The biggest trap in life is thinking you’ll live forever."
Late Nights with too much caffeine in my system.
I wanted to write about my experience undergoing surgical extraction of my four wisdom teeth. I was surprisingly mellow during the entire affair. I didn’t even take the Halcion, and anti-anxiety pill to help me relax before the operation. I told the receptionist to keep it, I didn’t need it. I was so calm and relaxed already.
If anything, I was more agitated at the strict fast I had to adhere to that morning. The most uncomfortable part of the operation was the mandatory self-induced fast. I could neither drink nor eat anything eight hours leading up to the operation. I couldn’t even drink water, nor tea. When I woke up that morning it dawned on me; one of the very first things I do in the mornings is get something to eat (usually the pot of oatmeal I cook the night before) and some tea. I could have neither… It was tempting to see my family having breakfast right before me. Self restraint is a most admirable trait.
Depriving myself of food for so long was one of the most difficult things I’ve endured in a while. Pfft….First World Problems. Guess it reminds me how I good I have it day to day. I almost felt religious for undergoing self inflicted Hunger. I could sympathize with Muslims during the month of Ramadan and other people who go on Hunger strikes. That shit ain’t easy.
Contrary to my prior belief, this was to be a nearly full blown surgery. The 25 year old Dental Assistant—I believe her name was Kayla, hell if I remember—strapped me in the chair. She told me to relax, which I already was, and bound my arm to a blood pressure monitor; it would take my pressure at 5 minute intervals to make sure I was in good health during the operation.
She hooked up my nose to a translucent rubbery breather in the shape of a tube. I never had such a thing on my nose before. It assisted my breathing by pushing a small amount of Oxygen into my nostrils. I am a runner and a pretty active person, so I didn’t think I needed but was not going to protest. As if that wasn’t enough, she plastered three circular sensors on my body. One on my neck, one on my chest, and another on my left abdomen/oblique area.
I had never undergone such procedures before; I had never had the need to, so this was a personal glimpse into what this world is like. To be honest, I don’t want to be in this Medical world if I don’t have to. As if I didn’t have enough motivation to be fit and healthy, well now I have more.
I had spoken to this Doctor before, during my consultation, and I do remember her being quite the conversationalist. However this time I could tell she was being a little extra conversational. I extrapolated that she was just trying to distract me while she put that sedation shot in my arm. Knowing this, I interrupted our conversation and said: Doctor you don’t need to baby me; just stab me already. I won’t cry.
She was going to inject my arm with IV sedation. I had never been sedated before. Before I knew it, in moments, the world around me changed. My vision fast became blurry, my hearing deteriorated to the point everything converged onto a single tone. It was like blurry hearing. While I laid there experiencing this, I thought about Commander Shepard during the beggining of Mass Effect 2. This is what he felt like on that operating table.
It was a strange state to be sure. So surreal. I don’t remember experiencing a lapse in consciousness like this. I’m not used to not being in control of my body like. It touches in my mortality in ways that perturb me. Just a little bit of some chemical and your mood and state of mind is different, though I suppose alcohol isn’t much different.
Events were blurry and chronologically out of sync. I was half conscious, and I was not used to having my life and body in the hands of another in such a way before. Everything happened so fast. I experienced roughly thirty minutes of consciousness. The doctor told me the operation lasted an hour. My brother did recall waiting somewhere around 45 minutes. My soul felt separated from my own body at that time.
I remember pausing the doctor in the middle of operation and asking her: doctor, are we on schedule? I was afraid that she only enough time to remove some and not all if my teeth. I didn’t want to return to the operating table.
Overall, I’ve heard so many horror stories and such but it has really not been so bad. I’ve taken only two pain killers and only for minor discomfort. The operation was a success overall. It feels weird to have four missing teeth at the back of my mouth. Weird but good; I now have extra space to clean and now have opportunity to get braces should I want. Good to also get that monkey off my back.
I remember when they told me I would be wheelchaired into the car after the operation. I laughed at the ideal; I didn’t take it seriously. I was too proud to not stand in my own two feet. Let’s just say: yea I needed it. If I could describe what it felt like to get off the operating table it would be like getting up from a chair after having too much to drink, only without the fun and laughter of your fellow inebriated friends.
I do want to give a special mention to my brother and his family who showed up at my house before the surgery to be with me. My brother accompanied me to the operation and I will be eternally grateful. I’m sure I could have called upon other people to be by my side, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Knowing that family is there for me is a blessing everyday of my life.
One more goal accomplished before the end of the year.
Digital painting. Sleeping beauty African Style.
If I’m still single and without kids when I’m 30, I will quit my job and get into research for the academia. It’s something I want to do eventually anyway. Specifically, I want to research new applications of computer technology and software. Stuff like 3D printing is such a fascination to me.
I address this to you, who may be reading a thousand years from today. I want you to be aware of something, so that how you remember us is more closely tied to reality.
I have a message for you; pictures lie; videos lie. They are a good source of information to be sure, but I want you to know that the world they capture is not the same one which we live in everyday.
Pictures are deceptive. In them, people can seem happy when they really are not. During my time, this was termed ‘The Hawthorne Effect’. This refers to the tendency of people to behave differently than they otherwise would when they are knowingly under observation.
Couples can look so happy and the perfect embodiment of love. Through the cheesy kisses, silly duck faces, and sexual gestures, never would you suspect all the problems that lurk within: jealousy, insecurity, lack of self esteem. Never could you see the sadness plastered on her eyes or the lust for another coated on his eyes.
Families seem completely happy and the model of the perfectly functioning family. But behind all the smiles and silly and hugs, never could you hear the incessant yelling over frivolous details. Nor could you feel the air thick with power struggles.
Never could you see those two men in their suits shaking hands ‘secretly’ plotting to outdo the other with any means necessary.
It’s very hard to look at a camera and not try to change what we are doing. We instantly want to change the way we look, change our facial expressions, get the right angle in. Why try to present an image of you that isn’t actually really you? A similar phenomenon occurs when people stand in mirrors.
It is also well documented that people do absolutely retarded shit when they’re behind a video camera. All you need to do is watch a reality TV show to see what I mean.
I haven’t even scratched the surface with this. There is more to be covered in the realm of reality television, modeling, and acting. But in conclusion, I just want you to know: trust no image alone as incontrovertible source of information.
Simplicity. Therein lies beauty."
I am sharing with you one of my favorite songs on the piano. I’ve been studying this song for over 3 months, and I have performed it to my satisfaction. I do hope you enjoy. This piece was a lot of hard work and studying as a piano student. I will forever remember this piece as long as I am alive. This is not the end of my playing with this song, but for now, I must move on to other songs.
EnjoyPlayed 50 times.
My Name Is… I have a Google alert setup for my name, Juan Moreno. The vast majority of the alerts that I get are from news articles revolving around crimes that happen. This is distressing to me because I feel my name is associated with negative things. I want to set out to change that. I want my name to mean something. That means *I* have to mean something.
I want to share a particular fear of mine, irrational or otherwise. I fear not being good enough for the people that I love. Not doing enough for them, in the time that I am alive.
I have a legion of soldiers at my back. My predecessors, who live vicariously through me now. My brothers and sisters whom I share my experience on this elegant world with. You, whom I reach with this message. You all support me, drive me, strengthen me. Let me do the same, for you.
It was four of us: me, Ermal, Joel, and Danil. We were armed and dangerous. It was around nine in the evening and were out with a purpose, stalking in the dead of night.
We dragged some ammo bags out of the car parked in the dark alley. We struggled to drag it out; Ammo and medical supplies are heavy. We eyed our target across the street. It was peaceful and quiet. That same peace and quiet that was about to be perturbed.
I noticed we forgot to bring the smoke bombs. I hastily yet inconspicuously ran back to our 1977 Cadillac Sedan to fetch them, taking care not to be seen. This proved a challenge with all the heavy obtrusive gear on my body. Communication was awfully difficult considering we didn’t have Walkie Talkies, a surprisingly crucial tool for coordination.
We looked over again at our target: surprisingly defenseless. Suspiciously so, in fact. Something didn’t smell right to me. But we needed to make haste, because we were missing our scheduled window of opportunity to attack.
This story does not proceed as you expect. I’ve never been one to hold my tongue or my conscience, less so now. What’s more I had a bad feeling about this operation. This night wasn’t like other nights. These were the words strung by my vocal chords : Look, guys, you have to ask yourself whether this is really worth it. We have really nice lives and jobs. Our careers are just beginning. Is it really worth jeopardizing that over a few bucks? Are we plagued by such despair that we must do this? I think not. Take it from me. With regard to the last time I was in jail, well let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. You don’t want that. Let’s just play payday where we can rob banks without jail or pain and shoot people who don’t have families to tend to.
While writing some of these notes, I think I’ve answered one of my greatest fears with regard to the idea of moving back to the East Coast: would I lose my creativity, newfound appreciation for art, and my ability to think critically. The answer is a resounding no; I have seen no shortage of creativity, new experiences, and critical thought since landed here. On the contrary, I feel my creativity reached new highs when I was there. The only thing different is that they were mixed heavily with past events since I have so much history here.
Now the Bronx is a special place. That’s the place that raised me. Since I left, I’ve noticed what I call The Dark Cloud; it’s a zeitgeist of depression and helplessness that clouds the borough. When I’m in it I feel trapped and powerless. Looking around, you see so many people living in squalor, thinking nothing of it. Coming back and seeing the same faces doing the same things would surely depress anyone. No? Well it sure depresses me. Regardless, I’ve come to realize that I can have the greatest impact on people’s lives if I were there, near my people. The people of Irvine California surely don’t need me.