I brought my laptop with me yesterday after work, and I’m using it to write this post. I was afraid this morning that I would need to avoid its use. I was worried that there would be heavy rain and high winds at the train station thanks to the “subtropical storm” morphing into a hurricane that’s bearing straight at the east coast of Florida. However, this morning it’s just a bit breezy, and the rain is not very impressive—more a drizzle than anything else, though it is steadier than rain tends to be down here.
I have my raincoat on, just in case.
As of yesterday, the announcement was that today the trains would stop running after about 5 pm, so I’m going to need to leave work early if that’s still the case. In addition, the announcement was that there would be no train service on Thursday, since the storm is predicted to make landfall at around 1 am Thursday morning. So, I may not be going to work on Thursday, since if the trains aren’t running, the buses aren’t likely to be running, and I have no other reliable way to get to the office. If that’s the case, I probably won’t be writing my traditional Thursday blog post.
I doubt anyone will mourn.
Maybe I should take this as a sign from the universe that I should just give up on this blog post, as I’ve given up writing fiction or playing guitar or even really listening to any music, let alone singing along. I get the impression that my post yesterday—which was on a subject I find interesting, and thus about which I tend to go on and on and on, even when writing on my phone—wasn’t particularly interesting to anyone but me. There’s nothing terribly wrong with that, but it’s a lot of work just to spew my random thoughts into the void, when for the most part, I already know what those thoughts are.
I’ve given myself plenty of such potential “signs” to look out for, that I would take to mean that the universe wants me to stick around. Not that I really believe in any such nonsense; it’s just a bit of frivolity. Most of the potential signs I’ve chosen center on my love of numbers; they relate to certain automatically generated codes that happen when processing things at work.
I gave myself more than 10 opportunities over the last several months, and they’ve all failed, which was predictable. I knew that they weren’t likely—I was looking for palindromic sequences of eight digits in an eight-digit code that turns over very rapidly, since numerous offices and businesses use the service—but I figured, since I’m a fan of numbers, and especially such numbers, if one of them came up honestly, in the normal course of business, I would take it as an indicator to reorient myself somehow, at least for the time being.
I don’t actually imagine that the universe cares one way or another whether I live or die, or indeed, whether anyone or anything lives or dies, except to the extent that the universe contains minds instantiated in flesh. All of those that might have any pertinent opinion have shown the general tendency to find their lives more comfortable when I am not around them much, as I’m sure I’ve noted ad nauseam in the past. So, there really is nothing significant holding me here.
Even those distant people with whom I keep in occasional contact, and who would probably be sad for a bit if I were gone, would not experience any true upheaval in their lives. I’m disconnected from nearly everyone, beyond tenuous cobwebs; the people at the office are the ones who would have the greatest adjustments to make, but these would be rapidly achieved, and some people there would no doubt get raises as they took over some of my duties.
I’m tired, in so many ways. I’ve slept worse than average even for me this week, probably partly because of the change in the clocks over the weekend. And the fact that it gets so dark so early in the evening this time of year has never been good for me. I’m on the first train of the day here, now, but I was up for hours already before I left the house.
I kind of wish for something to take the whole issue out of my hands. I don’t tend to cross streets against lights deliberately—that would feel utterly impolite and inappropriate to me—but I have been willfully walking into the road even when right turners are approaching the intersections, hoping that someone will be reckless and run into me. It’s a silly little thing, but if someone caused such an accident, they would be the ones disobeying traffic laws, so the fact that my “gain” would inconvenience them would be appropriate.
So far, I’ve had no luck. I don’t really expect to have any in this sense—even if someone were to hit me, the speeds are too slow to be likely to be lethal. Still, I have channeled the Joker (from The Dark Knight) a few times while crossing the street recently, saying, “Hit me, hit me, I want you to do it, I want you to do it,” under my breath as drivers approach the intersections. Of course—rather obviously—no one has hit me so far.
Oh, they’ve just confirmed with announcements on the train that, yes indeed, there will be no service tomorrow (and today it will stop early) so I don’t plan to write a post tomorrow. If you’re looking forward to my bastardized Shakespearean quote for the week, I can only apologize, but I’m not going to go out of my way to do it. It’s not as thought there would be any point, to it or to anything else that I do.
Every day, more and more, I feel like someone lost in a Lovecraftian landscape full of creatures that make little sense to me, and with whom I cannot effectively communicate or interact. I know that I make no sense to them, also, or at least very little. I suppose, in a way, I’m the alien, I’m the mutant, so I have no “right” to expect them to try to understand me.
But surely, to Cthulhu or to Yog-Sothoth or to Shub-niggurath, humans and other mortal creatures must look as horrifying and alien as those creatures do to the hapless humans who encounter them in the stories. Cthulhu may find the presence of humans to be as repulsive (and even frightening) as humans would find an encounter with cockroaches, ants, and mice or rats in their kitchens, in their food. If it’s evil for Cthulhu to want to destroy humans, then it’s surely just as evil for humans to want to fumigate their homes when they are infested with “pests”.
I know, I know, Cthulhu isn’t real*, but that doesn’t change the point I’m making. The monster, the outsider—the stranger—can be just as innocent, just as horrified, just as frightened as any human in any scary story.
Fear is not the mind killer, despite what they say in Dune, but prolonged fear is erosive, corrosive, and a burden that can become too great to bear. And being a stranger in a strange land may be a low-level kind of fear—often more of a stress and tension, really—but it is real.
And even a monster, a stranger, might hope or dream or wish that somewhere, somehow, someone would rescue it, would reach out and try to help it, so that it doesn’t have to feel so lost and alone and afraid. But it might recognize that it has no actual right to expect that anyone would ever do such a thing, and—seeing as it is a monster, a stranger—that its nature is to be alone until it finally succumbs to its local increasing entropy.
Anyway, that’s nearly all for today. I won’t be writing anything tomorrow. As for Friday, well, whether I write anything then will depend on factors such as whether the trains are running again by then so that I’ll be able to get to the office okay, and of course, whether I’m even alive—but, then, it always depends on that latter variable.
In closing, I’ll refer to a different topic. Many of you are probably aware of the very large Powerball jackpot that was recently won (or so I understand) by some human somewhere. If you’re interested in reading a story about someone who wins a similarly large jackpot and tries to do good with it, leading to unexpected and earthshaking consequences, you could read my short story, “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” which is available as a standalone story through Kindle, and also as part of my collection Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which is available on Kindle and in both paperback and hardcover editions. I think it’s a pretty good story. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, and I’d be grateful for any feedback I’m able to receive.
Stay dry and safe, wherever you are.
*As far as we know.