In the year of the wildebeest, I wish you a “Happy Gnu Year”

Well, first things first (or perhaps first things second, or second things first), since the actual first was a Sunday, I would like now to wish you all a Happy New Year.  I know there won’t be any major holidays for a while, because the Tri-rail announcement has switched over to letting everyone know that it will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day, which is in May.  To be fair to them, that’s a holiday in the US that always falls on a Monday, so it does bear announcing that they will be operating on a Sunday schedule that day.

I can’t say I’m unhappy to see the tail end of the holidays, because the single biggest thing they entail for me now is trying not to think about past times when I celebrated them with family and friends, and thinking about such times makes me very sad.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

So, as you all know, I was already getting sick last week by Wednesday, and then on Thursday, I posted a little blurb that I wrote directly on my phone to the WordPress site, just to let you know that I wouldn’t be doing my usual Thursday post.  By the time I wrote that, I think‒in retrospect‒that I was borderline delirious, and I probably had a fever, though I hadn’t checked my temperature (even as I was feeling better I still had a low grade fever, so it had probably been higher earlier).  I kept seeing weird streaks of movement across the floors and walls (never the ceiling, oddly enough) that looked almost like impossibly fast insects (or small mice?) zipping along straight gridline paths, like light-cycles in Tron, and of course, time was strange, and everything around me was slightly off and disconnected.  It was interesting, and I recognized right away that it wasn’t anything real.  I’ve been delirious before.  I wasn’t bothered by it, other than the fact that I felt like crap.

What had started as a purely respiratory illness, including sneezing and very violent coughing, strangely had spread into my lower GI tract (thankfully there was no throwing up, at least), and by the time I wrote my little Thursday tidbit, I was on the border of recommending to myself that I go to the emergency room to get some IV fluids or summat.  That didn’t really appeal, though, so I did my best rehydrating by mouth and just mostly being asleep/unconscious, between urgent and occasionally semi-catastrophic trips to the bathroom.

It occurred to me during the early hours of Thursday, that if I were to take a turn for the worst, and didn’t have the mental wherewithal to call 911, I might not even have made it to 2023 (which I have done, in case you were wondering).  I doubt I would have been stuck rotting in my room until the people in the other part of the house started to smell me‒people from the office probably would have called the police soon enough before then, since I’ve never been both absent and incommunicado before‒though I’m not sure if any of them know my address off the top of their heads (it’s not as though I ever have any visitors).

I’m frankly pretty okay with that possibility, though as I have said, it would be a shame to die “before my prime”.  Ha ha.  I’m with Dr. House (in the pilot episode of the show) in being of the opinion that there’s simply no such thing as dying with dignity, not really.  There are worse and better deaths, of course; I’m convinced about that.  But as for the rather nebulous term “dignity”, that applies to the way one lives, not to the way one dies.  That’s my point of view on it, anyway.  At least if I just died in my room it wouldn’t inconvenience other people too badly.

Anyway, that’s all by the by, since as far as I can tell, I did not die from my recent illness.  If I’m mistaken about that fact, I do hope someone will let me know.

That makes me think of an idea for a short story.  Imagine a man who has what seems to him to be a harrowing brush with what could have been a fatal accident, leaving him shaken but otherwise fine.  But the next day, when he goes to work or whatever, there are signs of his desk and everything being cleared out, and pretty soon he talks to a coworker or someone, who seems surprised and even puzzled that he is there.  That coworker‒and soon, everyone else‒tells him that, no, he didn’t survive his brush with death, he was killed, and he really needs to stop being in denial about it.

The key element here is that they aren’t freaked out or frightened or even stunned and disbelieving about the fact that he’s trying to go to work and so on despite the fact that‒according to them‒he’s dead.  They’re simply puzzled, in a “why are you doing this?” kind of way, and some are inconvenienced and annoyed, a few telling him that he’s making it very difficult for them to mourn and then get past his loss and to move on with their lives.

There is another layer of explanation behind all this, but I’m not going to tell you what it is, just in case I ever end up writing the story.  It’s not likely, but stranger things have happened‒four whole seasons of them, if I understand correctly.  I had a hard time sticking with that show…couldn’t get past the 4th episode or so, I’m not sure why.  It should have been right up my alley.  Though watching it led me to wonder, were my friends and I the only people who played Dungeons and Dragons (and many other role playing games) without using little figurines?

Well, enough of all that.  I’ll finish up by saying that, yes, I do still intend to do a “podcast” about sugar, and then maybe other subjects depending on how that goes, but I’m going to have to wait a little, because my voice is one of the things affected by my recent/current illness, and I’m going to be talking a lot today because the other verifier is going to be out sick.  In the meantime, I again wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope you have a good first work week of 2023.  Also, given that he’s now back as the 14th Doctor, I thought the following GIF with the 10th Doctor was particularly appropriate for this year.

New Year

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