I’m not sure what I’m going to write about today—though that never stops me from writing, of course. If nothing else, at least I can give myself the Shakespearean pseudo-compliment of admitting that my writing is (figuratively) full of sound and fury even when it signifies nothing. But it is a bit of a struggle, because honestly, I’m feeling an ever-growing sense of futility as the days pass.
I’m certainly not ready to start posting sections of The Dark Fairy and the Desperado*. I’ve not written any more of it since a few weeks ago, and what I have written is still quite raw. I think it has its charm, but I don’t know that it’s good enough for anyone else to want to read as far as it’s gone. Of course, I’m not sure that anything I’ve written is good enough to read. I mean, I like my stuff when I read it, but to paraphrase Isaac Asimov in his author’s note to (I think) Foundation’s Edge: I’m the author; you can’t judge by me**.
Honestly, though, it’s difficult for me to express myself in general, though I do reasonably well here, on this blog. I could almost go so far as to say this is the only place in which I express my deeper or more worrying feelings. I say “almost” because, at work, I sometimes try to let people know that I really am not doing well, with words like, “Any day above ground is a bad one”, as I said to a coworker yesterday when she asked how my weekend had been and how I was that morning. She just paused and walked away in silence, but I think people don’t know whether to take me seriously when I say such things; I’m weird at the best of times, and I have an odd sense of humor, which is quite dry and rather deadpan.
If I get started talking about science or math or the Beatles or Radiohead or the like, I get undeniably enthusiastic…at least until I realize that no one else is into it as much as I am. Then I kind of just shut up and slink back (physically and spiritually) to my area in the back where I do the processing and record-keeping and whatnot.
It’s a living.
I’m also just physically very tired almost all the time. I don’t know if I have “long Covid” or something, or if it’s just the physical manifestations of my downward spiraling dysthymia, but I find myself getting easily exhausted, much more so than usual. Of course, I am getting older—that’s just what happens to people who don’t die young. But this change feels rather more precipitous than I would think just came from aging. Some of it is surely just the bloody heat. It’s so hot and muggy here in south Florida, it’s like living in the Devil’s jockstrap.
Of course, right now, there are heat waves all over the northern hemisphere, and it’s as hot in England as it is here in Florida. The difference is, for them that’s a departure from the norm. For here, the heat is almost always present. There are wonderful things about the natural beauty of Florida, of course, but it’s not as though I go to parks, or museums, or nature preserves, or the beach, or a pool, or anything—I have no one with whom I would do such things, and no wish to expose myself to random people unless I have a strong reason to do it. I have no such reason and no such people.
Honestly, I’m just tired of everything. I joke out of habit, and I do my quirky, oddball act, and I read a few blogs that I always read, and I try to distract myself with a few interesting YouTube channels, but honestly, nothing is very interesting. Even the images from the JWST are…well, quite nice, but not terribly engaging. It’s like, “Yep, space is really big and pretty, and there are things out there that are quite interesting, if you have the capacity to be interested.” But I am losing that capacity more and more, it seems, with every passing day. Everything in the world—at least everything I encounter—is either neutral or frankly stresses me out.
The prospect of playing music is almost nauseating; I don’t know how I ever thought it was something I had any business trying to do. I’m thinking of giving away all but maybe one guitar—I would keep that one because it was a gift, and it seems churlish to give it away. I don’t really have many things that I want to keep, and since I’m forcibly having to change rooms now, it’s probably a good opportunity to streamline or pare down, or to flay myself, if you want to use a rather gruesome metaphor (This being me, why would I not?).
I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this…or anything else, for that matter. Both my physical and mental energy are withering steadily. I suppose I could go to a doctor of one or more specialties, but going to the doctor or (more appropriately) to a hospital of some kind or another, is rather “contraindicated” because, A) I don’t have insurance; B) I find it humiliating because of my former life as a practicing physician; and 3) Going to the doctor or a hospital or calling helplines are behaviors of a person who cares about his life and health and mental wellbeing, and honestly, I don’t really care. At least, I don’t want to care—it’s hard not to obey deep biological drives.
Don’t get me wrong, if I could suddenly have my mental and physical health returned sustainably to optimum and not feel depressed anymore, ever, I would not turn down the offer. Though I would suspect that there would be strings attached, and I would almost certainly be right. If there were, I would probably tell the offerer to go fuck him/her/itself with a rolled-up Gympie-Gympie leaf.
I’m sure there are other people out there who care about my physical and mental health, at least in the sense that people care about the rainforests and hungry children in Africa and the polar ice caps—or about people with drug problems and poverty and so on. But it’s a vague sort of caring; not to say that it’s not real, but it’s not something anyone feels in their bones, the way they do if their local grocery store no longer carries their favorite type of ice cream, for instance.
And that’s fine; that’s the way people are built. We didn’t design ourselves, so we’re not responsible for our design flaws, and we haven’t achieved the technology to be able to improve our hardware and/or software in sophisticated ways. The only person who really has any kind of obligation—or at least a natural responsibility, I guess—to care about my health and sanity is me. And I find my health and sanity, or the relative lack thereof, simply irritating, and not at all worth the effort they entail and engender.
It would be better just to go to sleep.
*If I’ve already done so in the past and have just forgotten, well—I beg your pardon. I don’t think I have, but I’m not sure enough of my mental state not to put in a caveat, and I can’t be bothered to check. If I have, could some kindly reader let me know in the comments below?
**I’m not imagining that my work is comparable to Asimov’s. I just think the thought process he described is pertinent, and he deserves to be credited for it.