I’m writing this blog post under rather unusual—but not entirely unprecedented—circumstances: I’m already in the office (and using my laptop!) as I write this because I never returned to the house last night.
I had boarded the usual southbound train, but even as I did, I felt a vague sense of foreboding. Well—it wasn’t all that vague, come to think of it, because there had been an announcement flashed up that one of the northbound trains was delayed thirty to sixty minutes due to an accident involving the train. This never bodes well. The Amtrak heading southbound had already dilly-dallied in the station about fifteen minutes longer than it ought to have, delaying the train for which I was waiting. Still, the southbound train came, only about twenty minutes later than usual, and I got on it, foolish child that I am.
Two stops along, the train came to a station and the conductor and guards came around saying that everyone had to get off the train, that there would be shuttles coming to bring us down south to the next station or something along those lines. I didn’t have much choice but to join the crowd, heading for the rough bus-boarding area of the station, but the noises from the nearby engine, and the crowd, and the tightly packed, noisy bodies—as well as the unexpected change in routine—were all quite stressful.
I waited for a while, texting my sister and a coworker, mainly to try to relieve my tension, trying to figure out if either the house or the office were in reasonable walking distance. The office was ten miles north (workable in a pinch) but the house was twenty-one miles south. By the time I reached it on foot, it would have been almost time to get up and leave for work.
A few city buses came and went—these weren’t the shuttles, but some people got on them, desperate just to get moving, I suppose. I couldn’t really tell what anyone was saying or doing, because the tinnitus in my right ear had been acting up ferociously all day, and I could (and can) hear even less on that side than usual. In any case, I wasn’t going to get on the bus, because based on my web search, it would take two and a half hours to get to my destination by bus, if they were even still running down my way by the time I used them.
Soon, though, there was an announcement that a northbound train was coming—going back the way I came—and it was coming on the side of the track that I was on. The fact that I also had to use the restroom, and there are none of these in the train stations (nor on shuttles, which still hadn’t arrived after nearly an hour) made my decision for me. I got on the train and rode the two stops back north, got off, and walked to the office, stopping for some unhealthy fast food on the way, because why the hell not? It’s not as though I particularly want to be healthy (though I do want to be thinner—I’m putting myself on a strict calorie count/restriction now, since it would be nice not to be so fat when I die).
And that’s where I spent the night: at the office. My sleep was probably as good as I ever get at the house, though that’s not saying much, and the industrial-carpeted floor is as good for my back as the futon/floor I sleep on at the house. The only real issue is that I don’t have a shower, and I can’t wear my usual Tuesday clothes today, which is a little distressing. I also have to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row, which is quite annoying. And, of course, I can’t change my socks and underwear.
At least, as I commented to my sister, there’s no one waiting for and/or worrying about me. There’s never anyone waiting for me to worry about me. My presence or absence has no impact upon anyone in the world, beyond the immediate and superficial.
So, anyway, here I am at the office already/still, and I don’t have anything else to write about today but the stupid events that happened yesterday evening, which would be far more tolerable if there were any good reason to bother doing any of it. But there really isn’t. There’s no point at all to anything I do.
No one has offered me any ideas for topics about which to write; so far there’s apparently nothing about which anyone is interested in my point of view, nothing of worth or of note in my life anymore. I don’t have any place that I consider—or that feels at all like—home anymore. I’m lonely and I’m empty, but I find other people stressful and frustrating and their behaviors borderline inexplicable and irrational. And they’re too loud and chaotic.
On top of that inherent noisiness, of course, there’s that constant, very high D half-sharp* in my right ear, 24 hours a day, that’s been going on for about 15 years or so now, and which has gotten worse recently. Every now and then, I get a brief run of tinnitus that suddenly pops up in my left ear**, and when it does, I’m horrified that it might be the onset of a permanent noise such as exists in my right ear.
The right ear tinnitus started suddenly, while I was working at the Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center, where the heavy metal doors were controlled remotely via a buzzing electromagnetic lock system, and they all had to be slammed shut. One day while I was there, a shriek suddenly started in my right ear, that piercing, steady, banshee sound vaguely reminiscent of the background noise of an old video monitor that only very young people can hear. It’s been going on ever since.
Thankfully, it’s only ever lasted less than a minute at a time so far in my left ear. I don’t know what I would do if it persisted. I’d be inclined to shove pens and/or pencils into my inner ears bilaterally, but I know that, since tinnitus is related to damage to nerves and closely related structures, such interventions might just do harm without helping stop the noise.
Medical education can be useful sometimes.
Anyway, that’s that. I’m at the office already, and I’ve told you my dull and dreary, but nevertheless very stressful, tale from last evening to this morning. If you want me to write about something else, than give me suggestions, as I mentioned yesterday. Ask me questions. Ask me anything. I can’t promise I’ll be able to write about any and/or everything anyone might ask, but I do have a pretty broad knowledge base, and I’m good at learning new things as well. I would really be interested in your inquiries or suggestions.
*There seem to be some other notes mixed in, but it’s hard to tease them out, and the D half-sharp is definitely the most prominent one.
**It’s never the same pitch as in my right ear, of course—this is only to be expected, since the nature of tinnitus and the damage that causes it involve processes that are utterly unlikely to coincide, pitch-wise, between the two ears.