You pick the space and I’ll choose the time, and I’ll climb the hole in my own way*

It’s Tuesday now, the day that Professor Coyne, aka PCC(E), over at Why Evolution Is True calls “the cruelest day”.  I’m not sure the origin of that expression; as far as I can recall, his website is the first place I encountered it, but I like it.

It’s not the beginning of the week, which has a certain hectic energy at least, with everyone in a kind of recovery from their—hopefully restful—weekend.  It’s not “hump day”, which many people call Wednesday, when things are starting to coast toward the end.  And, of course, it’s not its counterpart:  Thursday, which is a day on which anticipation of the coming weekend can energize one for the day’s work.  And, quite obviously, it’s not Friday, when those who are on a 5-day-a-week schedule are effectively already beginning their weekend**.  Tuesday is the day with the least to make it stand out.  Which, of course, makes it stand out.

Also, as the Beatles pointed out, and as I often note, Tuesday afternoon is never-ending.  And, if time were to be truly continuous and infinitely divisible, then one could effectively make Tuesday afternoon never-ending in a Zeno’s Paradox sort of way, just by subdividing the time in between each moment as each moment passed.

Or, of course, one could fall through the event horizon of a black hole.  To distant observers, that fall would indeed seem to be never-ending (though before too long the image of the faller would redshift into invisibility).  And for the person falling, the end would come rather quickly.  Assuming that person survived the gravitational tides, according to General Relativity, time literally comes to an end in the singularity of a black hole.

Though I always picture the heart of a black hole a bit more like one of those “Gabriel’s Horn” shapes in mathematics, which has an infinite surface area but a finite volume.  Of course, I don’t have the skills and expertise to work the equations of GR, but it feels to me that, if spacetime is endlessly flexible****, then there need never be a true “end” to time; it could just stretch longer and thinner always, infinite in “surface” but finite in “volume”.

I know that’s all a bit esoteric, and I’m sure my understanding is incomplete.  If there are any theoretical physicists specializing in GR reading this who can help me think more clearly about black holes and singularities and why it would be necessary for time to completely end if spacetime were continuous rather than simply to stretch—making a mathematical singularity, but not literally an end—then please do let me now.

I realize that there may be concepts that can only be dealt with rigorously using the mathematics, but on the other hand, clearly the mathematics is translatable into “ordinary language” at some level, or no one would ever be able to teach it or learn it.  And I have at least a bit of mathematical background, though I haven’t formally studied how to do the matrices and whatnot involved in GR.  Still, Einstein himself didn’t know how to do it when he came up with the initial ideas, so he had to learn it and then work with it, but he had the ideas first.

I don’t have his brilliance, obviously—which is certainly not an insult—but if there’s a way to demonstrate why time literally ends at a singularity***** rather than simply stretching out into an endless tube, with shrinking cross-section (in higher-dimensions) but ever-expanding “area” (again, in higher dimensions), I’d like to know.  I mean, according to the whole Dark Energy paradigm, the expansion of spacetime is accelerating now and there’s no theoretical limit to how much it can expand, which seems to mean, at some level, that it has infinite stretchability.

Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that spacetime can continue to be created between any two points that are stretching apart, somewhat—but not quite—analogous to the way in which if you try to separate two bound quarks, all you do is create two new partner quarks with the energy you’ve put in to try to stretch them so now you’ve got two pairs of inseparable quarks.  Neener neener neener.

Anyway, I know that Penrose and Hawking developed their singularity theorems for black holes and those are accepted by physicists and mathematicians throughout the world.  They are/were brilliant people, there’s no doubt about that.  But does the theorem mean that spacetime literally vanishes at some literally infinitely dense point in the middle of a black hole—which strikes me as implausible given the stretchy-stretchy nature of spacetime—or is it a singularity more in the pure mathematical sense like the function 1/x as x approaches zero?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Wow, that wasn’t at all where I thought I was going when I started this post today, but those random, drunken walks can, at times, at least lead past interesting scenery.  No one would be likely to argue that a black hole doesn’t necessarily belong in a wasteland; in a sense, it is the ultimate wasteland, at least this side of the heat death of the universe.  But it is interesting, topographically (and topologically, to a novice such as I), and though it would be nice to be able to enjoy such scenery with company who would appreciate it in a similar fashion to the way I do, well…one has no “right” to such a thing and no good reason to expect it.  It’s lonely, but at least the wasteland has places of beauty.

And if one gets tired of walking, and/or one is curious enough to see where it leads, one can always just jump into that black hole.


*This is a slightly altered line from the Pink Floyd song Fearless, off their excellent album Meddle.

**Some of us work every other Saturday, of course, and when you have no life, like I have no life, a weekend is not something to which to look forward, except for the chance to rest one’s back.  I don’t really do anything for fun, have no friends with whom I spend time, no places that I go for entertainment or for shopping or whatever.  All such things are too tainted by memories of loss, and anxiety, and the feeling of not belonging on this planet.  My life is more or less a wasteland.  But I can’t see any way out of it (other than the obvious), and I can’t even really tell if I’m just walking in circles within it.  I think I’m walking in random patterns, like a “drunkard’s walk” (though I rarely drink).  And, of course, in a random walk or drunkard’s walk, one will eventually get arbitrarily far away from one’s origin point (though the average location will be the origin, interestingly), but the distance between one and the origin increases—I think, if memory serves—only logarithmically.  And I suspect that the exit from the wasteland is very far away, if it exists at all (other than, as I say, the obvious).  Oh, well.  Life promises one thing and one thing only; anything else is just luck***.

***A footnote within a footnote, just to note the mildly amusing fact that, so far, my footnote is longer than the main text of this post.

****A big “if”, of course.  It doesn’t seem to jibe with quantum mechanics, apparently, but we have no convincing theory of quantum gravity to settle the issue.  I’m so frustrated.

*****Again, according to General Relativity—I know it’s thought not to be the correct picture in such extreme circumstances, because of the uncertainty principle, among other things.

“It’s just the kind of day to leave myself behind”

It’s Tuesday now, which generally follows Monday, which was yesterday.  Of course, in a sense, Tuesday also precedes Monday, and has done so for practically every Monday we’ve officially had.  But it’s not guaranteed either way.  There may, for any of us and even possibly for all of us, come a Monday not followed by any Tuesday, or a Tuesday not followed by any Monday.  But I don’t think that both things can happen, not for any given person.

Someday I will see my last Tuesday, and it will follow or be followed by my last Monday—but one cannot be certain of the order of those two final iterations of days, can one?  For those who die on a Monday, their last Tuesday is followed by their last Monday.  Otherwise the reverse is true.  I suppose that means that there is a six out of seven chance that one’s last Tuesday will follow one’s last Monday.  Which makes it quite likely but far from certain.

This Monday was a frustrating day at work for me—more so than most Mondays, to be honest.  But I suppose that isn’t terribly unusual.  Work is work, and for most people, it’s not expected to be a place one goes for fun.  If it were, why would they need to pay one to go?  Well, mainly because, even if you enjoy doing what you do at work, you still have to earn a living.  If you don’t do it, then someone else has to earn it for you.

I do think it’s fair to guess that, a lot of the time, even if they would have needed to do it anyway or else die, our ancestors enjoyed hunting and gathering.  Those who enjoyed doing the activities that kept them alive were more likely to do those things, and to do them well, and so were more likely to thrive and to leave more offspring and all that.  It’s one reason cats, for instance, like to hunt and kill things even when they’re well fed.  People are quite similar to cats in many ways, but our social milieu is far more complicated than that of cats—even in the wild—so we have more complicated things that we are built to enjoy, like both hunting (and gathering, presumably) and also doing social things with other members of the tribe.

I say “we”, but of course, I really mean “you”, using that word as a collective pronoun rather than a singular one.  I’m able to learn to do the whole social interaction thing, but it doesn’t come naturally; it often seems unintuitive to me, and I don’t tend to enjoy it except with a highly select few people.  And even most of the people I like to socialize with end up not wanting to socialize with me, so apparently, even when I like socializing with someone, I don’t do a very good job at it.

Maybe that’s because, with the people I really love and want to spend time with, I let me guard down and act like my natural self more, and my natural self is unpleasant to most humans.  I don’t really know.  I know that my natural self is unpleasant to me, at least when I’m not around the people I love, which is all the time nowadays.  But you can’t judge by me, since I don’t tend to like the same things the average human likes in many cases, or not in the same way.  I’m apparently quite weird.  That can work nicely to make interesting characters and situations in sitcoms and movies and the like, but in real life it causes trouble and is not fun.

Not that I want to be normal, either.  The antics and depredations and pantomimes of “normal” people are puzzling and disheartening and disappointing and frankly embarrassing and often infuriating.

Anyway, I don’t know what the hell I’m writing about today or why.  I honestly just feel exhausted and overwhelmed.  I don’t know what to do to try to alleviate my mental and physical discomfort…I’ve tried lots of things, believe me; I am very stubborn, and I don’t give up easily.

I honestly almost wish I had a drug problem.  If you have a drug or alcohol problem, at least you have those occasional, (apparently) sweet moments of escape, and even if your life begins to crumble, there are resources and people all around the place who will stage interventions and help you get back on your feet and will sometimes even praise you for your courage in fighting your problem.  Even jail can be a respite, and badge of honor in some circles.  And if you fail ultimately, and die from an overdose, for instance, well…I guess that’s no worse than most deaths, and better than some*, and people will mourn it and see it as a tragedy.  Not that this will do you any good once you’re dead, but still…

If you just have dysthymia/depression and an ASD (apparently), but you don’t find drugs or alcohol pleasant or relieving of your issues, people just think you’re shit to be around, just a downer, and they don’t like to spend time with you or certainly to spend your life with you.  And if you die because of your illness**, people kind of blame you and have the temerity to wonder why you would choose a “permanent” solution to a “short-term” problem.

As if depression were a short-term problem.  Depression is eternal.  Depression can make a single day feel like an infinity of freezing, caustic, malodorous, gray emptiness, like a bad acid trip that’s produced by the malfunctioning circuitry of your own brain, without the need for external pharmaceuticals.

Whatever else depression is, it entails a malfunction or lack of function in one’s very ability to feel joy, analogous in some ways to how one can lose one’s ability to see or to hear***.  The term is anhedonia, but that word doesn’t capture the Lovecraftian horror of it.  Imagine (if you’ve never experienced it for yourself) doing the things you’ve previously most enjoyed—eating your favorite meal, watching your favorite show or movie, reading your favorite book, going on your favorite vacation, just spending time with the person or people you love most—and being unable to feel that joy anymore, except perhaps in a very blunted and transient way, just a teasing reminder, while all your senses of the unpleasant and painful**** are working quite well, thank you very much.

I won’t say I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  For one thing, I frankly don’t have any actual enemies.  Also, I think there are and have been people in the world who might “deserve” such a thing, or in any case in whom anhedonia and depression would be a benefit to society at large; I’m thinking of some world “leaders”, past and present.  But in general, I don’t recommend it.

Again, I don’t have any idea what point, if any, I’m trying to make.  But maybe that’s appropriate, since I don’t see any point or purpose to my day-to-day life, either.  It makes sense that my daily blog posts should seem meandering and senseless and unpleasant.  That’s simply a reflection of my true nature, I guess.


*Cancer, or COPD, or liver failure, things like that.  We keep ourselves alive long enough to die horrible, slow, painful and erosive deaths nowadays.

**And, by the way, depression has a mortality rate comparable to many cancers, and at least in some senses can engender greater suffering in those stricken with it, certainly for longer times—sometimes for decades, many of the days of which feel paradoxically as if they last for years.  And you never do hear anyone praising someone’s “courageous battle” with depression, do you?  Depression is too horrifying…a malfunction or malignancy in the very “soul”, and people stricken with it have a hard time coming across as “heroic”.

***You’d never really imagine, though, a scene in a movie where someone slaps a blind person and tells them to “snap out of it” and just start seeing again, already, would you?

****Which are, of course, more fundamental for survival.  People who don’t feel pain and/or fear die much more quickly and certainly than those unable to feel joy.  By logical implication, at least they don’t die in pain or in fear, and that’s good, I think that’s a kindness.  But they also don’t tend to leave many offspring.

Faces Look Ugly When You’re Alone

Well, it’s Tuesday, it’s morning, and as usual, I don’t have any idea what I’m going to write about today.  That didn’t stop me yesterday, of course, from writing quite a bit about various numbers and digits and physics and whatnot, and even choosing a nice paraphrase of a lyric from a song by the fictional band Spinal Tap as my title.  But I don’t think I’m going to have anything nearly as fun (to me) to write about today.

I suppose this is the sort of issue my therapists have had to deal with at various times in the past*:  is he just going to ramble on about some curious set of facts that popped into his head and struck his interest, and that he wants to share with someone else because he thinks it’s interesting, or is he going to be utterly—and sometimes contagiously—depressed?

Actually, for some people, even the first option might be depressing.

Of course, therapists get paid to deal with such things, so it’s hard to feel too sorry for them, though I always kind of did, even so.  I’ve usually felt bad for almost anyone who finds themselves forced to deal with me, even if they’re being paid to do so, and even if they are (like you) coming to read my words voluntarily.  I suppose it’s probably a kind of projection; I don’t like myself, nor do I like to deal with myself most of the time, so I assume other people find me as unpleasant as I find myself.  Of course, they at least get me in smaller chunks than those in which I get myself, which is basically a continuous stream**.

Still, I suppose being exposed to my written thoughts in chunks of 1300 words or so (I think that was about how long yesterday’s blog post was) isn’t so bad.  At least you don’t have to live with me.  Everyone who has ever had to live with me, from my parents to my spouse to my children, has ended up deciding that it was not worth the effort, and they didn’t want to do it anymore.  So they don’t.  To be fair, my parents have since died, after having reversed course and helped me out through some real difficulties, but they still didn’t have to live with me.

It’s weird, isn’t it?  There are people who don’t really want to be around you…but they don’t want you to kill yourself, either.  And all the various clichés about why you shouldn’t commit suicide talk about how it will hurt the people who love you and whatnot.  Okay, probably not all the clichés.  But a lot of them.

Weirdly enough, it has traction, that argument.  The anticipatory guilt actually gets in the way, that feeling of not wanting to cause sorrow for people who don’t even want to be around you, and who in fact are not around you, but who don’t want you to die, because then they would feel “sad”, which I guess is a euphemism for “guilty”.

The funny thing is, if you simply disappeared—not in any kind of dramatic sense, but simply in the sense of no longer being someone they heard from or about—they probably would never even notice that you were gone, except maybe, upon rare occasion, when something triggered the thought, “I wonder what ever happened to him?”  Then they would shrug and go on about their day.

It’s bizarre to feel bound to the world by ties to distant people whom you don’t want to hurt or inconvenience, and who would ask you not to die if given the chance, but who don’t seem to mind thereby condemning you to a life of daily suffering, all alone, without any apparent available cure or recourse, just because your death would cause them a passing pang.  It’s very strange.

It doesn’t exactly seem moral to me.  I mean, I know there are people who say that depression is a passing thing, that suicide is a long-term answer to a short-term problem, all those trite memes, but I’ve had dysthymia (aka chronic depression) since I was a teenager at least—so, for more than thirty years—and apparently, I’ve had “ASD” since I was born (or before, technically), and trust me, nature is NOT guaranteed to give you only problems that you can handle or solve.  Nature is allowed to destroy you—indeed, it will destroy you eventually—and it is allowed to do so swiftly or slowly, mercifully or with Lovecraftian cruelty.

Believe me, I’ve seen it.  You have, too, though you might not be willing to admit it to yourself.

It’s so very strange.  We don’t want other people to destroy themselves so they can at least escape thereby from a life dominated by suffering—from whatever source, of whatever nature—but we don’t want to go to the trouble actually to try to relieve such people’s suffering.  That would require a lot of work.  So we’ll manipulate and cajole and occasionally reach out and try to discourage someone who feels suicidal from going through with their escape plans.

Sometimes we’ll even lock them up by force (or, well, we’ll have someone else do that for us).  And we’ll thereby leave them suffering because, I’m sorry to inform you, we don’t have very good and reliable treatments for depression/dysthymia, particularly associated with “neurodivergent” circumstances***, or for many kinds of chronic pain, and so a life can be both solitary and dominated by discomfort (mental, emotional, and physical) for decades at a time without significant respite.  And while Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with and without SSRIs and other antidepressants and whatnot, can improve things to some degree, none of them have been studied for very long-term outcomes very well—there’s no money for that—and there’s no treatment that works for everyone.

It gets old.  It’s a lot to handle on one’s own.

Anyway, I don’t know the point of all this, but really, if you’re trying to talk someone out of suicide or something like that, don’t tell them not to do it because it would hurt you unless you’re going to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.  If you are able and willing, then yes, for God’s sake, do help!  PLEASE!  Don’t expect people who are mentally ill to be able to help themselves.  That’s absurd and frankly idiotic.  It’s like typing the words “Change your operating system from Android to iOS” into your smartphone’s search bar and expecting it to do so.  It’s like telling someone with a severed leg just to grow it back and expecting them to cast aside their crutches or prostheses, to rise, and to walk away on a new limb, as though the notion just hadn’t occurred to them until you suggested it.  It’s like telling someone just to choose to stop having lupus, or asthma, or cancer and expecting them to be all better.  It’s not something a person can just bootstrap themselves out of.  Such people are going to need initiative from other people if those other people really, actually want them to survive and (perhaps) thrive.

But if you’re not actually going to try to help, then maybe you shouldn’t try to guilt someone into not killing themselves.  Maybe you should just shut the fuck up.

Actually, maybe I should do that.  I’m not being very positive and I’m not getting anywhere.  I apologize.


*That’s “in the past” because I no longer go to therapy.  It’s too expensive, I don’t have the time or the wherewithal to get to a therapist, the BetterHelp online experiment I tried didn’t last long before my therapist had to take maternity leave, and I hate trying to start all over again with someone new; difficulty feeling comfortable with other people is one of my big problems.  Anyway, obviously it has all never had many long term benefits.

**One might imagine that it’s broken up by sleep, but weirdly enough, I never feel that I “get away” from myself in sleep, and I certainly don’t sleep very continuously.  I rarely sleep for more than an hour or so before waking up at least for a moment, looking around, realizing that I’ve only been sleeping for an hour or so, and that there was no reason to wake up.  Then I try to go back to sleep, succeed for a short while, and begin the cycle again until finally it’s late enough that I might as well just get up.  The last good, restful night of sleep I can remember happened in the mid-nineties, in White Plains, New York, at 205 Pondside Drive.  It was amazing!

***This is neither surprising nor anything for humans to feel too bad about.  The brain is the most complicated thing humans know in the universe, by a significant margin, and everyone is a very long way from understanding it fully.  Rocket science is easy.  Neuroscience is hard.

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought blog and bids it break.

Hello.  Good morning.  It’s Thursday again, and so it’s time for my long-term, usual, weekly Thursday blog post, as contrasted with my newer string of nearly daily blog posts*.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), the reason for the daily blog posts has not changed—I haven’t yet again found any interest in writing fiction, whether on the two stories I have partly completed or on any other stories.  I don’t know if I’m ever going to write any more fiction again.

Similarly, and also unfortunately (or, again, perhaps fortunately), I haven’t had any desire to play (or write) music.  I haven’t even listened to much music, though that’s partly because of the change in my commute; I used to listen to a lot of music on my way to and from work.  But I think I may just give most of my musical stuff to my former housemate.

It seems fair, since he made two of the guitars, and he’s certainly a much better guitar player than I am.  I might give the one I keep at the office** to the son of one of my coworkers, who has ASD, and is probably a bit too young now, but who likes music, and on the few occasions he came into the office with her for a few minutes, he enjoyed strumming it.

I’m probably being silly and sentimental in thinking about doing that.  Probably if I gave him that guitar it would just sit around and gather dust, or it would end up getting sold—which is what I honestly almost hope will happen with the others if they go to my housemate.  He’s on disability (missing left leg below knee and other chronic injuries born from the same accident), so he can usually use a bit of extra money.

None of it is doing much good with me, at least.  Even the thought of picking up and playing, yes even sometimes simply looking at the instruments, makes me feel queasy and dysphoric.  That happened just now, for instance.  It’s a shame, I guess, since I used to find minor respite from such unpleasant feelings in music or writing, but that doesn’t seem to work any longer.

On the good news front, a New Balance walking shoe that has always been a good fit for me, but which had briefly become unavailable, has become available again, and I have a pair on the way.  It wasn’t even expensive, despite the name and the fact that some New Balance shoes have become as absurdly overpriced as Nikes and the like.  So now I’ll have a total of four pairs of decent shoes (with inserts) in which I can walk long distances with minimal trouble.  They’re also all lightweight, which means carrying them with me wouldn’t be an issue.

I haven’t even read any books this week, which is unusual.  Kindle isn’t going to know what to do with itself!  I don’t think I’ve read anything since Saturday, other than online stuff, of course—news and a few blogs I follow.  I did listen to a bit of the audio-book version of Pawn of Prophecy while walking the other day, but the guy reading it has a bit of a thickish accent, and though his reading is in general good and enjoyable, it feels confusing; it’s a book I’ve read many times, and therefore I tend to hear it in my own voice in my head, and my accent is quite different from the narrator’s.

I was also listening to the newer, Andy Serkis narrated Lord of the Rings a month or two ago, but though of course he does a wonderful job—being who he is—he’s quite dramatic, and so the progress of the story takes longer than it does in other audio versions, so I’m caught between loving his reading and yet wanting him to hurry it up a bit so we can get to the next good part.  Anyway, I have since been a bit derailed from that, but it is a good book to hear while walking.

It’s quite nice that, thanks to Kindle and Audible, I can carry a library of dozens of audio books and hundreds of print books in my pocket wherever I go.  I still love the feel and presence of a real, physical book, of course, but even I couldn’t imagine wheeling along a rolling library of nearly five hundred volumes.  And one can always, or nearly always***, buy a book one wants and take delivery of it almost instantly, without killing trees****, and yet the royalties go to the author just as much as if one bought a paper copy, and it even counts toward their sales figures, if that matters to them.

That’s pretty much it for today, I think.  I may shift out from doing near-daily posts to doing a couple or three times a week, but I don’t know, maybe I won’t.  Anyone who has any preferences or suggestions one way or another should please feel free to leave a comment below (NOT on Facebook or Twitter…not if you want me to see it any time soon).

Be good to each other and to yourselves.

TTFN

desperado oilified


*I almost wrote “podcasts” there, which is very peculiar, though I suppose they aren’t entirely dissimilar things.

**That’s the black Strat I played in my most recent videos.

***It used to be even easier until Google blocked the Kindle app from allowing in-app purchases.  I suppose this is justified as protecting people from themselves, especially from unscrupulous app writers, and it allows them to Google as if they are a morally upright company, but though I admire their products in general very much, and they do better than many big companies, they do not stand on any very impressive moral high ground.  Just ask Tristan Harris.

****Though, to be fair, the trees used for making paper are, I believe, from tree farms, and so more trees are planted as others are harvested.  And once paper is put in a book, it can remain there, on shelves or in hands or various other situations for decades and even—in principle—for centuries.  So, in a way, books may be a highly localized net carbon sink.  It’s something to think about.

He’s back…and this time, it’s personal (like all the other times)

It’s Wednesday morning (just shy of five o’clock this time), and I’ll begin this blog post by apologizing to anyone who has been reading my near-daily posts, and was expecting a blog post yesterday, and was worried about me when none arrived*.

I’m afraid that either something I ate Monday, or perhaps the side effects of a rather gooney bug bite or sting that I got on my left forearm and that had swelled quite a bit (or both things, perhaps) caused me to have both some tummy trouble and some general agitation and restlessness overnight on Monday, to the extent that I got—I don’t think I’m exaggerating—fewer than twenty minutes’ sleep, and so I was simply exhausted and washed out Tuesday, though thankfully most of the other symptoms had resolved themselves.

It’s a bit frustrating that I felt so bad Monday night, because during the day I did quite a nice job of being reasonably healthy.  After walking four and a half miles each on Saturday and Sunday, I walked a total of about eight and a third miles on Monday, with only some very minor blistering between the first two toes of my right foot as side-effects.  I think that’s not half bad.  I certainly was more than adequately re-hydrated by the end of the day, because I’d been fairly aggressive about that; it was around ninety degrees here for most of the day, and the humidity was at least that high a percentage, so I wanted to make sure not to sabotage myself.

For those of you who may be wondering about the possibility that my extensive walking had been responsible for what happened Monday night, I can only say that I have considered that possibility and think it unlikely.  The symptoms were not typical of those that I’ve had previously after overexerting myself; indeed, in those types of circumstances I tend to get tired and sleepy, not tense and jittery and belly-achey.

If anything, I felt particularly healthy once I arrived at the house and got hydrated.  It was distantly akin to the runner’s high I used to get when I was able to run a lot, though it was less impressive.  Whereas the way I felt on Monday night was…well, markedly unpleasant and different from any of those kinds of sensations.

Anyway, that’s passed, and now it’s just a matter of getting beyond the minor blistering, which really only happened because of the increased amount of walking I did, not because of any inherent shoe problems.  I think I’ve adjusted for all of those, and certainly I had no shoe/foot difficulties on Saturday or Sunday, which is worth a cheer from me.  In a sense, this is me cheering.  It’s about as enthusiastic as I get for anything, anymore.

I’ve also got a new backpack that I need to test out to make sure there’s no chafing-related or other adjustments needed (though, to be fair, that’s the sort of thing that can be done as one goes along).  It’s pretty neat, though I feel almost disloyal for getting it.

You see, I’ve had the same black Adidas backpack for several years now, using it every workday, and while it’s clearly not brand new—the shoulder straps show that they’ve been used, and are more supple than those of a brand new backpack would be—it’s in terrific shape.  The zippers are all perfectly functional, all its interior separations are intact and effective, it has decent water resistance (it’s not waterproof, of course, but it’s not meant to be), and its computer carrying section is in excellent shape.  I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a daily use backpack that is going to see reasonably heavy employment.

Regrettably, it’s no longer available, but this is what it looks like.

my backpack

Unfortunately, though that backpack is quite roomy and excellent, I fear it doesn’t have enough room to carry all the things I’m planning to bring when I go on a long trek.  Those things will not be particularly heavy—I don’t want to make the burden too great and thereby create worse obstacles to my progress—but they may be rather bulky, so it would be good to have enough space to work with.

Of course, through all of this, whatever I end up doing, whether on this blog or through any high-risk undertaking I mean to take under, I hope to find either a new desire to live—which I don’t have now—or to die trying to find it.  I’m fully aware, though, that I might achieve the ironic outcome of learning to want to live again…and then dying right after that.  This would in some ways be a shame, but in some ways, it would also be fucking hilarious.

In any case, it would be better than my current daily internal experience, which is one of quiet** disintegration, disorientation***, anhedonia, isolation, neurodivergence (apparently, though I suppose that has always been there if it’s there), and above all, a profound and persistent and occasionally violent self-loathing.  It would be worth the irony of dying right after learning to love and desire life, just to have achieved that love and desire even for a moment.

Of course, I don’t honestly think that’s likely.  I will probably never again have any serious intellectual attachment to my life****, and I doubt that I will ever again feel any real joy in existing, but past performance is no guarantee of future results, as all those investment firms are forced, by law, to say, really quickly, right at the end of their ads.  I hope to find out if I’m wrong.


*Ha ha.  Don’t be silly, right?

**It must be quiet, because it doesn’t seem to disturb other people much.

***Why is that word not “disoriention”?  We don’t say “disintegratation”.

****The biological utility functions that drive one to fear death and pain are not easily shut down, unfortunately.  But they can be worked around with enough determination and effort.