Above the lake, after the flood

It’s Friday again, but that fact in and of itself is no particular cause for celebration for me, because I work tomorrow.  Still, I’m up and at the bus stop today, unlike yesterday, which should imply that at least my back and legs are not as painful as they were yesterday.

I spent pretty much my entire yesterday lying down, just trying to rest and relax the muscles and joints in my back, my hips, my ankles, and my knees, all of which were hurting.  Of course, I availed myself of OTC analgesics, but I always use those, so it’s hard to make much difference using them without permanently disabling my kidneys and/or liver, which I am probably already doing based on the amount that I use every day.

It’s a bit frustrating finally to have sorted out most of the issues with my new bicycle and gotten it into a situation in which I can ride it comfortably and usefully only to have a week-long stretch of nearly constant rain.  I can’t even imagine how I would have gotten back to the house Wednesday night if I’d tried to ride the bike.

Just to give you some idea:  there is a small park area right near the train station in Hollywood (Florida), and a main feature of that is a river/lake that I suspect is artificial.  It runs under the main road as well as under some foot bridges.  Normally, the nearest foot bridge is the sort of thing you could imagine people rowing or canoeing or kayaking under easily, without needing to duck their heads.  Well, on Wednesday evening, the water in that lake was up to the bottom of the bridge, several feet above its baseline.  The water in the main road and the bus stop and the nearby fields was flowing—clearly, obviously, and powerfully—toward that lake, such that it looked as if soon the lake would swell its banks and the water level would engulf the sidewalks and the bus stop and the main road.

Of course, much of the road was underwater, anyway.  Particularly at the intersections and cross-walks, and along the edges where the bike lanes are, there were vast pools of water.  Even during the walk from my final bus stop to the house, which is just a bit under a mile, there were places I could not pass without stepping more than ankle deep in water.  And, of course, when trying to minimize the degree to which I had to do that, I skirted around edges of sidewalks and berms and roads, and met some very unsteady ground.  I’m sure it was more unsteady than usual.  So my back and knees and hips and ankles were subject to unusual stresses and strains that probably contributed to yesterday’s problem.

My Timberland boots would have been entirely useless for avoiding the soakers I had in both feet before I got even close to the house.  If I had worn my “motorcycle” boots, those would have kept my feet dry in anything much less than knee-high water—they’re pretty great for that.  However, they are not great for walking if you want to avoid blisters or ankle problems, because they don’t exactly grip the feet firmly, and they have elevated heels.  They look good, and they would be good for wading, up to a point, but they wouldn’t be good for any significant walking, and you certainly wouldn’t want to run in them.

Once again, here I go, writing about the weather, of all things.  It’s a reflection of the sorry state of my life that this really is the only interesting* stuff that’s going on with me.  Weather, commuting, depression, pain—these are the things I have about which to communicate.  At least, they are the things that come to my mind.  I’m not really learning anything new—not by my standards, anyway.  I still haven’t really written anything at length about sugar or whatnot, and I haven’t done any audio posts or “podcasts” or whatever you want to call that stuff.  I just don’t have the will to do it, any more than I have the will to write any new fiction.

It is an interesting fact that, most days, more people look at my blog than have bought, let alone read, all of my books put together.  I’m not counting the stupid purchases I made of my own books, which I then signed and gave to the people at the office.  As far as I know, only two of those people have actually read any of my books, and one of them subsequently died of a drug overdose; he was the closest thing to a real friend that I’d made in well over ten years.

That’s frustrating, to say the least.

I’m not sure what to do.  I don’t expect any epiphany or any other kind of spiritual or psychological breakthrough; I’ve been trying to explore the nature of reality and, to some extent, my own mind for most of my life, as far as I can remember.  I’ve read lots of science books, of course, but I’ve also read many self-help books and spiritual books and so on.  I’ve meditated and did self-hypnosis throughout my teenage years.  I’ve read religious works of various stripes; some of them were interesting and engaging and even profound in places.  But none of them were very impressive overall.  Shakespeare was better.  As was Milton.

I don’t know what I’m getting at.  When do I ever, right?  I know where I’m going in the long run, at least, which is the same place we’re all going in the long run.  If there’s something else waiting, I’ve never encountered anything close to good evidence or argument for it.  I have looked, but I’ve tried to do so without self-deception.

Maybe that’s my problem.  Maybe the only escape from dreariness and depression entails or requires some form of delusion or another.  Maybe Shirley Jackson was right, and no live organism really can continue to exist “sanely” under conditions of absolute reality.

But, of course, we never really exist under conditions of “absolute reality” in any serious sense.  We don’t have access to all levels of reality using just our ordinary, unaided senses, not even close to it.  But that (in principle, surmountable) limitation is one thing, while inventing stories about the “meaning” of life and reality out of wisps of desperation, fear, loneliness, loss, and pain is another thing entirely.  I have no intention or desire to do that.  It’s like trying to weave a sweater out of yarn spun from cotton candy.  It would be an interesting novelty, but at any real test—including just sweating while wearing it—it would melt and dissolve and draw swarms of flies and ants and just be disgusting.

That’s a weird metaphor, I know.  Sorry.  I’m not being particularly coherent here.  Which I guess is reason enough to call this post to a close.  I hope you all have a good weekend, and spend it relaxing with people you love and who love you.  What else is there?  A lot, I guess, but none of it is quite as pleasant, and it’s not more important.  Not that anything is important; or rather, on a cosmic scale, either everything is important or nothing is important.

On the scale of an individual life, though, things can be quite different, and in an entirely reasonable sense.  So, if you can, enjoy your weekend.

*I use that term hesitantly.  Perhaps I should have written that it is the closest thing to being something interesting that’s happened to me.

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