“A weary pilgrim on the road”

It’s Friday morning, and I’m once again on the earliest train heading toward the office, because I woke up way too early and wasn’t able to get back to sleep.

While watching a video to pass some dead, middle-of-the-night time, I heard a casual statement that poked one of my pet peeves, so I made a quick, five minute, audio essay on my voice recorder* responding to this idiotic verbal excretion.  I’m going to edit that a bit and then post the audio here, and also probably turn it into a “video” on YouTube, though there is no actual video involved.  I’ll probably just put up some picture, hopefully of something relatively pertinent, as the video portion.

An “interesting” thing happened in the office yesterday.  Where I work, they play loud background music all throughout the day** because people are on the phones talking to customers and don’t want to be distracted by other people on their phones.  The music is literally just noise to break up any coherent verbal background.  I’ve never worked anywhere else where people felt the need for such things, but apparently this is typical in these settings.  I’m often tempted to play construction noises, or factory floor noises in the background, since—supposedly—this would serve the same purpose.

That’s more or less what the effect of the constant noise is to me.  It’s like jackhammers and drills and traffic and chaos always going on in the background, and it’s overwhelming.  I need to stay relatively aware of things, because my own job requires responding to things happening in the room, recording and processing and checking various things as they happen.  But I do have a pair of good earmuffs or whatever you call them that I put on occasionally.

At other times, when things are a little slower and I can afford minor distractions, I will put in earbuds and watch a video or podcasts or something either on the computer or my tablet or phone during the downtime.

Well, it’s a been a strange and slow week, with very diminished business compared to last week, but with erratic spurts of good activity, and yesterday afternoon, after doing some decent business during the middle of the day, things were slowing, and I put in my earphone*** and was watching some videos.  Then, at some point, I looked up from one of the videos and realized that everyone else was gone.  They had all left early, since things were so slow, but nobody had made sure that I knew.

For a moment, I wondered if everyone had simply stepped outside for a moment for various reasons, and it had just coincidentally all occurred at once.  Such things are possible.  But I doubted it.

I texted my coworker who is closest to me in the office and asked him if everyone had just up and gone.  He texted me back that yes, they had, since all but one person was off the phone already, and there seemed little point in pushing through for the last forty minutes, with no prospects in sight.  I texted that it would have been nice for someone to tell me, and he duly apologized and said that he’d forgotten I had my headphones on.  I did only have the one, but the other ear is obviously even less useful than I thought.  Also, I guess, when I’m focused on something I can become difficult to distract.

I’m already having worse trouble than usual lately with my dysthymia/depression, and my (apparent) ASD, and just generally a non-existent social life, since all the people I’ve ever loved don’t seem to want to be around me.  But this new occurrence certainly didn’t help my mood even as I made sure the coffee was off and shut off the rear and front lights, set the alarm, and left to office to go to the train station.

I know that my problems in general are my “fault”, in the sense that they arise from my less-than-ideal machinery and programming, so to speak, and I don’t think anyone is out to get me or particularly trying to hurt me or anything of that sort.  But it still does hurt to have that glaring reminder of how different and separate I am, even where I work, before leaving to go back to the house in which I live, in a room by myself, where I don’t talk to or interact with anyone but the stray cat in the back who seems to like me.

I’m allergic, unfortunately, so I can’t take him in, but he’s a pleasant cat, and I do give him food.  I know cats can take care of themselves, but he’s a somewhat older male, and there are a lot of stray cats in south Florida, and raccoons and other creatures as well, so it’s nice to make him as stable as he can be, as well as another cat, a female, who is extremely skittish and timid.

Anyway, it further cements my provisional conclusions that I am not really a beneficial organism to the creatures around me—except a few stray cats—and that I have no connection of any depth with other beings.  I feel utterly adrift and alone, like I’m on a raft in a limitless ocean.  It’s a big raft, and there’s enough food and fresh water for an indefinite time, but there’s nothing else about, and no land in sight.  There may be no land anywhere.  I want just to dive into the water and sink, but the delusion that someday I might see land of some kind makes me keep putting it off, despite the fact that the journey is so dreary and pointless.

That’s a pretty ham-handed metaphor, and it’s not very good.  Sorry, I’m sure this is getting tiresome.  I know it’s tiresome for me, like everything else, so I’ll leave it at this for now.  I’m working tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll write and post something then.  Have a good day, please, if you can.

*Yes, I figured out how to set it up and use it, which was not hard.  What confused me was the fact that it asked permission to be able to save the recordings on my phone’s memory, and even to use the microphone and speakers.  I don’t recall other such apps needing to ask for permissions.  Why would I record something and then save the recording if I didn’t want it saved on my phone?  It still makes me nervous, just ever so slightly.

**I say “music”, but it’s pretty crappy.

***I mainly put only the left earbud in, because my right ear has badly reduced hearing, and constant tinnitus, and it’s also good to keep at least that, rather muffled and hampered, source of sound input active, so I don’t miss too much.

5 thoughts on ““A weary pilgrim on the road”

  1. You need to remember that it’s them not you. Most people avoid when ever possible talking to a person smatter then themselves. So it is their short coming not your charisma.

  2. “I am not really a beneficial organism to the creatures around me—except a few stray cats—and that I have no connection of any depth with other beings.”

    Are you kidding, Robert? Your books—I count over a dozen of them—are beneficial organisms out there in the world, making friends, getting along fine without you. What parent could ask for more?


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