This morning I am thinking about lists.
I am generally opposed to lists. If asked to name my top ______ (five, ten, one hundred) favorite ___________s, the number given is always either too small or too large, and I’m stuck taking things off the list that belong there, or stretching to think of something that isn’t too bad which I can include with the truly great ones. And of course I always think of better examples once the list is finalized. My wife is a list-maker when it comes to tasks she has to complete, and every time she does it, though it obviously helps her keep track of things, looking at the full list makes her more stressed, because she naturally thinks of ALL of the things she has to do. I’ve found that marking items off of a list is satisfying, but finishing the list is a letdown, because by the time I’m done with the list (if it’s not 2-3 items long, and if it is 2-3 items long it feels like a waste of time making a list) I’ve forgotten the joy of completing the first tasks I marked off, so I have this huge list and I just feel like I did this one last thing, and that’s it.
So I don’t like lists. When it comes to tasks I need to perform, I prefer to do them when I think of them. It allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment regularly, rather than finishing a task and marking it off only to run my gaze over all the other things I have to do, which tends to decrease my sense of accomplishment. True, this does mean that things get lost — I haven’t worked on my novel in two months, because I just kept having school tasks — and my time management is terrible. But I don’t think the efficiency gained from lists is worth the heartache.
All that said, I needed to do something lighter for my blog today, after yesterday’s abortion horror show; so, for no good reason and in no particular order, here is my bucket list.
*See the entire world. All of it. From the highest mountain peak to the lowest valley. I want to see all the ugly parts first, and then all the beautiful ones. I’d like to finish up with seeing all of the ugly places that have become beautiful in the time I’ve been looking at everything.
*Learn to speak every language, and visit every country and culture.
*Meet the youngest and oldest persons in every country and culture. Also the happiest and the saddest, the best and the worst. Keep looking until I find one person who is both extremes of a single category.
*Meet the most famous artist and the least famous but most talented artist in every country and culture, for every art. Like and appreciate the least famous one every single time.
*Learn about and understand every religion. Accept that all of them are false, and that the world would be better off without them (Hey, wait — I already did that last part! I can mark this off my list! Go me!).
*Spend time with the Dalai Lama, because even if religion is toxic, he’s the coolest man in the world. If possible, take drugs with him and watch him ascend to a higher plane of consciousness right in front of me.
*Read every book.
*Separate all the books into good books and bad books, and eliminate all the bad books. Remove them from the world, and from human consciousness so the authors of the bad books don’t have to feel bad about themselves for being on the bad list. (But I will remember.)
*Travel to the center of the Earth. Ride a dinosaur.
*Be named the sexiest man alive, and refuse to accept the title.
*Grow gills and immunity to pressure, and then swim everywhere in the ocean.
*Take the perfect nap.
See every band I love live. Buy all the t-shirts and deny seeing the show every time someone comments on them.
*Eat the perfect meal, and decide that I like donuts and coffee better.
*Sample all of the finest coffees in the world, create my own blend that is the perfect mix of the very best coffees, the drinking of which will allow one to follow the Dalai Lama to the higher plane.
*Master typing so that I never again make a mistake and have to hit the backspace key.
*Experience life as a woman.
*Smash the patriarchy.
*Experience life as a dog.
*Eliminate all hatred and prejudice. Also, Mitch McConnell. With extreme prejudice, like prejudice’s last hurrah is all heaped on that fucking guy.
*Experience life as a sloth. Or maybe a hummingbird. I dunno, though — do you think they get annoyed easily? Like are all hummingbirds Type A personalities?
*Put my consciousness into a machine and travel into the virtual world.
*Go to Wonderland. Have tea with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. Have a rap battle with either or both of them. Win.
*Slap Donald Trump unconscious. Shave his head. Braid his hair into a mystical gag that he will never be able to take off, so that no one will ever have to listen to him speak, ever again. Curse him with eternal life until he actually learns to listen to everyone else.
*Burn the military-industrial complex to the ground. Salt the earth where its bones lie.
*Eliminate the need for government world wide, creating a perfect system of justice so that everyone can live in peace and harmony without being exploited or neglected.
*Discover a previously unknown tropical island, preferably one hidden by a mystic cloud of mist or one newly formed by volcano but old enough to have grown vegetation. Build a sprawling estate on it, with secret rooms, palapas to enjoy the cool ocean breezes, underground grottoes with brightly colored mineral deposits in the walls and cool ponds to swim in, and hammocks and bookshelves in every room.
*Rescue all the dogs and let them all stay with me on my island. Bring everyone who abuses dogs there so all the dogs can stare at them disappointedly until they understand the weight of their guilt– and if they never do, let the dogs tear them to pieces and then feed them to the crabs.
*Learn to play every musical instrument, and then make beautiful music every night under the stars to serenade my millions of rescued dogs.
*Write the very best novel that I can write. Appreciate it for what it is, and don’t regret it for what it is not.
*Love my wife forever, and actually make her understand perfectly how much I love her, without having to use weak words and silly gestures of affection to do it.
*Go to other planets. Start over again. (Bring the dogs. And my wife.)