Well, I have my laptop with me today, and I’m at the train station even earlier than I was yesterday. This is related to the fact that I woke up even earlier today than yesterday, though I didn’t go to bed or to sleep any earlier.
It is 12-20-2022 on a Tuesday, which is kind of fun—because there are a lot of 2s in today’s date. I don’t mind the zeroes, but I wish we didn’t have that numeral one in today’s date. I do remember that the Tuesday on which fell, using the European date writing system, the twenty-second of February of this year was 22-02-2022, which is about as palindromic as such dates can get*, and the ultimate twos-day. Matt Parker did a video a few years ago about February 2, 2020 for Stand-up Maths, claiming it was the most palindromic, because it worked in European or American dating order. He had a point; I’ll put a link here if I remember. But that date did not fall on a Tuesday.
I had to check online to confirm the days on which the dates above fell. I could probably have worked it out for myself with a bit of figuring. If I had plenty of energy, it’s the sort of thing I might do—but not right now. Right now I have almost no energy. I’m frankly exhausted at nearly every level, though perhaps not according to the literal definition of the word, since it implies something that is fully empty (is that an oxymoron?) in the literal sense.
I feel like I am very close to that point, though. I’m so tired of doing what I do every day, just to maintain the various functions of life that continue to require maintenance, from eating, to brushing teeth, to working, to buying food, to getting to and from work, to doing laundry, to all those other things that are just repetitive maintenance for a life that I don’t even want to keep doing.
There’s a famous fact of physics that, if there were an airless hole straight through the middle of the Earth**, and if one jumped into the hole, it would take—if memory serves—forty-two minutes to get to the other side of the planet. I believe Newton figured this out, himself. Of course, this is highly counterfactual, since there would be air resistance and worse in such a hole, and a large portion of the Earth isn’t even really solid, so you couldn’t maintain a hole, and the Earth’s interior is far too hot to survive passing through even at high speeds. But still, it seems like it would be nice just to jump into such a hole and fall, going back and forth through the planet without stopping, forever, or at least for the rest of one’s life.
Actually, come to think of it, that’s an experience that’s the same as any form of free-fall. Anytime one is moving unimpeded along a geodesic in spacetime, one is in the same circumstance. That was Einstein’s great insight that I believe he described as the happiest thought of his life: when he realized that a man falling from a high roof would effectively experience no forces whatsoever while falling, and it led him to the principle of equivalence—that acceleration and gravitation are locally indistinguishable—which then led him down the path to General Relativity. So, just being an astronaut on the ISS would be the same experience, internally, as falling through such a hole in the Earth, though I doubt they’d send me up there just so I could get a break.
Maybe someday there will be free-fall vacations, where a person can book a flight to be put in orbit for a bit, with no engineered gravity, and just allowed to go to sleep. Maybe one could even climb into a sensory deprivation tank during that time, and the lack of gravitational acceleration would truly allow them not even to experience proprioception related to gravity. It seems like it would beat just floating in a bath of Epsom salts.
Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to get away from it all, and I do mean from it all. I can’t relax my mind, I can’t relax my body, but both of them are just achy and tired all the time. And everything I do is utterly without a point. I mean, from a certain point of view, everything anyone ever does is without a point, but people can at least have their own, internal purpose, the things that give their lives and deeds meaning to them. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s even rather admirable and heroic and beautiful in its way.
But I don’t have any purpose. I don’t even have a dugong***. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not achieving anything, and I don’t get any satisfaction out of anything that I do. I really am like someone who has kept a Great Ring.
I need just to give up. I don’t know what I’m achieving by any of this, but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing. Not that I’m achieving “nothingness”, mind you. That would, in a sense, be an achievement (ironically). I’m just achieving nothing, by which I mean not achieving anything. I guess that’s probably obvious. Sorry.
I wonder if Michael Jackson’s old doctor makes house calls, if he even is allowed to practice medicine after finishing his remarkably short (shorter than mine) prison term..
I’ll bet he’s not commuting on a train to and from work, living in a single bedroom in the back of an old, cinderblock house, not doing anything for fun, not spending time with his kids or any friends or anything. And, above all, if he has trouble sleeping, we know he has some tricks to take care of that problem.
*Speaking of palindromes, yesterday we missed the last possible palindromic recording number for the year in doing our verification recordings at work, which was what I had set as a deciding factor regarding my future plans. So, the universe has sent me no positive message. Not that I was expecting it to do so. The universe could hardly care whether I live or die.
**Actually, straight through any two places on the surface of the Earth would give the same basic result, but I’m going to keep things simple.
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