Doom’d for a certain term to blog the night and, for the day, confin’d to fast in fires

Hello and good morning.

It’s Thursday, the 20th of April in 2023 (AD or CE, whichever you prefer), and so, here I am at the bus stop, writing my usual blog post.  It’s very exciting, isn’t it?  You can almost feel that paint drying!

I think there is a certain subgroup of people who celebrate this as “420” day, a reference to marijuana, though the origins of that reference are unclear to me*.  Though I find it silly, I guess such a day may as well exist.  There are holidays for every other stupid thing in the world, from various kinds of foods and snacks to alcoholic beverages and all sorts of other things.  I doubt there is a heroin day, but if I were to find out there is, I wouldn’t be surprised.  And, of course, there are geeky, nerdy holidays for people like me, such as Pi Day** and Star Wars Day***.

Much more importantly, it’s my son’s birthday, as I mentioned yesterday.  I sent him a present, of course, though it’s not particularly clever, because honestly, I don’t know what he’s into now or what he would like.  It’s been more than ten years since I’ve seen him in person or even heard his voice.

I’ve sent presents in the past (that’s not an intentional play on words) that matched what I knew his long-term interests were, and they apparently went over well.  But I’ve pretty much emptied my quiver on that front, at least for now, without simply rehashing things I’ve already sent, which seems lamer than sending something broad and generic, at least to me.  But what do I know?  I’m terrible at things like this.

I’m also terrible at things like just getting people to keep wanting to be around me for long.  People don’t end up hating me or anything, at least as far as I can tell; they just don’t ever stick too close to me for very long.  And, of course, I’ve screwed up everything in my life with respect to my children (and their mother) and my career and all that other stuff.

I’m quite good at useless things like teaching myself how to draw and to compose and play music and writing books that almost no one will ever read, and understanding complicated ideas of physics and math and biology and astronomy and medicine and all that stuff.  But regarding the things that have really, deeply mattered to me—being a good son, a good friend, a good husband, a good father—I’ve almost uniformly failed.

The fault is almost certainly all mine.  At the very least, it’s my fault in the sense that “I am a faulty machine”.  There’s definitely some fundamental flaw—and nothing limits the count to only one such flaw—in the way I try to live with the people I love the most, because at various times I’ve lost relationships with my parents, with my wife, with my kids, with friends, all that.  And I’m not the sort of person who can just pick up and restart his life, a so-called new life, with new people.

Even if I were such a person, given my track record, why would I be willing to submit to the risk with new people?  That would definitely be a masochistic choice.

All of my old friends are quite far away, and even with the use of social media, I’m not good at doing long-distance friendships very well.  I don’t quite even know what the protocols are, and I always feel awkward**** about intruding on the lives of other people at any level.  I’ve tended to make my friends in school and university and at work, from among people who had similar interests and tastes and so forth to me, and who were nearby.

I’ve been very lucky in the friends I made in middle-school to high school and in university.  But once I was married, and of course, going to med school and all that, my focus was on those closest by, as it tends to be.  I put a lot of effort into my marriage and my career, which makes sense, of course, and until my own health deteriorated because of my back injury, I handled it pretty well.

But I certainly couldn’t maintain any kind of extended social circle.  That’s not how I’m designed, it seems.  Thankfully, my wife’s family were always very welcoming and warm, and my own extended family has always been wonderful, and my wife had friends with whom we socialized.  But my family is a long way away now—those that remain—and when my wife divorced me, I couldn’t exactly maintain close ties with her family, though they were important to me.  Their loyalty belongs to her, not to me, which makes perfect sense.

Anyway, sorry about all that trivia.  I just feel the emptiness of life particularly strongly today, which is probably understandable.  I have a notion of a metaphorical creature or situation that matches the sense of how I feel and am, but I can’t quite grasp it and put it into words, because I can’t quite think of the life form that fits.  Maybe I’m like a wandering, free-living amoeba that used to be—and ought to be—part of a slime mold?

No, that doesn’t quite work, nor does it really make sense.

I was trying to think of a metaphorical herd animal or pack animal that got separated from its group—a deer, a wolf, a lion, an impala—or maybe an ant or a bee or a termite separated from its swarm, or whatever.  But of course, it’s really just that I’m a simulacrum of a human, a replicant, who is inherently separate from the humans to whom he was supposed to be assigned, still living in a parallel “space” so to speak, but unable to interact directly; and they certainly don’t seem to grok me.

It’s almost like a Star Trek episode, isn’t it?  Or maybe it’s like an X-files or a Supernatural or something:  there’s a poltergeist that’s terrifying or at least horrifying to people, that they want to avoid it or if necessary eliminate it, even though the entity causing the weirdness doesn’t mean any harm.

I wish there were someone who could exorcise me and send me on to the next plane or—better yet—to peaceful oblivion.  But, of course, even more so, I wish that I were able to be part of my kids’ lives, to spend time with them, to be close to them, and to have friends around me, and not to be in pain every day.

While I’m at it, I might as well ask for a pony and for world peace and harmony.

Enough of this.  I’m sorry to subject you all to my morosity.  Then again, no one’s forcing you to read it, I guess*****.  I hope, after reading this post, your day improves.  It’s unlikely to go downhill from here, right?  That, at the very least, is something I can offer you in my daily blog posts:  once you’ve hit rock bottom (i.e. by reading this) the only way to go is up.


hamlet and dad

*And, to be fair, I don’t care enough to look into it very vigorously.

**March 14th, because in the US date system it shows up as 3-14.  Seven years ago, it would have been 3-14-16, which would have been especially good, though I don’t recall noting it at the time.

***“May the 4th be with you,” in case you don’t know.  It’s a stretch, but it’s doubly nerdy because of the pun.

****I think it’s particularly appropriate the the spelling of the word “awkward” is so awkward.  W-K-W?  What a peculiar progression of letters!

*****Though I am very, deeply grateful to you for doing so.

4 thoughts on “Doom’d for a certain term to blog the night and, for the day, confin’d to fast in fires

  1. W-K-W what a great way to sign papers. If those letters correspond with your name. I think you could have fun making up names for these letters. Just me being a dork. Have fun it’s worth it

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