Editorial: I’ve Been Staring At This Jar Of Pickles For 3 Hours. Is This What A Mental Breakdown Feels Like?


May 4, 2015 - Local

By Jeffrey Holcomb, Altadena

Well, I’ve certainly gotten myself into a predicament this time. It’s been over 300 minutes and I have found myself unable to remove my attention from this glass bottle of pickles on my kitchen counter.

That seems like a long time, right? Do you think I could be having a mental issue or something?

I don’t think the jar is particularly interesting. The pickles are just sitting upright, in a cloudy liquid with suspended little pickle pieces. Nothing seems to be moving.

I can’t think of a recent event that might have triggered this issue. My life is not perfect by any means, but things have been improving the last few years. My job is fine and I like the people I work with; and my sweet Robert from Denmark knows just how to please me. His Nordic touch has done wonders for my comfort.

But yet…

There is something soothing about these flecks suspended in liquid. It is wonderful contrast to the situation of the world. The digital age is so brisk! Everything is moving so much faster! Data, information, signals…people, lions, and gulls I tell you we’re all going a bit overboard don’t you think?

Or do our memories of the past betray us?

And Robert, dear sweet Robert, doesn’t he only add to this madness in the end? Isn’t he just another novel enterprise brimming with blood and thoughts and cells and emotions? Am I somehow partially responsible for this mass orchestration of bodily function?! I didn’t sign up for that?! When the hell did I sign up for that?!

The pickle flecks are suspended in liquid like we were in the womb. 

Who can I even appeal to?! Are there rules to this game of life, or are we all just making them up along the way? It’s exhausting! It’s daunting and humiliating! Why do I have to keep justifying the ways I live my life to myself? Do I even care?

Let’s keep thinking about it…

Yes, I think I’d like to keep thinking about it…