The numbers don’t decide…or do they?

Huzzah.  It’s Monday.

I’m sure you’re all celebrating the beginning of a new work week and the last Monday in January of 2023.  Yes, that’s right, the first month of this new year is already all but gone.  And, as with almost every month nowadays, I say “Good riddance.”

I’m not sure what subject(s) to address, today.  I guess I could start out by announcing that I passed my potential palindromic recording number on Friday without hitting it.  We reached 26266228 in the morning, but then there was a lag in business and the next recording number after lunch was 26266601.  We skated right past after coming so close.

Anyway, that was the final extension I had given myself, after passing 26211262, 26222262, 26233262, 26244262, and 26255262 over the latter part of 2022.  Those were all good palindromic numbers, but I missed them all, and given the repeating 26 and the repeating 62 of this last one, it felt like a nearly ideal last hurrah.

I had thought that if I did see one of those recording numbers, I was going to promise to myself not to go the Heming way, nor to fall prey to Kurt’s co-bane*.  But that refuge is gone, and I’m not going to reset the target, either.  I’m not saying that I am definitely going to kill myself, because Cat only knows what will happen at any moment.  But I’m definitely not going to promise not to kill myself, and there seem fewer and fewer things in my life for which to live.

People at the office come and go (except the owner, of course), and so do housemates and the like.  All my old friends are a long way away and/or have busy lives of their own, and I’ve never been good at maintaining interaction with people from a distance.  I’ve always made friends either at school or at work, wherever I was, and could get close to people because they were literally close, but when people go away, or I do, I can’t figure out how to keep in touch with them.  I don’t even know where to start.

And I have a hard time with phone conversations other than with family**.  Even getting text messages can make me feel anxious and panicky, though it’s a bit better.  Emails aren’t too bad, but people rarely communicate through emails socially, it seems.  And Facebook messenger and Twitter’s equivalent can fuck off and die.  I hate them.

Learning that all this is probably due to undiagnosed Asperger’s is, I guess, at least a bit of an explanation, so I don’t have to feel quite as much that I’m just a heartless jerk***.  But it doesn’t change the fact that I have a very difficult time connecting with people, and the fact that several of the people who have meant the most to me‒indeed, two of the top three, plus several others‒have severed ties with me doesn’t help.  I’m apparently an unpleasant person around whom to be, a lot of the time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for me, at least, it is not better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, though I would never change the fact that my children were born, and so I would never change my life up until that point.  Not that such a thing is an option, but it’s a psychological and philosophical thought experiment.

They aren’t just useful in physics.

So, yeah, I’m basically just floating through things, and fewer and fewer of the people I know, who seem to like me, are around on a daily basis.  And I have no nearby friends who read much, or are interested in science or mathematics or any of the other few things I really enjoy.  I have neither the ability nor the interest in trying to develop online connections or join groups.  I can’t even get over the stress and anxiety of thinking about joining online groups for Asperger’s/ASD support, nor to seek out online diagnosis-related resources, other than books****.

Oh, yeah, books.  Just since Friday, I think I’ve flipped into about seven different books, trying (unsuccessfully) to find one that would keep my attention, considering but passing by dozens of others that did not even catch my mind that far.  That’s not a good sign, not if you know me. Why, Kindle says my current reading streak is 140 weeks, and that just makes me wonder what the hell I was doing in that week before, because why would I have gone a whole week without reading?  But now I can’t really read much of anything.

And nearly every day at work, I consider smashing my black Strat, because I can’t find the interest or even willingness to play guitar, whether my own music or someone else’s.  Nothing is interesting, nothing is rewarding.  Nothing is fun.  And it’s not as though I have some overriding or motivating goal; I don’t.  I don’t even think I’m likely ever to do those audio blogs/podcasts on sugar, or on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or any other similar thing.  I’m almost out of gas.

And January isn’t even over yet.

*Ha ha.  I know, those are tasteless plays on words, given the subject matter, but I guess I’m tasteless.  Unfortunately, because of the two artists I’ve chosen, you might get the impression that I’d meant to promise specifically not to killing myself with a shotgun, but I don’t currently have or even have access to a shotgun.  I merely was going to commit not to kill myself.  But that commitment is not forthcoming.  The opportunity has passed.

**And even that makes me stupidly anxious, though once I get started, it’s fine.  I guess it helps that I’m the youngest of three; my siblings have literally been there my entire life, so they can never feel like strangers.

***Though that’s not ruled out.  There’s no fixed either/or dichotomy involved.  Just because there may be a clinical explanation for me sometimes acting like an asshole, it doesn’t mean I’m not also just an asshole.  And I have it on good authority that, at least part of the time, I am one.

**** But after a few of those, I couldn’t read them any more, because there’s no mechanism explored, no real neurobiology, just people talking about their lives, and I can’t easily do very much of that.  Even Simon Baron-Cohen’s stuff is far from deeply-understood neuroscience and psychology and so on, and the latest research papers are often all too superficial and yet narrow.

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