Well, it’s Monday morning, the second Monday of 2023. I’m probably going to stop keeping count of such things pretty soon, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to keep track for yourself.
I hope you all had an excellent first weekend after New Year’s. I myself did not.
I won’t get into the specifics, but remember how I said that I was considering changing my daily schedule so that I would take the bus to the train to work and then back again? Well, that change has been forced upon me by various circumstances, mainly related to my own mental fatigue. It turns out that I wasn’t feeling as rested on Saturday as I thought I was‒that was apparently an illusion brought about by the fact that I was so chronically fatigued that a slight increase in sleep duration‒brought about by having taken half a Benadryl, in this case‒gave me a foolish sense of false well-being.
So here I am at the bus stop now, waiting for the first bus of the day. Unfortunately, it arrives about half an hour later than my memory of its schedule, but it’s been a long time since I took it, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about that. I’m waiting for the southbound bus. I think it must have been the northbound bus I was thinking about when I thought it arrived half an hour earlier*. In any case, I’m quite a bit early even for that, because I woke up and left the house at my usual time. It looks like I won’t even be close to catching the first or even the second train this morning.
I had been thinking about buying a new bicycle, and if I took such a means to get to my usual train station, I might make the second train of the day, but then I would be lugging a bike around, and I would also get quite sweaty from riding. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s slightly annoying. Still, it would be faster than the bus in the long run.
Of course, I could just plan to get up later in the morning, and come to the bus stop closer to the appropriate time, but sleeping late enough in the morning is not something at which I’m that skilled or gifted.
As for writing…well, at least I am probably going to finish this blog post in plenty of time. I may well finish the first draft before the bus comes (I did). But I don’t think I’m going to be trying to work on any fiction after that, even fiction that I had already begun. I don’t think I could completely finish a new novel and have it ready for publication before October of this year. I certainly wouldn’t want to work on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, because that’s supposed to be the first of a series, so even finishing it by October would be rather beside the point. Only Outlaw’s Mind has any chance of being done, but that’s far from certain.
And once October comes, my age will no longer be a prime number, though the latter portion of the year still will be for a few more months after that. And I don’t want to be past my prime yet again if I can help it, because the next time I and the year will be in my prime is far too long from now to contemplate.
It’s not that riding the bus to the train and then back again is such a big deal. Hell, I did it for a long time after getting out of work release**, and though I was tired a lot, I was thinner and more fit, certainly.
It’s amazing how things that would have been minor to moderate inconveniences way back when one had family and friends around, as well as a (misguided) sense of purpose, become just overwhelming when one has no one around from day to day, and no ability to connect with anyone, and when one is already teetering on the edge of collapse***. Setbacks feel like mortal crises, and in a way, they are, because they really do push one to the brink of literal self-destruction, and that brink itself is not a stable platform. It’s a cliff ledge over an abyss, and it’s riddled with cracks, more and more all the time, and it could give way any second, at the slightest perturbation.
Ugh, all this heavy-handed use of metaphor is galling. I feel as if I’m trying to be evasive or something, as though I can’t say clearly what I mean without making things worse. I guess my point is merely that I have nothing to which to look forward, I am achieving nothing and contributing nothing, I have lost almost everything that mattered to me, as well as pretty much all the skill I’d ever had at connecting to other people, and so I have no local, day-to-day emotional support nor any ability or clue about how to achieve it.
Even when people try to reach out to me, I react defensively; I find such situations stressful and even frightening at some level, like a feral cat that can’t be approached even when someone is giving it food. It’s difficult to trust other people after a certain point. If nothing else, prison can do that to you. I even tend to say now that I don’t trust anyone, and even that I don’t believe in trust, I just take calculated risks. I’m not lying when I say that; it’s really the way I think.
It’s all just so tiring and thoroughly unfulfilling. And it’s not as though my chronic pain has stopped, even though I don’t write about it often. It’s been going on for twenty years already; why would it suddenly stop? That’s just now how significant biological damage works, especially neurological damage.
Anyway, the point is, I’m getting fed up and worn out, and things are more or less entirely pointless to me, as I suppose they have been for a long time. I’m 53 and the year is ’23, which are both prime numbers. Today isn’t a prime number day of the month, but there are 7 more such days left in January…and seven is a prime number itself! That’s nice.
I’m just about out of gas.
But like I said, I hope you’re all feeling much better than I am. If not, the world is even worse than I thought it was, and that’s saying something.
*I was correct in his assessment. The northbound bus arrived at the time I had been expecting, incorrectly, to catch the southbound one. The situation makes sense. The intersection at which I was waiting was near the south end of the bus route, so it was near the beginning for the northbound, but near the end for the southbound.
**In fact, I feel almost as though I’m regressing back to my earlier state. Maybe I should just arrange to do something so that I go back to prison. But that is a pain. There are good things about prison, but the inconvenience is irritating.
***It’s funny, on Saturday my brother texted just to ask how I was doing, and I replied that I was metastable at least‒an unusually effusive report for me, but more accurate than I knew. Those of you familiar things like energy diagrams for quantum fields and for chemical reactions and for other similar systems will recognize that something that is metastable is a system that will stay in its current state if undisturbed‒it’s on or near some plateau of the energy function‒but if nudged at all will fall down the slope of the energy curve. Imagine a pencil perfectly balanced on it’s tip. If nothing disturbs it in any way, it could stay that way forever. But if even a slight breeze comes along, it will topple. I feel that, if I’m not indeed already toppled, or toppling, then I’ve barely been able to retain my balance on my pencil point. I don’t think I can keep it up much longer.