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Running Water, Running Thoughts

By Eian Tsou THESE WERE MY EXACT THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS ON OCTOBER 17TH, 8 PM WHILE I

WAS SHOWERING...

IDK about you, but my right armpit is always the sweaty one, and this peculiar one-sided

phenomenon perplexes and angers me. Obviously, the ideal scenario would be for both armpits to remain perspiration-free, but I can't help but wonder: why, dear body of mine, does this seemingly arbitrary imbalance of sweatiness persist? If we strive so much for global equality, maybe we should first start with my pits, dry or not (kidding).

It's not a matter of having varying amounts of hair (multiple meticulous inspections have

confirmed their uniformity), and now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t even have that much hair. I mean, I’m Asian, where the natural abundance of it is genetically scarce (for some ethnicities...)

***

Drawing a tree on a piece of paper is kind of messed up.

***

I’d like to think that every day of my life is unique and interesting, but it simply isn’t. The grind of school claims five days a week from 8 to 3. Upon returning home, I inevitably enter a blank

trance while sitting on the plush womb chair nestled beside the expansive bay window. It’s a

calming ritual that unfailingly consumes exactly 30 minutes of my time each day. On a

somewhat less profound note, I even have a precise time to take a dump––usually around 4:30ish. I’m not checking the clock and being like “Oh dear! I’m 3 minutes and 18 seconds late”––I just get that feeling at 4:30.

Man, how I wish I could wake early enough to start my day off with a “movement”. No, I don’t

mean the movement of dumbbells for a morning workout, but the movement of some bowels,

you know? A satisfying release before the weight of a seven-hour school day further burdens

me. But alas, I'm not a morning person, so I'll just have to settle for my 4:30 rendezvous...

***

Isn’t it crazy that we’re just... alive? When driving along the George Washington Bridge and

looking out the window, I often ponder about how everything is the way it is. Like, and this might sound stupid, I look at my hands and stuff, marveling over how I can just move them, how I can touch them, how I am conscious of their existence. I find myself studying the stars and the ground below, and I can't help but wonder how this reality is, in fact, real.

And then, I wonder why we're here, how we got here. And I guess that's the main question, isn't it? Was our creation a cosmic coincidence? Maybe. But how do you even create life (and I’m not talking about the bedroom)? Is there a recipe for it? Maybe Epicurious has one.

I read a while ago that some scientists believe the period before the Big Bang was empty of

everything but “empty space”. Now that’s a BS answer, or just way too vague. The apparently

“empty” thing that was before the Big Bang was “emptiness." Well, thanks, Sherlock.

***

Every individual is the world record holder of something incredibly specific. I hold the record for the longest time as me. And I just beat it again. As far as I’m concerned, Guinness, we’re all “officially amazing.”

***

Here’s a job we should stop giving to teenagers: Lifeguarding.

It’s quite scary and crazy that we hire 16 and 17-year-olds for a job that’s literally titled “life”

guard. They’re children who probably haven’t lived long enough to understand the value (or

worthlessness, depending on your perspective) of the very thing they’re guarding.

I’m not saying that all teenagers can’t be good at this job, but when you’re going to the pool, you might just be entrusting your fate with Jimmy, who’s hungover from the night before, and who’s probably paying more attention to the girls than you.

***

I think we’re automating way too many things. At this point, it isn’t about efficiency, it’s just pure laziness. Come on, you need an Alexa to turn off the lights for you? Are you kidding me?

But I mean, there’s no doubt, the articles and images depicting these machines in action are

compelling. Most importantly, they make sense, because why rely on humans to do anything

when robots can probably do it better?

And sure, automation is incredible and produces for us a future where life develops with

seamless elegance.

But, isn’t there that one saying that all motivational speakers always preach? Life isn’t easy?

Life isn’t fair? So what are we doing making it just that?

How modern can modern go? More like how modern does modern NEED to go? I'm not saying we need to ride horses to work. I'm not saying we need to scrap pens and start writing with feathered quills and wear powdered wigs. All I'm saying is that maybe we should take a break. It's not you, technology, but it's also probably you!


Imagine how much of our life we would miss out on if everything was done for us. Perhaps an

easy life shouldn’t exist because it's precisely this complexity that defines our humanity. If I were to think back on my fond memories, they would all stem from me doing some sort of human activity, whether it be shopping with Mom or chatting with my barber. As we continue developing autonomous technology, are we progressively transitioning into mere bystanders to our own existence, outsourcing the very essence of what it means to be human? We should switch gears, preferably to the ones nestled in your brain, not the machine.

***

"I hate the water here..." said my friend.

"What do you mean?" I responded, "water is water."

"No no no. This water is different. It tastes so bad."

"Buddy, water has no taste."

"Yes, it does. I prefer Pedialyte."

This specific person drinks the unflavored version.

I'll never understand those who hate the taste of water because I, myself, am an avid water

supporter. In fact, I love it so much I'd probably die without it.

For me, the eight glasses yesterday are the same as the eight today. But those who are

informally certified water connoisseurs understand that that's just not true... and they’re right.

After looking into it, I found out that the most important factor in dictating the “taste” of a specific water source is the minerals in it. The term "ppm" or "parts-per-million" refers to how much of a particular mineral (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, etc) is present in a given amount of water. Naturally, then, it would make sense that pure water doesn't taste like anything. One thing that I’m wondering about, though, is how Pedialyte can make an "unflavored" version of their drink if it contains so many electrolytes that pollute that supposedly flavorless flavor. Seems like false advertising if you ask me.

***


It would be weird––and borderline illegal––if someone yelled out pick-up lines to people they’ve never met, but birds do it all day for months straight, and nobody cares.

***

Why did I google that? Speaking of hair, Eian, it’s been 30 minutes. I think your right pit’s clean

enough...

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