Friday, December 8, 2017

"A Stand-Up Guy"

I got a gift recently. 

It’s this kind of a platform you put on your desk so you can write standing up.

I did not ask for this platform.  Though I have often complained about hunching over the keyboard when I write, and how doing so is bad for my back.

I have tried sitting straight up when I’m writing.  (And similarly while practicing the piano.)  But my concentration on the task at hand inevitably distracts my attention away from my posture.  I am not a brain specialist.  (So there will be no misunderstanding concerning my credentials.)  I do not know how many things our brains can do at the same time, though I suspect that it’s one.

What I do know is, when I am focusing real hard sitting down, my spinal musculature, seeing I am otherwise occupied, takes a break.  It’s like,

“Okay, he’s writing!  Slouch!

A thoughtful family member took in my frequent complaints and bought this ameliorating contraption.  Some people are “problem solvers.”  It’s like Superman.

“Someone’s in trouble in Metropolis”…

And they immediately take to the skies.

Never considering that the person they are rescuing simply likes to complain.  The result being, you receive action that is not urgently required.

“Sorry, Superman.  It’s just the damn ketchup wouldn’t come out.  Although, since you’re already here…”

So I now have this platform, which I am typing away on it as we speak.

I bring up this transitional switchover from sitting because… what else am I going to talk about? 

“The president’s crazy.”

You already know that.

The thing is, when I talk about making the move, I inevitably receive this deflating reaction.

Here’s an example from another arena.  Otherwise, I’d be giving an example from the same arena twice.  And nobody wants to hear that.

Or type it.

You travel to, say, Rome.  You come home.  You meet friends for dinner.

“We just went to Rome.”

“You went to Rome?”

“We got back yesterday.”

Then, almost immediately, it’s

“Did you see Julius Caesar’s preschool?”  (Not an actual place, but representative of some esoteric attraction they went to and you didn’t.) 

Your only response to that question, if you are an honest person, or do not not want to be caught out saying you visited some non-existent attraction is


And then they’re into it.

“I can’t believe you missed Julius Caesar’s preschool.  It’s got his little desk there.  They’ve got his art on the wall.  It’s not great, but he’s four.”

“I never heard of Julius Caesar’s preschool.”

“We had this amazing tour guide.  I mean, anyone can visit St, Paul’s cathedral or the Coliseum.  But if you missed Julius Caesar’s preschool, it’s like you never went to Rome.  That and St. Peter’s favorite gelato emporium.  (Also not an actual attraction.)  The gelato’s sub-par, but can you imagine standing in the same spot where a major religious icon said, “Can I try the stracchiatella?”

(I came within one “c” of spelling that right.)

I don’t know what that is, that syndrome.  Competitive one-up-person ship.  Puffing yourself up at another person’s expense.  They are so chronically depressed they can’t rest till they depress everybody around them. 

Who knows?  Maybe they work for an airline.

“Honey, we’ve got to fly back to Rome!  We missed Julius Caesar’s preschool!”

Whatever the reason, I got a paralleling dose when I announced I was altering my writing technique.

“I got this new ‘stand-up’ desk.”

“Oh yeah, my friend has one.  He said it really helped his back.  But he eventually got varicose veins.”

The next sound you hear are my dreams of a better life crashing noisily to the ground.

It’s the proverbial “trade-off” – it improves your posture but it destroys your legs.  That’s like, when I was in the hospital.

“We dried out your lungs.  But me messed up your kidneys.”

Do I really need to hear that? 

I had not started using it yet.

It’s an experiment, okay?  If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to the chair and I’ll live with “The Slouch.”

For now, I am “Writing Tall.”  (And when my legs get tired, marching bracingly in place.)

I am kind of enjoying it so far.

Despite shadowing fears about varicose veins.

1 comment:

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I hope you and yours are all OK - the fire images continue to be ever more terrifying.