reception, did allow me to collect the basics. When Clinton argued that even though she was a first lady, a senator and a secretary of state, she is a Washington outsider because she's a woman, I focused all my energies on her inner thoughts. There were none. She was just throwing out a well-rehearsed line. She already knew who would buy it and who would not- everything was anticipated. Sanders displayed a similar well-rehearsed delivery accompanied by a similar non-reflective interior. One note of interest: Buried deep in his left hemisphere, Sanders carries the moment years ago when he figured out that if he did a few mildly radical things in his youth, he could carry the term "progressive" with him the rest of his life. He foresaw that his colleagues in Congress would tolerate him for opposing the Iraq War and the Patriot Act because he had no expectation of prevailing on these issues. Prevailing would have ruined his career plans. I located an archive in Sanders' brain recording a memory in which he figures out how he will use the terms "socialist" and "progressive" for an appreciative electorate in Vermont, then downplay those terms for a national audience. His big anxiety is his cave to gun manufacturers and his opposition to the Brady Bill, which Sanders deemed necessary so that Vermont hunters would not trash his career hopes. When the NRA gave him a D- because of his lip service to other gun control ideas, he was relieved and uses this D- in all responses to gun control questions.
I must apologize to readers who were expecting more on the debate. I found this one really boring and depressing. What did it have to do with the crises of our species: the disappearance of settled culture, the inability of the state or the global consumer machine to substitute for the missing culture? Not to mention war and genetic engineering, the unholy twins of our apocalypse. Last night's debate was as far removed from reality as if it had been scripted fiction spoken by actors. The places to go for serious discussion of the human condition are science journals and science fiction. Writers like Arthur C. Clark, Greg Bear and many others describe the reaction of a shocked human race to news that everyone's way of life will be over in a few years, the same news humankind has received in real life. In the stories, people react by rioting or getting down to survival mode and/or space flight, but they usually don't continue business as usual like we do. What kind of story would that be? Imagine this for a story: We have to read fiction to find reality.
Sorry if I'm irritable. I'm not myself after what Tom, my billionaire friend in Big Sur did to me. To resume the odyssey of my hitchhiking tour north, in the back of the Uber cab Tom paid for I remembered the small gift-wrapped package he had left under the note apologizing for giving me Test 1124. I dug into my pocket and pulled out the package, tore off the paper, and there was a cunning wooden box suitable for carrying a ring. Inside was a tiny pink pill with the instructions, "Eat me," written on a card. Under the instructions, in Tom's wild cursive, was this: "Ever had Cialis? Forget it, it's history! Make sure there is someone around who can help you enjoy this!"
I got the picture and was humiliated that a billionaire huckster could understand me so well. What aging guy could resist such a promo? But after my experience with Test 1124 I was hesitant. As Tom had explained, he had contacts for the newest drugs, many of which were so powerful that care had to be taken in introducing them into society. My pink pill, I suspected, was one of these.
Nevertheless, as we whizzed north I wondered what upcoming venue might best suit the pill's purpose. Los Gatos approached, surrounded by the sea and beautiful mountains, though a bit crowded after Cambria and Big Sur. Maybe crowded was what I wanted.
I asked the driver to drop me at the Motel 6 on Bascom Avenue, off the 17. Following a nap and a shower, I walked down to Los Gatos Electronics nearby in time for the debate, after which, in dire need of new input, I ended up in front of The Happy Hound Cafe on Los Gatos Blvd. There was still plenty of sunlight. The cafe looked cozy. I went in and sat at a window table, where I ordered coffee. The place was doing good business. There were regular people and irregular people. I stared into my coffee and wondered which one I was. Then I took out the little box, removed the pink pill, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with coffee. I don't mean to be dramatic with this detail. I'm just impressed at how stupid I can be. Men all over the world, hark! What if women know when we know we're stupid? Then what?
Anyway, it turns out that one of the great leaps of covert science is super-fast assimilation of pill-vectored chemicals. No sooner had I popped the pink pill than- well, I had expected arousal, perhaps an erection. What actually happened is hard to describe, and I either hate Tom Kettleman or I'm grateful. I think what happened is that Tom, on his Test 1124 trip, intuited that this new erotogenic drug would combine with my telepathy to produce...something new.
Like sex at a distance? Would that be new? It started with the waitress. I became aware of her body and she became aware that I was aware, and then she became aware of my body and I was aware of that. It was intense but it only lasted when she was standing near me. When she went to the kitchen or waited on other people the effect was gone. This frustrated me and I felt I should have taken Tom's advice to pick someone special to share the drug with.
The trouble was that I didn't have anyone special at that particular point in time, way back yesterday; I was kind of on my own, kind of adrift. I paid and left the restaurant, looking for some place where I might establish a connection. A few blocks down I found a Whole Foods Market and went in. Lots of healthy, attractive people, and a salad bar! I got a salad and perched on my stool, surveying the couples at tables and beyond them shoppers going to and fro.
If only Tom had known that Test 1124 stays in the bloodstream a long time- maybe forever- because his experiment on me involved a triple whammy. I now saw a schematic in my head showing how to have sex with every person in the Whole Foods. I can't recall much detail, but it gave directions to secret gateways found in everyone's psyche through which all manner of communication and contraband can pass. Through these portals I connected to my fellow humans and felt a sensual bonding which involved an erection on my part and a pronounced though invisible effect on everyone's parts around me and an erotic glow developed and it felt like everyone's skin touched everyone else's. As middle-aged mothers swiped their credit cards facing teenage cashiers, their eyes met in fire, and I was in that fire too. As thrifty shoppers stared at the mayonnaise prices to compare with Trader Joe's, the grip of their hands on the cold glass became a connection with the throbbing and sensual heart of the cosmos. And then, as all particles must on that day foretold by faith-based empiricism, we ignited and burned together, our souls exploding in orgasmic entanglement. I found that I had ejaculated, and I felt a deep serenity. Looking around I picked up the same contentment from everyone. Whole Foods, I will never complain about your prices again!
Sorry for the dissipation. I'm sure it's not seemly in a man my age. I'll get back into politics as soon as I can stand it. Not that I'm judgmental.