Escape Reality Into Fantasy

Last night I finished watching an entertaining TV series labeled “White Collar.” The premise of the story is a unique FBI division that specializes in solving white collar crimes. I had to look it up to determine if it is a legitimate function of the FBI. It is legit, but this story stretches the premise a bit.

Mozzie, Neal Caffrey, Peter Burke, Elizabeth Burke, White Collar Characters

In this series an FBI agent is paired with a Criminal Informant. The FBI agent represents law and order while the CI is the opposite. In this case the criminal is a convicted art thief-forger who has been released from jail to work with the agent to solve major crimes. The bad guy gives the good guy insight into how thieves think and act. What this did for the FBI good guy is give him an upper hand in solving crimes. The series has played for six seasons with fourteen episodes, and last night I saw the grand finale. It surprised me, and left me wanting more. I will miss living with these people.

Afterwards, I always like to read more about the actors who starred in the story. In White Collar I was particularly interested in learning more about Matt Bomer who starred as Neal Caffrey the Criminal Informant. Bomer is what I call beautiful. He has exceptional good looks, a charming manner, and is very appealing to women. While investigating Bomer’s acting background I watched an interview with him and Stephen Colbert. Immediately I detected a mannerism in Bomer’s voice which made me suspect he is gay. I continued my search and learned, yes he is gay. Like the ending of the story, this surprised me. I am of a generation that grew up not knowing there was such a thing as homosexuality, and as such don’t really believe it exists even today. When I heard him openly declare his proclivity for men it unnerved me. Why? Who knows why? I just prefer to believe that this anomaly doesn’t exist. Over the years, I have known several men who were openly gay and liked them as human beings. I put my deep rooted teachings aside and dealt with them as people, but it still shocks me when I learn someone is.

Usually, when a series is popular it keeps on going. For instance, the series Heartland filmed in Canada is in its fourteenth season and beginning to film the fifteenth. The same actors who were in episode-one, season-one, are still playing in season fifteen. That means the viewer gets to watch the actors age and grow in their characters. Heartland is smart enough to add new characters throughout. Many of them are kids who need help. A principal character in Heartland is Jack Bartlett the grandfather who has a soft spot for troubled kids. The local social worker brings him new ones to raise on his ranch with his family, two grand daughters, their father. The story line is continuous with new twists intertwined throughput. What helps this series is the magnificent scenery in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Canada. The second advantage of the story is the theme of using horses. The relationship between horses and people is amazing and also therapeutic.

Tonight, I begin a search to find a new series that will allow me to escape from reality. Is that normal, or is it sick? My wife often sits next to me and says “this is not interesting for me.” She prefers I find some concert or some doctor who gives information about life. She loves knowledge, so do I, but I also love fantasy, and choose to escape into a great story whenever I can.

One Lonely Day = 15 Cigarettes

This summer has been wonderful, and strange at the same time. Weather-wise I couldn’t ask for anything better, but Labor Day weekend was a big disappointment. It felt like Frankfort celebrated a weekend off. For forty years we have had a Fall Festival on Labor Day weekend. This year it was cancelled because of COVID. We will eventually recover from this shock, but it may take a long time, like several years.

Suddenly, fall is sneaking in and the weather is changing. Temperatures are dropping rapidly. It seems like I just got acclimated to living in ninety degrees when all of a sudden today it was sixty. Next week we will have some warm days but in general the temps will swing downward. Fall is in the air, the leaves are dropping from the trees and changing color too. Flowers and plant life are withering from the recent drought. I called it sneaking in, but it seems more like a thud, and its here.

The weather change has me thinking about wintering in a warm climate. I haven’t had that urge for several years, but now I do. I need to get away and shock my life into something new. The one problem I have with this plan is that it is the stress of distancing that has caused me to want to seek out a new life somewhere else, and COVID will be with me anywhere in the world I might want to escape to. I have a lot of thinking and researching to do before I make any reservations.

One scary thought is that my friend base in Phoenix is smaller now than it was six years ago. Being alone will not help to improve my attitude at all. I read a short article published in September, 2020 issue of Departures magazine titled “Happiness” by author Eviana Hartman on how happiness affects people’s lives and one sentence stunned me.

“Happy people are less likely to catch a virus, and loneliness can be as damaging to physical health as smoking fifteen cigarettes per day.”

I quit smoking forty-two years ago, and it scares me to know that I can wipe out the benefits by feeling lonely. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems I encountered after each of my life partners died. It took a long time to be happy again, and I worked hard at changing my life in order to reach a happy state. So far, I haven’t reached happiness after Peg’s passing, but it’s only been fourteen months.

All I can say is that I’m working on it, and that is all I want to say about that.

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