Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday again, as happens periodically, and thus it is time for another edition of my weekly blog post. It being the second Thursday of the month, it would have been another entry of the long-since-abandoned “My Heroes Have Always Been Villains”, had I continued that enterprise. Unfortunately, that pursuit appears to be one of those idiosyncratic enthusiasms that a certain kind of person tends to have, holding little interest for others, and in fact boring them—a joy that, because of its peculiarity, cannot be shared. Oh, well. Life is rarely satisfying.
I made a follow-up video on the subject that I introduced in last week’s blog post. I posted it on YouTube and embedded that in a post on Iterations of Zero. If you want to learn more about what I was referring to in last week’s post, and about my personal reactions to it—and some rather random, meandering, and inconclusive thoughts on what I should do* about it—by all means, I encourage you to view it. I tried to cut out most of the hemming and hawing, the pauses and mutterings, and to make the audio as clear as I could in a reasonable amount of time. The fact that I still can’t bring myself here to write explicitly what the subject of that video is may give some clue as to how unsettled I am—unsettled because I think, more and more, that the results of the tests I discussed are probably right, based on my explorations and reflections since then. But sharing such personal matters has always been difficult, at a certain level, for me.
I’ve always had trouble expressing my wishes for other people’s input and even (gulp) help. I find the prospect of such interactions daunting, partly because I find interaction itself daunting. More and more over time, other people have come to seem indeed very much “other” to me, in a deeper than usual sense—almost alien. I’ve always felt quite different from the people around me and find much of what they say and do inexplicable** and stressful. I’ve also, frankly, nearly always felt that I have no right to request or expect help of any kind from anyone. And so, when I’ve tried on numerous occasions to make subtle requests for help, or for input, or for whatever, I’ve tended to be too subtle—or so it seems—and no one responds…or if someone responds, the things they say and do are often counterproductive or confusing, though the attempt should always be appreciated.
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve long resonated with the last four lines of Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage, from the album whose name is invoked in that song:
“And if the cloudbursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”
Well, the “band” I was in has long since gone on to play completely different material from anything I knew. I don’t even get to hear of any of the performances—by their choice—and only one of the “members” communicates with me at all anymore***. It isn’t the first time I’ve experienced such alienation, though it is by far the most wrenching, and certainly the most heartbreaking. But that kind of heartbreak—produced by and causing such alienation—is something for which I seem to have a talent. It’s hard to blame anyone else when I’m the common denominator.
Oh, well, as I said before, life is rarely satisfying. Most days it hardly seems worth the effort. Actually, most days it seems utterly not worth the effort. But I guess I’m stubborn, or habituated, or just the victim of my biological drives, at least so far.
Speaking of stubbornness, I’m continuing to edit In the Shade, and it’s progressing nicely. I’ve finished three passes and have already almost achieved my level-one aim in word count reduction, which means I may have a decent shot at reaching or at least approaching my level two target: a 20% reduction in word count. I know that’s an arbitrary and mechanical target to use, but it’s not intended to be an end in and of itself, just a means by which to trim unnecessary discursions that may, I fear, lead people to find my writing too laborious. I don’t really know—I’m hypothesizing without much data. In any case, I have no idea whether any but a handful of people will ever read the story, anyway…or if I’ll even finish and publish it and the collection. The future is stochastic, after all.
That’s more than enough for this week’s post. I hope you’re all having a nice summer so far—I know it’s been hard for many people in many places, what with sweltering heat and fires and storms and viruses and building collapses and various other slings and arrows. But many people seem to be astonishingly gifted at finding and making joy in their lives despite everything that drives weirdos like me toward despair. Please keep it up, all of you. You deserve to be as happy as you can possibly be—as long as it doesn’t infringe on the happiness of others unnecessarily.
*I’ve had a link open on my browser for more than a week asking if I want to chat online to a licensed professional about my results. I cannot seem to work up the nerve to click it.
**It’s not so much that it’s impossible to understand as it’s impossible to credit, to believe…the sorts of things that lead one to think, “You can’t be serious.”
***Apologies for straining the metaphor here. It’s part of that same severe difficulty I seem to have expressing myself explicitly when referring to anything emotion laden. It’s something I’m aware of and recognize, but I can’t seem to overcome it.