Bikes and trains and thoughts of vampires by a different kind of undead

I’m writing this blog post on the train, or at least I’m starting it on the train.  I decided to ride my bike to the station this morning, because I was so pleased with my purchase of an automatic, USB-chargeable, programmable tire pump and the effect it had on my bike tires on Sunday.  It was a nice ride this morning.  The temperature was, supposedly, 69 degrees Fahrenheit when I left the house—so not too hot, but not too cold, neither.  It’s also not expected to rain today.

I almost planned to ride the bike all the way, bringing it on the train and riding it to the office and then back and so on, but I decided to hold off on that.  Yes, leaving it at the station required me sitting on the ground and applying my triple locking setup—two thick cables and the hard steel U-bend* lock—but on the train there are sometimes quite limited spaces for bikes.  It’s also not a good idea to wander far from your bicycle, so I would need to sit on the lower level of the train, which is not my preference, and if there were not enough seats, I would need to stand.

Unfortunately, if one is standing, it’s very difficult to write a blog post on a laptop computer, as I am doing now.  I could write one on my smartphone, but that’s a slightly less convenient process in the sense of it being much slower.  It’s taken me less than fifteen minutes to get on the train, find a seat, unpack my computer, start up the computer, log in to the train Wi-Fi, open up Word, start and name this file, set it to autosave, and to write what I’ve written so far.  Some of that is easier with the smartphone, but it’s mostly more laborious.

I’m on either my third or fourth day taking the Saint John’s Wort, so it’s too soon to imagine that it would have significant effects, but I’m cautiously pessimistic.  By that I mean, I don’t expect it to make a huge difference or to change my outlook or improve my mood, but obviously, I’m willing to see if it does.  As I’ve written, it helped me before, but that was combined with talk therapy, and I was happily married and in medical school, working my way along toward being a doctor, and I had classmates who were my friends and all that.

My current life situation is very different, and you’re reading my only equivalent of therapy at the moment.  But, as I say, we shall see what happens.  At least, you shall see, if you so desire.  I shall experience it, until I stop experiencing it.

I’ve been rereading my book Mark Red, the first book I wrote while a guest of the Florida DOC, its first draft having been done in longhand.  I’m enjoying it quite a bit.  As I’ve said many times, the vampire, Morgan, is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever made up, possibly the favorite.  Mark is a good character, too, but he’s a teenage boy, so there’s only so much interesting there can be about him.  And there are other, secondary characters about whom I hadn’t thought in some time, but upon re-encountering them, they are quite fun.

One of these, who has just arrived in the story, is Ray, a powerful psychic and wise advisor with a quirky attitude, who wears two pairs of glasses—one on his eyes and one on his forehead—and is based almost entirely on a person I met at the place on Gun Club Road, in Palm Beach County**.  That guy had two pairs of glasses, because the county didn’t provide bifocals, and he wore them both at once (one on his eyes, the other stored on his forehead) because it was just easier, since pockets were not an option.  He was quite wise in his way, and he gave me permission to use him in the book.

I also have a character whose nickname is New York—he appears later in the book—who is based on another person I met there, who asked me if he could be in the story, and if he could save the day.  So he is in the book, and he does save the day, and I was happy to let him do that, because he was a pleasant guy, and quite funny.

Cat only knows where those guys are now.

As I reread Mark Red, I find myself thinking that maybe, if I do decide to write something else, I should write the next book in that series.  I have no less than two sequels thought out for it.  Book two would have, I think, the subtitle “Marcus”, and book three would be “Primogenitor”.  Obviously, I already have a general idea for what would happen in the books, though the specifics are almost always a surprise.

I don’t really expect to write any more fiction, though, any more than I expect to write any more songs.  Possibly I’ll never play the guitar again.  I may not even play anything on the “piano” again.  Currently, my keyboard is basically just a small piece of furniture on top of which I store various random items, and underneath which I have stacked much of my small collection of “real” books.

When I think of the many hundreds of books I used to have (not counting comic books and manga and other graphic novels), it’s a bit sad.  But it’s not as sad as losing the real piano my then-in-laws gave me as a medical school graduation present***, and the cello I had played since high school, and the various toys and other things from my kids’ young days.  I guess I have my memories of all those things, though they more often make me sad than happy, largely since I don’t get to see and interact with my kids now.

Oh, well.  Life’s like that, I suppose.  I can’t recommend it unreservedly.  If someone is considering it, I can only say, caveat emptor.  I’ve certainly never assumed that I have any right to be happy or to be comfortable, and people who do seem to think they have such rights seem almost always to be irritating.

It would be nice, though, to have a life that at least was sometimes pleasant and interesting—not in the “may you live in interesting times” sense—and if I had someone with whom I could talk about things that interest me, or that interest that person, or both.  It would be nice to spend time with my kids, most of all.

I suppose if I were a person who had any sense of entitlement, I might push the issue somewhat, but I’m not really built that way, and don’t know how to connect with people even when I want to do it.  I’ve certainly never found much enjoyment in stereotypical social interactions.  And the thought of making any major changes, like trying to pick up and move and start over somewhere else, seems far more daunting than, for instance, trying to bring the One Ring to Mount Doom or whatever.  I almost had a nervous breakdown just when my housemate moved out and then I had to move my stuff into the back room from my front room and the new people moved into the rest of the house.

Seriously, if something like that (or worse) happened again, I think I’d want just to going into some field somewhere and try to lie down and stay there, like when Anne Rice’s vampires “go into the Earth” or whatever that was.  I’ve said it before, but I wish I could just go dormant and sleep and do nothing else until either I was fully rested, or forever, whichever came first.

And, as I’ve also said before, if wishes were horses, we’d all be buried in horse shit.  And that doesn’t sound all that restful.

Mark Reed and Morgan

*All of which, of course, could be undone by anyone who can simply unlock the lock on the U-shaped lock thingy.  But the bike rack really is right near the entrance, where there is heavy foot traffic, and anyone who possesses the skills to pick a lock like that rapidly, in broad daylight, with people coming and going, is so impressive that, while I won’t say they deserve to get the bike—they do not—I will say that something dreadful must have happened in their lives for them to be reduced to stealing bikes by the entrance to the train station.  They are already living their punishment, I suspect.

**You can look it up if you want.  The most positive thing to say about it is that it would be an excellent place to ride out a hurricane…or a nuclear attack.  It’s a sturdy building.

***It wasn’t new—they were far from wealthy.  They had bought it many years before in case any of their kids wanted to learn how to play, but alas, none of them did.  So, when the time came, since I could play, they gave it to me, and it was a truly wonderful gift.

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