Clean shoves it down Milt’s throat, and Alone in a crowded room: Loneliness and being isolated from everything

Yesterday I was pleased to take a phone call from a guy I haven’t talked to in years, an old friend who once studied alongside me under Demetrius Toteras and who, for whatever reasons, had fallen off my radar screen. ‘Clean‘, as he calls himself now, is just that, clean, as he reports, clean of everything that once sucked him downward: no more drugs, alcohol, tobacco, meat, dairy, sugar, wheat, and whatever else he has decided to be ‘clean’ of and from.

I learned this because a scant few seconds after I recognized him, Clean went into a righteous diatribe the likes of which I haven’t heard in awhile, beginning with his own transformation a few years back to making grandiose statements of intention towards changing EVERYBODY’S bad habits.

And I mean everybody

I’m looking for donors, Milt, to help me start this world-wide website where you can find total awareness and which one visit will change your life forever! I just know that this website can affect everybody, Milt, so I end you to…”

Now, I’ve made quite a few changes in diet and other habits over the years and I, too, feel better than I did however many years ago. I don’t, however, have any illusions that the world will suddenly discover me and Mia and what we do and then beat a path to our doorsteps, slathering for every scrap of advice, nor do I believe that there is a sweeping change taking place in the world where EVERYBODY makes similar changes at the same time. Hell no, friends, for we are all on separate and distinct evolutionary courses, and though you hear a lot about a planet-wide ‘awakening/illumination’, we don’t all illumine the same.

Clean feels otherwise, and once I raised a couple objections to his enthusiasm, he went livid on me. “Oh, so you like being 100 pounds overweight and living on fast food, huh? You’re just like everybody else, Milt, and here’s the thing…”

Now, I’ve experienced on more than one occasion, the zeal of the recently converted and their quest to make everybody experience exactly what they have, and I generally laugh to myself, applaud their discoveries and keep to my own, again, knowing that we are all so different, operating within our our relative universes, logic that fell on the deaf ears of my friend, Clean.

At any rate, we good-naturedly went back and forth a bit until he really pressed his demand to be taken seriously.

Milt, you could be living so much better than you are if you just/

Clean, how do you know I am not living at this level now? How do you know I’m 100 pounds overweight and sucking down BigMacs for breakfast? We haven’t talked in years and you’re just assuming I need to follow in your footprints just because you feel so strongly about it? Maybe I’ve been where you’re now at for a lot longer than you think, or…”

Or what?”

Maybe I don’t choose to go down that path, maybe I don’t have to go down your path to find what I need in my life.”

The phone went dead for several seconds while he ingested my comments. Clean had always been a thoughtful guy, not given to pushing ideas on others, so his transformation to prophet had the smell of some other force behind it, to my mind I mean. Just sounded to me like he had been converted.

And then real bingo! moment. “You know, Milt, I’ll tell my wife what you said, it might surprise her.”

There it was. “Your wife?”

Yeah, she’s the one who’s pushed me to make all these change, but I really wanted to, don’t get me wrong, it’s been all for my betterment, really, and…”

And Clean went on to further evangelicise while waxing poetic on the amazing virtues of his latest wife, his 3rd. I listened politely, but I soon looked for my exit.

Friends, it’s one thing to share your discoveries with others, but it’s quite another to shove them down your friends throats and demand they say ‘thank you’ in return…


This week’s MiltnMia Show:

Alone in a crowded room: Loneliness and being isolated from everything

Milt introduces the show’s theme, Loneliness, and the feeling of being isolated from everything. Milt offers some facts about loneliness and its affects on our health, “Loneliness is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and being an alcoholic. Clearly, people need social contact or they suffer.” Mia, “They did a study with babies many years ago and those that weren’t touched died quickly, so we need that connection to each other, but it’s a huge illusion to have a million Facebook friends, but there’s no one there to hold your hand when you need it. Of course it’s important to be alone at some point in the day, to reflect on your life.” Milt, “It seems a lot of people are not able to be alone, and many people are reporting intense feelings of loneliness even and especially when they’re in crowds of people, and these feelings are strongest in young people; it seems older folks handle this better.” Mia, “We are losing a lot due to technology, which should be a help but actually, it is isolating each of us even more from one another. We’re losing the ability to communicate when we’re together, and the way to counteract that is to learn to be together, to put effort into socializing and most people don’t want to put effort into anything, we’re so used to having things come easily.” Milt, “It takes hard work to break the bubble of isolation…we’ve talked about this before with respect to depression, which I and a lot of existential philosophers are saying should be called despair and which is an inevitable result of living in a society which increasingly fragments, separates and isolates everything, especially its people.” Mia, “It’s absurd, but a lot of it is because of the computer which limits you from allowing nature to take its course sometimes; we don’t really know how to get along with people now and everything offends us when it never really did before. What would happen if we lost electricity, though? It’s the new addiction.” Milt, “Is loneliness leading us to early graves?” Mia, “If you have nothing and no one to look forward to, what are you living for? We need people to love you and to be your companions; without that interaction, loneliness leads to doubt and darkness, and even though it is extremely important to learn to be alone, we are made to interact with each other. We are not single cell organisms. And, too, there are times when you need space, after traumatic events especially.” Milt, “Maybe we’re just not using these new medias properly.” Mia, “There’s something deeper than that, there’s so many false illusions created on the Net, but when do you ever really get to know them? You need physical feedback.”!-milt-n/id796661531


Later today, Mia and I will be taking the afternoon for ourselves and resting. Mia works unbelievably hard at the hospital and comes home exhausted every day, and that gorgeous little bird needs some time off, which we’ll be taking in May, then again sometime this fall for what we hope to be an extended break.

Until then, however, we’ll be hard it, as I trust you will…

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