Living The Dream

Is the US way of life really the direction we should all be going?

Allan Milne Lees

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Image credit: Newsweek

The day begins with an alarm clock bursting into noise, shocking you awake. Although this happens every weekday morning, your body always responds in the same way: your heartbeat jumps from a placid fifty-nine beats per minute to ninety-six beats per minute. You feel simultaneously jarred and yet still too tired to get up.

Nevertheless, you do get up and even before heading to the toilet to empty your bladder you turn on the TV, which is set to your preferred morning news show. As you drag yourself out of bed, your body protesting its tiredness and a variety of familiar aches and pains re-establishing themselves, your brain is pummeled by the noise of the chattering news anchors babbling about some new context-free sensationalistic story that leaves you feeling anxious and completely powerless.

As you empty your bladder, you try to part the clouds in your head that prevent you from feeling properly awake. This doesn’t work (it never does, because you took a sleeping pill the night before, as you always do) so you lumber toward the kitchen. There’s another TV in the kitchen (of course) which is also on, automatically activated by some technological magic you don’t understand but you don’t need to because it’s all controlled by means of simple buttons you press on your smartphone app. So as you stand waiting for your first cup of morning coffee to be ready, you absorb more anxiety-provoking sensationalism that leaves you feeling confused and unhappy.

Finally your coffee is ready (does it really have to take a whole forty seconds??) and you sip it, eager for the caffeine to counter-act the effects of your nightly medication. Speaking of which, you reach carefully (mustn’t hurt those shoulders) for your morning medications. First there is your blood pressure tablet, then your anti-nausea tablet, then the tablet that helps you keep calm, and then the tablet that helps minimize the ringing in your ears caused by the keep-calm tablet. Finally there’s the tablet that dulls the pains you have in your lower back, your hips, your knees, your shoulders, and your ankles.

You used to take a daily multi-vitamin but your doctor said that was just a waste of money, so you don’t bother any more.

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Allan Milne Lees

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.