Friday, January 23, 2015

Mental Pain Control Techniques, and Writing.

Old memories. (Billy Hathorn, Wiki.)

Louis Shalako

No one likes going to the dentist. 

When I was growing up, the old air-powered drill had a speed of about 750 rpm and the doctor wasn’t shy with the novocaine because you really had to pedal to get it going that fast.

It was painful, and it seemed to take forever when he put the eighth-inch grinding stone on there and had a bash at the old tooth.

When I was a certain age, the doctor was drilling away, and it was sheer hell. I hadn’t slept the night before, and the fact is that I was afraid of the dentist. For whatever reason, I liked a certain kind of car. I had just been driving along a winding road in autumn in my little Austin Mini. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you are young, and you have just gotten your license, it is a new and unique experience. The car had a free-flow exhaust tip on the back end and it sounded all right to a seventeen year-old.

It made an impression—and the other car I had been driving recently was an M.G.B that I borrowed from a local used car lot at the corner of East and Ontario streets. It was maroon, the engine was tuned nicely and there was a light mist falling. I let the clutch out a bit hard and it spun wheels and fishtailed when I turned at an intersection. She snapped back with a bit of opposite lock. It was easy enough to control. It was autumn. I took the car around a few blocks and brought it back, telling them I would try and save up some more money, and then I probably tried out an Opel GT or something. 

They were asking about thirteen hundred for that one. That car was metallic blue, had a white racing stripe up the hood, and was shod in Cragar rims and big meats, 50 and 60-series tires on aluminum rims. It had a very small padded steering wheel with thick foam on the rim. It handled like one might expect, but I eventually went on to buy an MG.

Somehow, to take my mind off the pain and the amount of time it was taking, I did my best to visualize myself in an open sports car, driving down a curving road in hilly country. I tried to recreate the burbling note of the engine and exhaust, to feel the wheel in my hand, and to see the leaves falling through beams of sunlight, coming in on a low angle through the branches overhead on a warm and gentle fall day in southern Ontario.

The funny thing is that it worked. It worked well enough, that at some point the doctor stopped drilling. He put the drill on the tray and started messing around with some kind of paste, metal or whatever, it was all amalgam back then. In later years the stuff falls out or people have it taken out and replaced with more modern materials. I think I impressed myself that day.

It worked well enough that I remembered that experience. That must be at least thirty years ago.

Much stronger and much more advanced techniques are probably taught in certain schools, but subjects under torture for any length of time probably break down fairly quickly. All they have to do is start drilling a tooth and most of us would probably tell them anything they wanted to know…we’d sing like canaries, wouldn’t we?

The M.G.B. had good steering, it sat low to the ground. The gear shift lever has been described as somewhat like the bolt on a good sporting rifle. The brakes were good enough for their time and price, one would say. It’s a lot of fun to drive. But the real lesson is one of endurance—the endurance of pain, possibly even the lessening of pain. This is technically feasible, it’s not all just anecdotal evidence from guys like me, either.

Here is some information on EFT for Physical pain.

From time to time I suffer from depression. Yesterday, I had a bad hour or so, for no real reason other than the fact that it’s winter. There’s not much to do when you’re single and you’re broke except work, really. My work is solitary, perhaps even isolated, which is where social media is a real blessing sometimes.

Ah, but this is the thing: I was done one story and hadn’t started another. I had sixteen or seventeen hours of the day to kill before I could go to bed again—this is typical depressive thinking, one might observe with whatever editorial detachment one might have.

And then I started into another story. When working on a story, we can escape into that world, in fact the more thoroughly we engage with it, the more convincing it will be.

The first person a salesman has to convince is him or herself. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but if you don’t have some regard for the product you are selling, you will have great difficulty selling that product.

Sales is personality-based. You have to love the customer, and you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. You need some sincerity, or you really are a snake-oil rep, totally cynical and hard-hearted.

Once you as a writer are convinced—and my new story, set in a fishing camp up around Espanola, Ontario, has me convinced to some extent—then it takes on a life of its own. It is a place to escape to in the very same way that M.G. was a place of refuge when the doctor was drilling into that nasty old molar.

One might think that in a few days, I will have another story done and then I will be looking for some new place to escape to. I have a few more short story ideas to keep me going for a while.

Hopefully by March or April, possibly in May, I really need to head off to Paris, (mentally), so that I can research and write another sort of story. I sort of plan those because it’s a major commitment of time, effort and focus to write a longer work. Short stories will help to make it through the winter.

What is your dream vacation?

Sure beats that nasty old dentist chair.
I don’t know about you guys, but a little love, a little romance, or maybe even just a good old fling holds a certain appeal. Someplace warm would be nice, but inside of the mind, it can be any season I want. Right?

Mentally, anyways.

As for vacations, I can’t afford anything else!


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