Hello, good morning, and welcome to Thursday, the Ides of September. Actually, I’m not sure it’s technically correct to call it the Ides of September just because it’s the 15th, but it seems a shame for only March to have an Ides, so I’ll give it a go. I think I’ll look up the formal definition of an “Ides” sometime soon, but right now I’m sitting at the train station with no Wi-Fi access, so it’ll have to wait.
Of course, since this Thursday is the 15th of September, that means next Thursday will be the 22nd of September, which is not only the beginning of Autumn, but is—much more importantly—Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’s birthday. In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo made his final departure from the Shire on his birthday, and of course, Frodo began his great journey on the “same” day, years later, after selling Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses. It’s an auspicious day. I ought to do something grand and epic next Thursday, really. I’m at least tentatively hoping to do so. I’m not going to let you know what it is, but if I do it, it will become obvious here, I should think. It will at least be obvious that I’ve done something, though I’m not sure if it will be obvious just what I have done.
In the meantime, I’m still sick with the virus I’ve been fighting, and my chronic pain continues, and I’ve had less than four hours’ sleep, all as per usual. Fun!
I arrived at the train station this morning to a mildly unnerving sight: there was no one waiting for the trains on either side of the tracks. For a moment, I wondered if there had been some national emergency or holiday declared, or if the trains just weren’t running, but all the stairways and elevator ports and payment kiosks were open, and the announcement boards were displaying their repetitive notice that, on Thanksgiving, the Tri-rail system will be operating on a Sunday schedule. Also, there was a security guy near where I had entered, so I knew it wasn’t as though all life in this area had disappeared*.
What happened, of course, is that I arrived very shortly after the most recent northbound and southbound trains had come and gone, so that anyone waiting for those trains had boarded, and no other people apart from me had yet arrived for the next ones. This is because I woke up too early again, but didn’t leave the house quite in time to catch the first train of the morning. Ah, well. I prefer to ride the same train, and wait on the same bench before doing so, and sit in the same seat on the train, if I can help it, every day.
Speaking of living things (I was, just two paragraphs ago, you can check for yourself), it has been raining steadily and drearily for the last several days and looks to be doing so quite a bit over the next several more days. Because of this, the access alleyway behind the place where I work is largely flooded—but that has produced at least one good outcome. Specifically, yesterday morning, when I got to work, I could hear an astonishingly loud bunch of creaking and croaking noises from behind the office (while I was inside!) and I peeked out to confirm that, yes, it was the sound of lots of frogs. I only actually saw one—it was quite dark—but I heard oodles, and even tried to take a “video” of the noise (I actually hoped but failed, to catch sight of one of the frogs while my video was going).
It’s nice to know that there are frogs about, because it seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve seen any serious number of frogs or toads here in Florida. When I was a kid, visiting my grandparents, almost every time it rained, loads of the critters would appear, but not in recent years. I read that there was some international blight that had affected frogs for a while, but maybe it’s run its course. Probably not.
I’ve gotten on the train now, and someone is sitting in my usual seat, someone who doesn’t normally ride this train, or at least doesn’t usually sit in this general seating area. That’s irritating. Also, the train stopped at a different spot in the station than usual, which is doubly irritating, since I stand at the platform roughly where the front-most available door lines up starting about five minutes before the train arrives, so I can swiftly hop on the train (well, “hop” is an exaggeration) and get to my seat. Because it was out of alignment, though, I got caught behind several other people, some of whom were slow-moving. That was also irritating, but only a bit. At last they’re people who wait for the train every day, and are familiar sights to me.
Incidentally, another issue with having someone sit in the seat I usually use is that I now have to sit somewhere else, and may be taking a seat that some other regular passenger uses nearly every day. I don’t like the thought of doing that to someone. I have a hard enough time justifying my existence at all to myself, and when I inconvenience other people in ways that I don’t like to be inconvenienced, it is rather mortifying.
I’m a weirdo, I know, but I guess I’ve always been a weirdo, and I guess I’ve always been aware of the fact that I’ve always been a weirdo. I’m not too bothered by being weird; much of the time, “normal” people seem absolutely idiotic. Why would anyone want to be like most people in the world, even the successful ones? The things they think are precious, and the things that pass for knowledge to them, and the things they think are useless, I can’t understand, as Steely Dan said. And I don’t want to understand them. I don’t think they understand themselves, or each other, most of the time, nor do they stop even to think about trying to do so. That’s the way it seems, anyway. It may be that I’m just prejudiced against humans. Perhaps this is all just sour grapes.
Anyway, that’s about it for today. No fiction, no music, none of that good stuff going on. Just drudging through the day-to-day, smelly, moronic, loud, ugly, and in a million other ways unpleasant human world. I can’t wait to get off this planet.
*There is also the presence of these annoying termites or winged ants that live in this area, and which episodically land on one’s hands or arms or neck or computer, so clearly there are living things here.
The Ides are on the 15th day in March, May, July, and October. In the other months it’s on the 13th day. Thus, we’ve already passed the Ides of September.
The Kalends is the first of the month, and the Ides is supposed to be halfway between the two Kalends. These two structural points of the ancient Roman solar calendar are holdovers from the even more ancient Roman lunar calendar.
Thank you very much!! I hadn’t gotten around to checking it, so I truly appreciate this information. I’m only sorry I was off the date of the Ides of September. This is what happens when one doesn’t plan ahead.