Q. What’s going on inside?
Q. Elation? Are you out of your mind??
A. Not that I know of, no. Why would I be?
Q. Well, what on earth is there to be elated about? Don’t you know what’s going on in the world?
A. I do.
Q. Then why are you elated?
A. Elation is an ephemeral state. It won’t last, you know. I just happen to be elated right now.
Q. What about?
A. Something really great happened, and it got me feeling good.
Q. What happened?
A. I figured out how to pay the phone bill in time to keep the service on before they disconnected it.
Q. You figured it out?
Q. What is so hard about paying a phone bill?
A. Well, I don’t know. Have you tried lately?
Q. What do you mean?
A. You got to get the money off of one card to the other card, switch accounts, deal with voicemail loops, get it to revolve on the day when you have the money, deal with them lying to you, trying to get the money out of you earlier, shortening the days in the business cycle, hoping you won’t notice, not to mention —
Q. STOP!! Are you having a manic episode?
A. Not at all, sir. I’m merely elated.
Q. Just because you were able to pay a phone bill?
A. Well, you should have seen me last month and the month before. It isn’t easy these days for me, given all that goes on between my ears, to pay a phone bill. Both of the previous months they turned off the service until I could manage to get to the office and have the guy there take my card and go through the motions for me.
Q. So you paid the phone bill, and proceeded to feel elated?
Q. Overjoyed, man. Happy, chipper, and high.
A. Figuratively speaking.
Q. What about literally?
A. Literally, no. In fact, I resisted that one.
Q. How so?
A. Well, when I became elated, I wanted to celebrate. I felt myself cycling over toward the marijuana dispensary three miles down the road.
A. Yeah. This stuff:
Q. Why would you want to smoke marijuana?
A. Psychological association. There was a time when I would reward myself with a celebratory bowl, every time I accomplished something noteworthy.
Q. Such as pay a phone bill?
A. You got it.
Q. But this time you resisted?
A. Yeah – I felt myself headed in that direction. So I took a different turn.
Q. What turn was that?
A. I located a local homeless boy and gave him five bucks.
Q. How did that keep you from smoking?
A. Oh it made it easy! It was the last five bucks I had left after paying the phone bill.
Q. You’re that broke?
A. Again, an ephemeral state. I won’t be broke at all come Friday. End of the month, you know. Poverty Culture. We kinda live month to month, fend, try to enjoy life, the best things thereof being free, and all that.
Q. Isn’t it a bit crass to be broadcasting your personal financial situation?
A. Not where I come from. I’ve been in some societies where it’s crass to bring up money at all.
Q. And in your society?
A. You mean Poverty Culture? We talk about money all the time! We talk about small amounts. We loan each other fifty cents and back. How can we even co-exist without talking about money? There’s only so much to go around.
Q. What are you driving at?
A. Nothing really. Just shootin’ the breeze.
Q. What about COVID-19?
A. Sheltering in place.
Q. Wouldn’t that be the perfect place to smoke your weed? Where nobody is watching?
A. It’s been done. But believe me, I like myself better without it.
Q. But aren’t you way more hyper than you used to be?
A. Is that a problem?
Q. I don’t know. Is it?
A. Not for me. Not home alone. Not here all by myself. Who’s to complain about my level of energy? Who’s to call me manic? Who’s to call me on anything? I’ll be as manic as I want! Any of you psych agents wanna try to medicate my precious mania out of my system, you go right ahead. I’m an Artist!! I will generate a manic episode if I think it’s going to help my work! But WOAH!!! WOAH!!!!!
Q. Did you just feel an earthquake?
A. Yes I did.
Q. Aren’t earthquakes pretty rare in this part of the world?
A. Maybe. I don’t know. Gotta check Facebook.
Q. Facebook? Why not check USGS?
A. Good idea. Somehow I assumed Facebook would be the more authoritative source. Hang on a minute . . . no, nothing at USGS yet. Oh – here it is! 6.3! Wow!
Q. Did you actually just have an earthquake right while you were writing this post?
A. Sure did. Check the link.
Q. Still elated?
A. Naw. I think I blogged it out of my system. It’s a good thing, too. Elation can be very deceiving. There’s a cooler, steadier energy at work here, slowly creating finer facts and fiction — but it works behind the scenes.
The Questioner is silent.
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