Keep running. Don’t look back.
As you sprint away from the hatch, scan your surroundings for any sign of stone pedestals and shiny red buttons. Find only grass, trees, and assorted packs of people picnicking, tossing around Frisbees, and otherwise enjoying a fine summer’s day in what appears to be a well-appointed park.
Slow your pace. Take a deep breath. You’re safe for now.
Fire up Netflix and treat yourself to an extended marathon of The Great British Bake Off. Learn all about various types of sponge cakes. Form opinions about batters, icings, and soggy bottoms. Become deeply invested in the individual contestants and the outcome of the competition.
Take a break from your marathon to grab a beverage. Walk into the kitchen only to find a single, bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and an old stone pedestal with a shiny red button atop it standing in the middle of the floor.
Do not press the button. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus. You’ve been here before. You’ve pressed the button before. You don’t want this…
Ask yourself why we lie to children. Is it to soften the eventual realization that life is full of pain and sorrow? Is it to manipulate them into specific, preferred behaviors? What would happen if we were honest with children?
Today, find out…
Purchase several hundred dollars worth of board games, card games, and jigsaw puzzles. Wrap each purchase in Christmas-themed wrapping paper and carefully pack them into a red velvet sack.
Dress in your Santa costume, throw the sack over your shoulder, and head to the nearest senior citizens’ assisted living facility…
Hop in your car, fasten your seat belt, turn on the radio, and head toward the sunset. Let’s face it, whatever you were up to before this moment wasn’t all that great. This is better.
Your car is your personal anonymity device – you get in and you become no one. You don’t have to pretend to like your job, your colleagues, or your friends. You don’t have to pretend to be smart or confident or likable. When you remove yourself from the context of work, home, or relationships, you’re kind of nobody. Right now, you’re just another nameless driver on the road.
Take a photo of where you are now. Take a photo of the people and/or things that surround you. Take a selfie. Post these photos to your preferred social media account.
While you wait for the likes and comments to roll in, scroll through your photo backlog. How many do you have? A thousand? More? Give the screen whirl and stop at a random moment from your past.
Find a group of pictures you don’t recall taking. They’ll begin with a series of landscapes – a blur of trees from a car window, an empty road stretching to the horizon, tall grass along a shoreline…
Visit your nearest airport. Approach a ticketing counter and ask the airline representative for a copy of SkyMall. The representative will inform you that the SkyMall catalog is no longer in print. In fact, SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, only to be purchased by another company and resurrected as an online shopping destination. This new version of SkyMall lacks the whimsy and frivolity of its previous incarnation, stocking neither life-sized yeti statues nor replica swords nor two-person submersible watercraft designed to look like sharks.
Today, play Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop on a continuous loop on your headphones, computer speakers, or preferred music listening device, whatever it may be. The important thing is that you are never out of earshot of this song.
Oh no oh no oh no oh no omg omg omg no no no no no No No NO
Whatever you had planned today, cancel it. No work. No nothing.
Open the windows. Put on your favorite playlist. Make a cup of tea. Sit in your favorite chair and curl up with a book. If the book gets boring, nap. When you wake, stretch, yawn, and stretch some more.
Pack a picnic lunch. Take a walk around the park. Find a shady spot beneath a tree. Throw down your blanket, get settled, and tuck into a sandwich.
A line of ants will appear. They’ll mean you no harm; they’re just here for the crumbs. Wave at the ants. Say hello.