Saturday, February 14, 2015

Peace of Mind

ink drawing by Lohbado
Lohbado stayed with a young couple for a couple nights. Business wasn’t doing so well. They had a good set up, but not enough clients. The idea was good on paper, but didn’t translate well into money.

Peace of Mind Studios offered a therapeutic retreat. The young couple chose an ideal location in a tourist boutique town about two hours out of the city, where many went on long weekends. When the street level boutique was fully renovated and the new sign in place they glowed with pride. They walked with a bouncy energetic pace about the premise, a euphoric twinkle in the eye as they envisioned a lineup of stressed and confused people seeking peace of mind.

There was something fishy about the whole thing, about turning peace of mind into a product. Maybe Lohbado was being moralistic and old fashioned. Peace was something a person used to seek in a spiritual setting. Lohbado’s father was a preacher at Church of the Living Monument. Lohbado attended church every Sunday for nearly twenty years until his patience reached breaking point. He was very familiar with spiritual aspirations and the craving for peace of mind.

Peace of Mind was too generic a term for the young couple to register as a trademark. They could create a POM logos (poor old man). Lohbado chuckled inside, a poor old human, man or woman set up, numerous payment methods available.

The young couple’s euphoria soon dissolved. Without saying a word, each day they cheerfully followed a discipline of opening shop, setting out a marquee, making sure fresh flowers sat nicely on the fake marble mantle above the electric fireplace. Flip on a switch and flickering lights created the impression of a roaring fire behind a fake grill.

The sofa and two arm chairs had barely been used. They still smelled of showroom, that special smell of sanitizer, of freshly treated material. Eventually the cheerfulness turned to irritation.

Happiness... peace of mind... is there a difference? A stoic could have peace of mind, without being happy or sad. So could a cat or a catatonic, someone incapable of experiencing pleasure and indifferent to beauty... perhaps they could experience peace of mind.

Kay was boss. Her husband Ted did all that she commanded. Whatever Kay told Ted to do, he would jump to it. She had him wound around her little finger.

He couldn’t endure her temper and she knew it. Anger can be a powerful weapon of domination. The trick is to snap. The snap is like a flick of the whip. It startles fear of the wrath to come, the fear that things could get a whole lot worse if the person doesn’t cooperate.

Lohbado had also witnessed reverse scenarios, where the man was a brute who tormented his wife. This is not a sexist story. There are no generalizations involved. It’s a particular situation, Kay and Ted. There’s nothing about genitals that makes one sex superior or less confused than the other.

Ted was pretty dead. Tod in German means death. Change the e to o and you get dead. Ted was happy to let Kay, ok, run the show. Are you ok with that? Ted was an average man of very few interests and no hobbies, other than computer gaming. You could leave him alone in front of the computer and he’d be content. It took very little to satisfy him. She provided the correct dose of sex, a few minutes every other Saturday, which eventually became once a month... after two years they split up.

When Kay wanted things done and if he was lax, she would turn red, hiss and snarl. Lohbado cut his stay short. Two nights was more than he could endure in that bleak failing enterprise, Peace of Mind Studios.

Kay sprinkled the conversation with money complaints, not having enough to cover the rising operating expense and taxes, the lack of business. Nothing was doing well. She glared at Lohbado with envy, telling him that he had it good compared to her. He was lucky to have an easy life while she had it so hard.

Compassion... perhaps understanding.... Lohbado understood disappointment and the shock of unpleasant news. He knew what it was like to be the target of jealous scheming. He’d witnessed the rage of miserable people stuck in self-pity and resentment. Lohbado wasn’t an idiot. He wasn’t about to line up for punishment. He payed Kay and Ted generously and left early the next morning.

Anyway, he felt there was something fishy about turning peace of mind into a commodity, to use it to try and make a buck... the enterprise... too bad for them. He wished them success. Maybe they could offer lucrative services on the side. If nobody wanted to buy their souls, they could sell their bodies.

Tod had a bit of a belly from a sedentary lifestyle. Kay was pale and haggard from stress, frustration and rage. Perhaps with the right outfits and proper lighting they could be dynamite after midnight.

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