It’s Monday, and I was loosely considering writing the second part of my discussion of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc., today, but yesterday (and to a lesser extent Saturday), I got my head thrown for a loop by something that other people would probably consider minor, and because of that, I didn’t do any preparation, such as reviewing some of the latest information on the subjects, so I’m going to put that off a bit.
It’s rather strange how fragile my mental state has become—or perhaps it was always so, but I didn’t know, because my surroundings were such that I was not as vulnerable, or because I avoided the mistake of ever getting used to anything going as I expected or hoped. In any case, my usual Sunday routine is to get up relatively early and do my laundry in the morning. It’s two to three loads, and it’s the only day in the week that I can do my laundry, given my schedule, so I’ve kind of carved that out as the way things work.
It was my understanding that the new people living in the outer part of the house knew that; I’d asked the owner to make that clear, and hitherto it’s been good. It feels like it shouldn’t be much of an imposition on anyone, since the remaining six days of the week are theirs to do what laundry they will as they please. I do pay for the cable and internet, and for (more than) half of the water and power, despite there being only one of me.
I laid in just a little bit—for me anyway—yesterday morning, which means until about 8:20 am, before going out to do my laundry, only to find that there was a load in the wash and the dryer, just getting started, and the lady was there with some man I haven’t seen before, though he’s not important. I tried stammeringly to remind her that I need to use the laundry on Sunday morning, that it’s the only day I can do it, and please to leave it free in the future, but I think that I didn’t say half of that, and not just because of my very rusty Spanish. I was just so stressed out, and felt so angry and anxious and irritated that my words kind of froze up, and I don’t have any idea what my expression looked like. I also felt almost as though I was going to cry, which is quite embarrassing. I finally said, “por favor” a few times before retreating into my room.
I know for a fact that my face doesn’t adequately convey my emotions—apparently neither does my voice nor my writing—because I frequently find that I when I am horribly depressed, and having suicidal thoughts, and am trying to send out some kind of request for help, and expect that it’s obvious, and that someone will say something about it, people act just they way they normally act.
I don’t know, maybe they aren’t acting like they normally act, but I’m no good at reading them. In any case, my experience of their behavior doesn’t seem to change. Thus, my frequent reference to the line from Brain Damage, the penultimate song from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon: “And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear / you shout, and no one seems to hear”. (It’s followed by what is, for me, an even more poignant and heartbreaking line: “And when the band you’re in starts playing different tunes / I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”)
Maybe it’s just that people have seen me get depressed and stressed out so often, and I’ve tried to express how horrible I feel so often, but no one has done anything or recognized it or something, but I haven’t killed myself yet, so it’s probably okay just to leave it, he’ll get over it and keep on going, since that’s what he’s always done so far. But, of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the dot-com bubble, and the housing bubble, and the 2008 banking crisis reminded us, though it feels as though most people had never realized it before, and probably most people have never internalized the lesson even since those big slams.
Anyway, there’s a reason that the reference to the straw that broke the camel’s back became a cliché. When a rope is fraying steadily, for a long time it looks like it’s still holding—after all, it doesn’t tend to stretch as it frays, especially not if it’s a modern, polymer rope—but when it fails, it does so abruptly, and often catastrophically.
Too many metaphors. Too much mixing thereof. Sorry, but I’m having trouble being very organized.
Anyway, just having my laundry schedule screwed up—I had to wait hours for the person’s laundry first to be done in the wash, then for them to clear it from the dryer while my first load of wash waited, finished washing, in the washer—really fucked me in the head. It didn’t help that I couldn’t go for a walk as I’d hoped to do, since it’s been pissing down rain for the last thirty-six hours or so, with a fairly steady wind that makes umbrellas pointless, since your lower half is going to get wet no matter what. Frankly, it’s significantly more inconvenient than the “subtropical storm” was a few weeks ago.
So I couldn’t finish my laundry and then go for a long walk or anything, or really do anything else while waiting for the laundry machines to be available*. Not that I would have done anything edifying or useful, but I had planned (as I mentioned) at least to review some more recent stuff about the diseases I’d begun addressing.
This is not the only thing that stressed me out. Saturday, I made the mistake of making a slightly substantive comment on a post in a blog that I follow, and another reader replied to my comment, starting the fucking idiotic response with “You’re missing the point”, and then spewing some irrelevancy about something that didn’t pertain to the point I was making; and by the way I had not missed the supposed point this person thought the original post was making. It just wasn’t pertinent nor frankly in any way persuasive.
Anyway, I felt very angry—probably inordinately so—and made the mistake of replying (substantively, I think, and not rudely) to the comment, trying to make my own point clearer. But now I don’t even want to go back to that blog, and I certainly don’t want to get involved in the comments section anymore. Maybe some people enjoy such argumentative interactions, but they make me want to go full Hannibal Lecter, or maybe just full Thanos, frankly, and that just ends up making me feel more horrible about myself than I already do.
I’ve had lots of other little stressors getting to me far out of proportion to their actual importance—after all, nothing at all is actually truly important—and it’s just highlighting for me again, in case I should ever start to forget, that I don’t belong in this world, I’m not a member of this species, I enjoy very little about the fact of being here, and that little seems to be shrinking asymptotically toward zero.
I can feel each straw gathering on my back in such moments. I don’t have any idea when it might break. It doesn’t help that my back always hurts, of course, but it does make the metaphor apt. I don’t know the extent of my endurance, and I guess I won’t know until it breaks. But it is being worn down. I can tell because I’m getting more and more stressed out by milder and more foolish things all the time.
It’s particularly frustrating, though in a different way, when someone, meaning well, asks me how I’m doing or “checks up on me” in passing, because I have to either just dodge the question—since I know people don’t really know what to do if you tell them that you’re doing terribly and wish your life would end—or just say, “Meh,” hoping that is enough to get across the message if they really want to know, but noncommittal enough that they don’t have to feel upset if they’re just trying to be polite.
But I’m not doing well. I haven’t been doing well. I’ve been trying to tell everyone that for a long time, and it feels like it’s silly for someone to ask. If there’s no one who can help me get the load off my back, I’m going to collapse, sooner or later, and I honestly hope that it’s sooner.
Anyway, that’s an unpleasant way to start the week. I’m sorry. I’m not much fun. And I’m sorry about that, too. I’m sorry that I’m such a waste of a person. It’s not how I would prefer to be. It’s not who I’ve tried to pretend to be. But pretense can only be carried on so far if it requires so much energy to do, and if it just makes you feel like a liar and a fake, when you already feel like a stranger and, above all, a monster.
Oh, well. The universe wasn’t built for me, that’s for sure. It’s under no obligation to be the way I wish it were, nor do I have any business complaining about the fact that I’m not who I might wish I were. I don’t want to be anyone else, of course; I just wish I were a better version of me.
Maybe somewhere out there in the multiverse, if there is such a thing, there is a better version of me, possibly an infinite number of them. Of course, there would therefore also be an infinite number of even worse versions of me, based on the mathematics of the situation. I wonder if I’m close to the mean, or the median (these are tricky concepts when dealing with infinities, in any case), or the mode, or if I’m an outlier. It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. As far as anyone can tell, this is the only universe with which I have to work, and I am the only me that there is, and I am the only way I can have been.
*I did at least get to watch Lydia Ko win yet another golf tournament, apparently a big one, and that’s always good. I would have watched that anyway, but it’s still good.