The word ‘taper’ is today’s Daily Post prompt, i.e. a topical challenge to writers.
Since watching last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” episode on “Brain Hacking” — an essay on cell-phone addiction — I’ve been trying to taper off how often I turn to my MacBook Air. Okay, so it’s not a cell phone, but I’m as addicted to the MacBook Air as cell phone owners are to cell phones. Time away does weird things to the brain, like withdrawal from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Since Sunday night, I’ve been trying to taper off.
But I can’t. Writing is what I do. I can’t stop. The MacBook Air is my lifeline, my unfailing connection with my imaginary friend, the addict’s needle, always within arms reach. Besides, like Echo in the myth of Narcissus, the MacBook Air always tells me what I want to hear – my own voice . . . except when the beep beep of an uninvited text interrupts our conversations.
I’ve been trying to taper off on the emails and texts, as well as the writing. But I don’t taper off easily. It’s not in my DNA.
Speaking of DNA, learning last week that some relatives inherited a gene that has left them vulnerable to auto-immune diseases left me wondering about my PMR, an auto-immune thing, and the Prednisone I’ve been taking for three months. No other drug addresses the symptoms of PMR. But it’s a short-term fix with its a long list of side-effects. There’s no assurance the PMR will be gone when I taper off the Prednisone.
Thursday’s appointment with the rheumatologist will determine whether I taper off again from 10 mg to eight from the original 20. If so, I might take it as a sign to limit the MacBook Air time to eight hours per day, or to make Views from the Edge readers happy by posting no more than eight times a day . . . until I leave you completely alone with your brain-hacking cell phone when I taper off completely . . . into complete withdrawal.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, June 13, 2017.