I get my kicks above the waistline, Sunshine.

January 27, 2006

Why I have this lyric from the song “One night in Bangkok,” I have no idea. It’s a meme that entered my head a month or so ago. Maybe it’s trying to tell me something. Maybe it’s saying that as I hit the flaccid benchmark of middle age this year, I should take up new pursuits. To really follow the song, I should start studying chess and hanging out in coffee bars and playing the game with a timer. Chess isn’t really my bag, though. That’s not to mean that I can’t do Iris Murdoch. I can be a severed head with the best of them!

There are plenty of middle age pursuits to study. Reading, movie watching, computers. Hmmm, funny, but I’ve done those my whole life. Maybe I need to do more of them. Getting ones kicks mentally to me is just becoming lost in the universe of thought. It is embracing hours of contemplation. It is logically working through life and making peace with how you live your days. Mental kicks have their draw. It is less a siren song than a rocking lullaby. But it can be intense too. When I am seized by an idea, when I am so in the mental zone of resolving a metaphysical challenge in life, there is an enduring sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that is superior to all else. I suppose if I could cultivate that experience, I wouldn’t have any need for any lesser, physical expression. I would achieve the ideal.

Funny, though, when I’m playing computer games but lack the partner of a real life problem to solve, I get a similar feeling. It’s more solo focus, though. Contrasted with the mutuality and demands of actual existence, the computer game experience is merely cerebral self-gratification. Not that one should dismiss mental onanism out of hand, so to speak. That can be fun too.

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