Return, Shift Delete: A TV/film writer pushes his buttons

I was just sitting here, waiting for the flush of first thing in the morning coffee to flood its way into my Grand Central nervous system, staring at the keyboard like a mournful baboon, when I suddenly realized that the keyboard is me.

I pretty much spend my life ready to strike the very same buttons on demand depending on any number of the many moods of my life that make sweeping entrances and exits like the overplayed drama it too often is.

For example, I hit my inner Delete button the second that I need to swat away whatever personal rejection, tsunami sized wave of political stupidity or gun violent nightly news images that are coming at me like Zika filled mosquitoes.

I hit it again, and sadly, often, at the immediate arrival of heartache or in the very moment that someone dear to me says something hurtful or thoughtless.

The Delete button, I think, is part of our evolutionary process. It helps us move along. To get passed the hurt or insult or both. It re-charges us the second our monologues become strategically pinpointed, self destructing drone strikes.

Without the Delete button, the second that we burned our toast we would surely shoot ourselves right in the head.

The Return button is the button that I hit, when say a Beatles album becomes a revolver on my turntable---which in itself is a kind of return button.

The Return button is what I hit when I feel almost staggeringly unloved or ignored or on those days of transparency when I feel as invisible as The Invisible Man himself.

One hit and I rocket right back into the tender, twenty something arms of my most cherished once upon a time girlfriend. Hit it again and I am delivered Fed Ex style back to the playground with my two wild eyed baby boy toddler guys in the now faraway moments of my once and still cherished days of complete and utter dadication,

Hit it again and I'm on a Wayback Machine flight back to the womb of my childhood whose once vividly expressed and heart felt memories now seem more like a sad, hastily restored silent movie that is projecting directly onto the silver screen of my soul.

The Shift button, I find, tends to stick a lot and doesn't always work no matter how hard I smack it or how intense my intention is.

But it's always there: taunting me, challenging me.

And then, suddenly, without any fanfare whatsoever, after years of deeply personal reflection and self analytical analysis, it FINALLY does its thing and I shift.

The temporary and deceiving illusion that is brought forth by the Shift button is that EVERYTHING has shifted.

But it hasn't. Trust me: I know (and so do you).

That kind of mass casualty life re-arrangement happens when you accidentally (or deliberately) hit the both the DELETE button and the SHIFT button at the same time, usually exclusively in the earliest stages of total abandonment or when death itself, the ultimate equalizer, rocks the core of our world on either a deeply personal or global level. Or both.

Your mom dies: the buttons get PUSHED. Someone blows up the Boston Marathon: the buttons get pushed and in both cases everything gets re-set. Forever.

Bubble burst.

End of story.

The COMMAND button is pure fantasy. It's what I hit when I either feel impotent, unimportant or forgotten.

One button push and just like that I get to unleash any number of male charged militant fantasies. In the moment of pure fantasy, I am my own Mussolini or Donald Trump, rallying the troops of my impossible dreams in full on dictator mode, taunting and threatening them until they do my bidding.

Here is where I get to commit any kind of sin freely and without reproach. I can murder anyone I feel like. Destroy entire industries---usually those that are based in Hollywood. I can conquer any famous woman I desire. Trust me, there will be no argument or resistance of any kind from either Jennifer Aniston or Madeline Albright. Wait. Did I say that out loud?

Sooner or later you will have to hit the Return button which is like getting of the amusement park ride and being dropped off at your mother's house.

The OPTION button is where all of our reality and spirituality lives. It is the highly dependable, go-ton on demand 24/7 button. It' s like having the most compassionate, supportive Morgan Freeman/God-like high school guidance teacher on the planet who lives to show you the WAY.

The OPTION button is where ALL the answers to life live if you are willing to accept or even consider the answers that you are offered.

If you don't care for them and feel like mocking or minimizing what is given to you, you can always hit Delete or Return (continually or both at the same time).
Don't bother hitting the the Shift button because it is guaranteed not to work.

The CAPS LOCK is the one, single, over riding button of all buttons.

It's the button that you strike when you NEED TO RAISE YOUR VOICE and talk OVER people. It immediately triggers the babbling, totally random, borderline incoherent monologues that we spew out when we feel most out of control, when we have totally lost our center and are overwhelmed by the compulsive fear based, panic soaked need to talk and talk and talk until we exhaust ourselves or anyone who has made the unfortunate choice of sitting across from us at our favorite cafe.

Sadly, monologuing has become the new orgasm.

Monologuing is officially the new world, vibrator-like, immediate gratification way of getting what you need most on the most primitive level, when it seems like no one in the world is paying any attention to you. The listener him or herself is completely irrelevant in this kind literal and metaphorical social intercourse. In fact any stranger who enters your immediate space will work just fine (see:

People are disposable or replaceable once the Caps lock has been hit.

After all, in this mode, It's all about YOU and YOUR needs.

The ESCAPE button is the one we hit most often and repeatedly like a wildly compulsive Pavlovian lab rat. It's the key to the cookie and candy drawer kingdom and anything that is in your freezer that has the words "Chunky" or Monkey" on it.

It's THE button that totally overrides common sense and gives us reckless permission to swallow twinkles whole, smoke copious amounts of dope or lie on the couch and watch the Kardashians without judgement or expectations of any quality of entertainment. It gives you the power to squawk back to the TV during Love it or List it or House Hunters like our opinion actually matters. It is the voice that whispers, "It's okay that you're 50: go play Grand Theft Auto 5.'

The numbers across the top of the keyboard are the ones that we punch the moment that we need to lie about our age on Tender or O.K. Cupid. Youth restored.

Then there are any number of lesser buttons like the QUESTION MARK or the oft used EXCLAMATION POINT.

These are the ones that you smack when you feel clueless or full of outrage within seconds of watching Fox News.

We can adjust the keyboard VOLUME buttons for example, during the very apex of a lover's quarrel, at the very moment that your infuriated partner SCREAMS at you to lower your voice when you believe to your core that all you are doing is boldly announcing your most emphatic and personal, state of the art credo with all the conviction and passion of a cattle auctioneer.

The PLUS or MINUS buttons are for the points that you either score or lose during any point of your every day life. Minor victories or defeats all.

The CURSOR button can just go fuck itself.

So there you have it.

We are living in the songs of the Keyboard of Life at any given moment.

But just remember there is a way to override the system.

You can, at any given moment, simply lose yourself, abandon all logic and let your quickly typing fingers do the forbidden tango dance of writing.

Instead of you trying to control which button or letter to hit or avoid at all costs, try allowing yourself the experience of enjoying a full of abandon, Gershwin-scored moment of complete freedom and delight.

Let your natty, tuxedoed fingers tap their way across, up and down, all over the geography of the board, floating like Fred or Ginger, hitting whatever letter or button you impulsively feel like in the moment without being the least bit self conscious.

Let the music and the muse move you in the general direction of your bliss.

Then, when you are all done, sit back, put your feet up, soak it all in and see what you really think and feel.

Maybe you'll discover you are your own type.

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