And bitter shame hath spoiled the sweet blog’s taste

Hello.  Good morning.  It’s Thursday again‒the last Thursday of January in 2023, if my reckoning is correct‒and so I’m here writing what used to be my sole weekly blog post, back when I wrote fiction most days of the week*.

I’m at the “other” bus stop this morning, the one that’s a stop earlier than my usual one on the bus route, because that same homeless person has again used the bench of my usual stop as a bed.  The bench where I now sit is better sheltered and longer, but it has a handrail sticking up in the middle, and one on each end, so it wouldn’t make an easy bed.

Mind you, I’ve slept in more difficult places than that, and I’m bigger than that lady, so it should be workable for her.  However, it might not be as safe a place for a woman to sleep precisely because it’s better sheltered.  It’s also less well-lit.  Though it is right here at the very edge of Broward and Miami-Dade counties on one of the main roads of the area, it still might be risky in the quietest part of the night.

Oh, well.  It’s an inconvenience, and I don’t like things that upset my routines and expectations, but it seems churlish to begrudge her the spot.  I don’t expect she’ll be using it all that long, since I suspect the lives of most homeless people are rather erratic.  Still, I might be wrong.  Maybe I’ll be gone before she is.

I mean, I will be gone from the area in the immediate sense before she is; I’m catching a bus that’s due in about 15 minutes.  But I think you know what I mean.

Sorry about all that.  I don’t mean to make “the daily bus stop report” a feature of this blog.  What a thing that would be to make people wade through right at the beginning of their reading!  At least I can take comfort‒so to speak‒in the fact that very few people will be affected by it.  Still, if I mean to court new readers, I should do better, and what writer doesn’t want, at some level, to court new readers?

I was thinking yesterday about someone like Herman Melville, an author whose works were unnoticed during his lifetime, but were lauded after his death.  I want to suppose that’s better than nothing…except, no, when you think it through honestly, it really isn’t.

I mean, if some convincing supernatural entity came and offered me the deal that I could be a world-famous author, but it would only happen after I’d died‒and if the evidence was very strong that its powers were real, so I would have honest reason to believe it, at least provisionally, especially if it could give me a glimpse of the future‒then that would be some consolation.  It would not be as good as having people read and like my work while I’m alive, but it would be far from horrible.

In the real world, though, if you become famous and beloved only after you die, like Van Gogh, it does you absolutely no good at all, and you never, ever know about it.  Even if there’s an afterlife (which seems unlikely), I suspect you’ll be too busy there to notice anything about your work from before you died.

Is it good enough to be Ozymandius, famous and mighty in your own time, and have all your creations crumble into sand after you’re gone?  Well, the crumbling is going to happen to everyone and everything in the long run no matter what, so it doesn’t seem too horrible.

In other news, I’ve already lost interest in 11/22/63, not through any fault of the story or its writer.  I even went and got the first 2 Stephen King short story collections and read The Jaunt, but it wasn’t as creepy or interesting as I remembered.  Then I got a Kindle Unlimited Japanese  “light novel” that seemed potentially interesting.  It’s peculiar and somewhat humorous, but too all over the place for me to think I’m going to stick with it.  None of the nonfiction books I own are interesting, and even my own stories‒most recently In the Shade‒are hard for me to read.

None of my old sources of engagement are working, and nothing new seems interesting at all.  I’m trying to restart watching Stranger Things, but it’s very slow-moving, and I dislike many of the characters and one or two of the actors**, though I can at least fast forward through the older sister’s scenes.  She’s played by a young woman who seems to be a perfectly fine actor, but her character is so irritating.  Where’s that Demogorgon*** when you need it?

I don’t know, it doesn’t really work for me.  It certainly doesn’t really remind me of my youth in the ’80s, though I lived in a very different kind of area than Hawkins.  I want to like and enjoy it.  But I have difficulty doing that.

People at work occasionally recommend that I take a vacation of some kind, but I can’t even comprehend the suggestion.  No matter where I go, there I am, and that’s my problem.  I can’t even think what I would do with a vacation.  As I said, I don’t like changes to my routine at the best of times.

What I think I’d prefer is just a “dirt vacation”.  That’s similar to the proverbial “dirt nap” but with the added recognition of the fact that it will be no mere nap.

I just haven’t yet worked up my nerve to book the trip yet.  But maybe I’ll get there soon.  I hope so.

By the end of the week, I should know whether the palindromic number I’ve mentioned before occurs.  It’s got something like a one in ten-thousand chance of happening, so don’t put big money on it.  Still, it’s not the sort of thing that’s so rare one could see it as a miracle.  One in ten-thousand chances happen to 800,000 people a day, on average (if we’re counting one-a-day events) after all.

Anyway, that’s enough.  Really, that’s too much.  Sorry.  You all have a decent day if you can.



[P.S.  To the people who program autocorrecting for phones: STOP PRESUMPTIVELY STICKING AN APOSTROPHE IN “ITS”!!!!!  An apostrophe is used there only when it’s a contraction‒like that time, just now.  It’s not necessary when it’s possessive.  When “it” requires an apostrophe, I can add it myself, as I did each of these last few times.  I don’t need you auto-incorrecting my punctuation.  Morons.]

*I tried to write posts for my other blog, Iterations of Zero, on Sundays, but that didn’t pan out very often.

**Meaning I don’t like their acting, not that I don’t like them as people.  Also, obviously, Winona Ryder is good, and always has been, and the girl who plays 11 is good, but some of the other child actors are just out of their depth.

***I and my friends always pronounced “Demogorgon” with a long e sound, as in “demon”.  The way the kids in Stranger Things pronounce it, it sounds like they’re referring to some manner of floor model Medusa that you can try in the store before deciding if you want to buy one for yourself to take home.

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