Preventing Total John Freakout Microphone

in creative writing journal

Preventing a ”Total John Freak-Out”

While on the treadmill at the gym, I watched NBC’s “The Voice” on closed captioning. Without the sound, it looked like an American version of a Japanese gameshow — pulsing lights, glittering smiles, nobody seeming to lose or win.

It was the best episode of “The Voice” I’ve seen yet, and that takes into account the distress of being past 50, out of shape and very, very determined to hurt myself.

I’ve been in the weeds for about a month. Uncertainty, stress, deadlines. When it pressurizes enough, I lose it. Loudly.

That’s the wonderful thing about a crippling leg cramp — it teaches me self-pity is not actual pain. It’s also hard to feel stressed out when I’m gasping for breath.

Plus, the two hours I’m at the gym are a relief for my family. A Total John Freak-Out is as noisy as it is pointless.

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