Thoughts by Richard Bleil
The Beatles are to blame. I’m just sure of it. Growing up listening to their music, there is no doubt in my mind that they are the reason I’m such a hopeless romantic. “She loves you?” Yeah, yeah, yeah…my foot she does. “I wanna hold your hand?” Sure, and send you a pic of my junk. Okay, seriously, I would love just to hold her hand. Would I want more? Of course, but only if she wanted which, let’s be honest, in my experience she never does.
“All you need is love?” The musical answer to what I have been hearing my whole life. “All you need is the love of one good woman.” Okay, I agree, but what happens to those of us who don’t have what we need? Everyone may need love, but does everyone deserve it? Don’t I deserve it? And the more fundamental question, if everyone needs love, what happens to those who don’t have the love that they need?
Okay, now I feel like I need to take a detour. I can hear my friends, of which I have been blessed with many, who are screaming at their screen, “I LOVE YOU, YOU LOSER!” Yes, I have the love of many dear women as their friend, and most of them are already married or otherwise unavailable. I know you all love me, and I you, but I’m talking about a different kind of love. I mean the love between two life partners. It’s a different kind of love that I’m talking about.
Most likely, this is weighing heavy in my mind because as I am writing it (about a week before it posted) I am awaiting my first on-line therapy session. My divorce is still weighing heavy on my mind, and that I’m single has been a major source of depression my entire life. It’s too late now; at my age I really don’t think I’ll find anyone and it’s probably just as well. After all, I’m probably so set in my ways now that I would be too stubborn to have a meaningful relationship with a woman anyway. So now, I guess I just need to learn to live with my situation.
But I do love my cat.
I must not be very nervous though. With forty-five minutes to the start of the session, I’m actually trying to distill orange essential oil from orange rinds. Today’s “session” is really an introductory session where I get to meet my therapist and vice versa. Or, maybe I’m doing this now as a way to keep my mind active. The sessions are only thirty minutes long, which makes me wonder what will happen if I’m mid-breakthrough and weeping like a baby in the woods and my thirty minutes ends.
This distillation is the “cheaty” version of steam distillation. In true distillation, you would basically direct hot steam over the orange rinds and collect the vapors that condensed. I don’t really have the proper equipment for a proper steam distillation so I’m doing the version where basically I added water to the orange peels and am boiling it. This is based on co-distillation. The oil of orange boils at a far lower temperature than water, so what’s boiling now is really the water in the flask. Most of the distillate will be, in fact, water, but it will bring the oil along with it which should condense and float on top of the water in the distillate. I’ll do a “manual extraction” of this oil, meaning that essentially, I’ll use a dropper to draw off the oil.
It’s been an interesting few days. Yesterday, I signed up for conceal carry handgun safety training. I don’t plan on carrying concealed weapons, but I wanted the safety training, and with a conceal-carry permit it’s actually far easier to buy handguns in this state. I don’t need another one, but I am kind of keeping my eye open for another Smith and Wesson 500 (.50 caliber magnum). Without a conceal carry license, I would need to go through a tedious process of obtaining permission to buy the gun and registering it before I could get it. The advantage of a conceal carry permit to me is the ability to say “Oh, you have one…I’ll buy it” and getting it on the spot. No, I don’t need this gun, but they are so much fun, and I’ve been missing the one I used to have. But here we are, less than half an hour from my therapy session, so I guess I should wrap this up. Does anybody want this essential oil?