What would a moribundt cake taste like?

It’s Tuesday now, in case you weren’t aware of that fact.  I’m feeling less perky this morning than I was yesterday, which I guess isn’t all that odd.  I’m also not sure what to write today—even more so than usual.

I’m rather tired, both mentally and physically.  Yesterday during the early part of the day I had a fair amount of energy, but then in the afternoon, sometime a bit after three, I think, my mood just crashed.  I felt physically fine; my pain wasn’t worse than usual, and was probably slightly better than average.  But I just felt the wind go out of my sails and lost nearly all my motivation.  I’m not sure why.  It was while I was drinking a Coke Zero®, which I don’t usually drink, but I doubt that it was the cause.

Possibly part of it was that my coworker had shown me some pictures from his daughter’s christening, and it reminded me of some baby pictures of my daughter and son, and so I pulled those up on my phone and showed a few to him.  Then, having opened that particular Pandora Brand™ can of worms, I looked through a lot of other pictures of my kids on my phone, and was reminded how much I have missed of their lives and how much I miss them, and how I’m probably never going to see them in person again.

I’m a surprisingly sentimental person, but I don’t think anyone else at the office is ever able to tell when I’m feeling so.  I’m not sure much of anyone around me is ever able to tell when I’m feeling down.  It’s frustrating, as I’ve written here before.

It’s rather as if one were in the process of drowning, coughing up water, waving, hoarsely calling out for help, and all people from the shore or the pool-side—very nearby, more than capable of tossing a life preserver or something similar—do is say thing things like, “That’s a good sidestroke you have”, and they mean it with complete sincerity.  They’re not teasing or taunting.  They’re not trying to be cruel, and they’re not knowingly being callous.  They honestly don’t seem able to tell that I’m about to drown…even people who’ve known me all my life.

Or perhaps they figure I just want to drown, and they don’t think it’s their place, or their right, to intervene.  I certainly sometimes make arguments and diatribes that might make it seem as if I’ve arrived at a desire to die because of some philosophical thought process; I’m well-read and I’m good at making sophistic arguments, so apparently it comes across as convincing, as a well-thought-out and definitive personal statement of rational, or at least reasoned, intent.  But all I’m really doing is trying to express how absolutely morose and hopeless I feel.  Such moods, however, are apparently rather opaque, whether on my face or in my speech or my behavior, and perhaps even in my writing.

Honestly, yesterday afternoon, I fantasized about finding the nearest pawn shop, of which there are many near where I live, and buying a gun and shooting myself.  I tried to imagine the process of doing it, and I didn’t feel hesitant.  I was very depersonalized, as I think the term is.  I felt that I could have cut off some of my own fingers with minimal difficulty.  I also felt that, even in the office, if someone had handed me a loaded pistol—especially if it were a nice, single-action revolver—I could have put it in my mouth, pointed it toward my soft palate, and pulled the trigger.

At that stage, what would have stopped me would have been mostly the issues of mess and rudeness.  It would be better to go find one of the areas of south Florida—there are many—where there basically are just lots of plants growing (and oodles of arthropods), such as along the train tracks but between stops, and do it there.

Anyway, obviously I didn’t have a gun, and I didn’t do that stuff yesterday, unless I’m a ghost who is able to write a blog.  I do sometimes feel like I’m undead, as I’ve said before on this blog, but that’s not a literal thing.  I don’t think ghosts or zombies or any of the rest of such things actually exist, at least not in any supernatural sense.

I wish I could find some situation or circumstance where I could readily do something that would be good, that would maybe save some people’s lives or something, but would kill me.  Stepping in front of a child that was about to be shot or something like that might be good.  And, of course, I would wish that I would have the will, the courage, to carry out the act.

That’s always a worry.  Oh, well.  Life sucks.

I at least got a relatively good walk in last night.  I arrived at the destination train station and walked to the nearby bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive, but the app didn’t even show the usual real-time update on its position.  How quickly we become spoiled by such things!  So I watched as the arrival time of the bus came and passed and then five more minutes, and then five minutes after that, with no sign—in person or on the app—of the bus.  So I gave up, after wasting half an hour, and walked the five miles back to the house.

I considered stopping at McDonald’s© on the way, but decided I didn’t want anything from that particular fast food shoppe.  One of the great things about not eating during the day is that, by the time it’s time to eat for dinner, I don’t really feel hungry.  And, weirdly enough, walking the five miles back to the house was easier after not having eaten than it ever was after I had eaten, in the past.  This makes sense, biologically.  All my system’s resources were available for moving and walking; none were diverted to digestion, and I certainly have more than enough stored energy for the trek.

Unfortunately, since I’d foregone the fast food€, I needed to stop at a convenience store¥ and get something for dinner, but the one I chose didn’t have much that I wanted, so I had to settle, and had a relatively small and not terribly good dinner, at about ten o’clock at night.  Oh well.  Life, as I say, sucks∞.  Frankly, I think it would be nice just to stop eating entirely.  I may see if I can work my way toward that.

Anyway, this morning, my dips—the exercise, I mean—were noticeably easier than just a few days ago, which is always nice.  It would be nice to die with a lean but toned body, though I suppose it hardly matters.

And, now, I’m really going to have to head toward the bus stop, because I hate getting there when other people are already there if I can help it.  I hope you have a better day than I have, no matter how good a day I may be surprised to haveΩ.

[P.S.  Later in the morning:  The train announcement by the conductor includes the sentence, “We would like to remind you that safety and security are our top priorities.”  This is clearly false.  If those were their top priorities, the train would never run at all, and no one would be allowed on it.  Thus it would be as safe and secure as was possible…and the train would be utterly useless.  Safety and security can never truly be top priorities, at least not in any simple-minded sense, and even sensible safety is often not prioritized in any rational way.  I know people who fret over whether someone with a minor cold touched something of theirs, but who habitually drive over the speed limit, fail to signal, fail to come to complete stops, and not don’t pay full attention to what they are doing when driving.  It’s maddening.  People are idiots; life is idiotic.  I do not hold myself as an exception to those last two statements.]

Tell me why I [no longer] like Mondays

It’s Monday morning, the beginning of that day whose child just learned to tie its bootlace, according to Lady Madonna.  That may be just about the only good thing that can be said about Monday—though the Mama’s and the Papa’s sang that it was so good to them.

I’ve always felt that there was a bit of irony or sarcasm in Monday, Monday’s lyrics, but perhaps I’m projecting my own feelings onto it.  I need to be cautious about drawing unwarranted conclusions.  That’s all too easy a trap into which to fall, to insert one’s own feelings into the mind of another, so to speak, just because one’s feelings are so strong that they feel that they must be there.  As I’ve said here before, and not too long ago (I think), just because you infer it doesn’t mean it was implied.

Still, my own sentiment toward Mondays is rather negative.  Not that yesterday was particularly great or anything—actually, I was rather stressed out by my laundry situation, since that is the only day on which I can do my laundry, and there were some impediments around which I had to go to do it, which made me feel very uncomfortable and rather angry.  But I did nap a fair amount during the day, and I resisted eating until after 6, which is hardest to do on a day off.

Once it was time to eat, after I had gone most of the day without eating, I was frankly not very hungry, which is one of the great things about that process.  Nearly all (and possibly in fact, all) of the times in my life when I’ve been most present and effective and when I’ve been sharpest and most successful have been when I had a habit of not eating breakfast or lunch.  (I wrote a bit about this the other day, I think—how when one’s stomach is full, biology wants to make one slow down and digest, and to go into storage mode.)  I mean to continue this process.  I can already tell that it’s helping after only about three days, because it’s already easier to do my pull-ups in the morning.

When I was younger—so much younger than today*—I used to like Mondays, which was unusual among the people I knew.  I almost always liked school, because I always liked to learn new things.  It was a joy I absorbed from my parents and my older siblings, and it was not a case of “do as I say, not as I do”.  Both of my parents clearly loved education and learning and thinking, and had always encouraged it in us.  So I liked going to school.

School was where I had friends, too.  I’ve always needed to have a venue in which to socialize; I can’t just make friends in purely social settings.  But when there were a bunch of us there anyway, with automatic starting points about which to converse—classwork, for instance—that made the process much easier.  Also, it helped that we didn’t move during my childhood.  By which I mean, we didn’t buy another house and go to live there rather than in the one we’d had previously.  Clearly we moved, otherwise how would I even have gone to school?

It was easier to make friends then, when we were all the same age, and we all had a good deal in common because we were all in school and in classes.  And by the time I got to high school, that usual place of such peer-based evil and whatnot, I had a core group of friends, and I was in the orchestra, and I was already known to be a smart guy (along with my friends).  We were not in the least afraid of the stupid people**, and we certainly didn’t give a crap if they didn’t think we were cool.

We were the cool ones, as far as we were concerned, and that made it so.  Coolness is in the eye of the beholder, after all, and from an objective, outsider point of view, all the humans are just funny-looking, mostly hairless apes with hilarious and absurd and stupid habits and peculiar ways of doing things.

“This—all this—was in the olden time, long ago,” as Poe wrote in The Haunted Palace.  Not that I’m any more worried about what so-called cool people or other fashion victims think now.  When one is an adult, such people are all the more obviously laughable and even worthy of pity, not realizing to what degree they are merely analogues of bower birds and peacocks, strutting and fretting and trying to outdo one another, not even realizing they’re motivated by old, old, instincts and drives for reproductive competition and dominance hierarchies that no longer fully apply.

Life would be a tragedy if it weren’t so comical—and it would be a comedy if it weren’t so tragic.

Oh, by the way, I missed another chance at a palindromic recording number this weekend.  We approached it steadily, and got close enough that I thought, “If we get another deal in a few minutes, we may just hit this one.”  Alas, there then followed a longish stretch of at least an hour before the next sale, and when it arrived, we were well past the target.  So—to no sensible person’s surprise—the universe is not yet sending me any messages that it wants me to survive.

That’s fine.  I feel pretty much the same way about it.  So, there!

With that, I’d better get heading to the bus stop for another oh-so-glorious day of productive work, of which Ayn Rand would surely be proud and toward which she would feel awe, if she weren’t dead***.  I hope you all have a decent day and a good week.  If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family around you, cherish them.  They provide a strong positive counterweight to a lot of the negatives of the world.

*It’s kind of funny that John Lennon wrote that when he was in his mid twenties.  Just how much younger could he have been?  I guess it’s all relative, and the perceived duration of any given time span becomes shorter and shorter as we get older and older, as each new passing moment is a smaller and smaller fraction of our total lives.

**To be fair to them, I don’t think there were many bullying stupid (is that redundant?) people in our school.  People who were badly adjusted and too troubled, or too “cool”, tended to get involved with using and sometimes dealing drugs, and otherwise getting in legal trouble, and often ended up dropping out, which is rather heartbreaking.  I don’t know how many such people died young and unhappy, but it was a sadly large number.  According to some statistics I read, only 80% of the people who started high school in my city finished it, and only about 4 or 5% of them finished college.  These statistics are not true now, of course—they don’t even apply.  My old high school and junior high and elementary schools are all closed, and are falling into ruin, as is much of the Detroit area.  It’s very sad.  For a long time, it was a fine and impressive place, as were those schools.

***That was sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious.

I’m too tired to think of a title, sorry

Well, it’s Wednesday morning again, not even five o’clock yet, and here I am, sitting on a piano bench, writing my daily blog post before leaving the house to head to the office.  I’m not heading there directly, of course.  It’s more than thirty miles away, which would be a ten or eleven hour walk, even if I walked without a single moment’s rest, which is not going to happen.  Then, of course, by the time I got there, there would only be a few hours before I had to head back.

I suppose it would be great physical training, apart from the fact that walking 64 miles within the course of a single day would probably exhaust me, and almost certainly give me horrible blisters.  I’d probably lose weight, though—much of it water weight, but at least some of it fat.

Anyway, that’s all nonsense; I don’t know why I started talking about that.

I got a few hours’ sleep last night at least—not interrupted, and no more than two between awakenings, for a total of maybe four hours.  Still, it was better than the night before.  It’s times like these I can sympathize with Michael Jackson over his use of Propofol to get to sleep, even though it’s actually not conducive to a restful, beneficial slumber.  I can also envy him for what Propofol did to him and how he no doubt went on his way:  while deeply unconscious.

I was so tired and worn out yesterday at work, but apparently it was not obvious to people.  I told the boss that I’d only had twenty minutes of sleep the night before, and that I was seriously tired, but as far as I could tell, there wasn’t any attempt to foreshorten or soften things much, and at the end of the day, we still stayed late because a last minute deal was closing.  I got on an earlier train than the night before, but because of the way the buses run, I still didn’t get back to the house more than fifteen minutes earlier than I had Monday night.  That’s a bit frustrating.

Many things are frustrating in a vague and fuzzy sense, but right now most things are just plain vague and fuzzy.  I’m still seeing illusions of insects and even cats out of the corners of my eyes, though at least when I turn to look, the things don’t persist.  This is just the predictive modeling system of the brain getting a bit out of whack because of fatigue, but once my foveae are brought to bear, it corrects its models.

As far as I know, I’m not encountering any full-on, persistent hallucinations.  Of course, there could be such hallucinations happening, but they haven’t been revealed to me for what they are.  And, of course, since I don’t socialize or spend time with anyone, except at work—and I don’t really interact all that much with the people there except as part of my job—it might be quite some time before anyone pointed out to me that, for instance, something to which I was reacting wasn’t even there.

Of course, in principle, someone telling me I was acting strangely could be the very hallucination itself, but this is an issue of epistemology that goes all the way back to Plato and Descartes and then on up to The Matrix.  It doesn’t bother me much, anyway.  I never do really assume that I have the full and final picture of things.  I’m not prone to delusions, as far as I know, and I dislike dogmatism in any form.  I’ve often thought that, perhaps, part of the disorder of depression, or perhaps a situation that makes one prone to it, is an under-powered belief module in the brain.  In other words, I think that depressed people are less likely to feel that they are right about things than people who are not prone to depression.

In many cases, I think this failure to believe is a good thing.  I dislike dogmatism and unwarranted certainty in pretty much all of its guises and incarnations, from religious fanaticism to braggadocio to those who insult others on social media to just people who arrogantly assume they know the answers and are smarter than the people around them.  I think intellectual humility—not to be confused with intellectual timidity—is a surer way to advancement and improvement of human* knowledge and prosperity than is any kind of pseudo-certainty (and nearly all “certainty” is pseudo-certainty) or boldness of conclusions.  All progress is change, but not all change is progress.  Course correction is essential, and must be near constant, if one wishes to arrive at any destination worth seeking.

I mean, I’m sure it’s fun and ego-syntonic to believe that one is right.  But heroin, I’m sure, feels pretty good when one first starts using it.  That good feeling doesn’t tend to last, though.

As I’ve said before, I don’t want to believe; I want to be convince by evidence and reasoning.  Such conviction is always, in principle, provisional.  Of course, some things are so close to certainty that they might as well be complete convictions.  I am convinced that 1 + 1 = 2 (barring changes in the meaning of the symbols).  I don’t need Russell’s formal logical proof of the fact, though knowing that it’s out there is reassuring.  I assign an extremely low credence to the possibility that the above equation is incorrect, far lower than, say, the likelihood of a massive asteroid striking the Earth in south Florida tomorrow, and probably even lower than the likelihood of a phase change of the cosmic vacuum state happening tomorrow.  Though if either of those things did happen, particularly the latter, I wouldn’t exist long enough even to say, “Well, I’ll be!  Who would’ve thought it?”

I don’t know what I’m really getting at here.  I’m really frazzled and confused and tired.  I’m still taking the Saint John’s Wort—I think it must be nearly three weeks since I started back, but if you lot recall when I restarted it, feel free to let me know.  I can’t be arsed to look back and check myself.  But my mind and my mood don’t feel like they are improving.

Anyway, I should get going to head out to the bus stop.  If I don’t write my usual blog post tomorrow, it will probably be because I just got sick from the stress and lack of sleep, as I fear I might.  But, of course, I do have to go in on Saturday, so unless I get so horribly broken down that I no longer care about inconveniencing people or failing to stick to my commitments, I’ll be writing then, and almost certainly Friday as well.  And, let’s be honest, I’ll probably be here tomorrow.

I, after all, do not have access to Propofol or any other similar dangerous but relaxing substance.

*And pseudo-human, replicant, changeling, alien, robot, monster, and any other form of intelligent life.

No dust – not even in the wind – but we’ve got ashes

It’s Friday morning as I write this, in case you’re reading this on a day other than the day it’s posted, or published, or whatever the best term is (if “best” even has any real meaning here).  I expect to be posting tomorrow, since I work tomorrow.  And then, luckily for all of you who can’t get enough of my blog posts*, I will also be working the following Saturday, and thus probably posting then.

You see, the coworker with whom I share some of my responsibilities at work is going away to visit family this weekend (he has a few-months-old daughter who has to make the rounds) and so he couldn’t take this weekend for me in exchange for the following Saturday, when his daughter is getting baptized.  He’s also going to be out of the office Monday and Tuesday and probably at least part of Wednesday, all my most overloaded days as it is.  So, expect me to be rather stressed out during that time.

More so than usual, I mean.

I keep hoping for my increased stress to lead to some catastrophic health collapse‒pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, hemorrhage, something‒to take it all out of my hands, but so far I have had no such luck.

I didn’t get back to the house until well after 9 last night, because the bus just didn’t show.  Instead of trying to use Uber or Lyft, about both of which I still feel reluctant, I just walked.  At least that way I got some exercise.  It didn’t make my back and hip and side pain any worse at the time, but it also didn’t prevent that pain from waking me up at a bit before 2 this morning, unable to fall back to sleep thereafter.

I’m still taking Saint John’s Wort, though it’s certainly not helping my pain or optimism, so far, and I can’t tell if it’s affecting my affect**.  I’m trying to breathe better, mainly through my nose, and work on the rest of my breathing and mouth posture and whatnot.  I don’t know how much difference that all makes, if any, but it’s something for me to do with my energy, such as it is.

Oh, I hadn’t mentioned yesterday, but the day before yesterday we blew past another potential palindromic recording number.  We were coming right toward it, but then we had no deals for a few hours and by the time we had another, the recording numbers had passed the palindrome***.  It looks as though the universe just isn’t going to go out of its way to tell me to stay.

I think that’s not the sort of thing the universe does.  People sometimes tell you that they want you to stay, and that’s very nice of them…but does it really constitute an adequate reason to stay alive, being told that you matter‒in some abstract sense, I guess‒to someone?  What if you don’t matter to yourself, or if you matter in the worst possible way?  What if you “antimatter” to yourself, so to speak?  It’s one thing for other people not to want me to die, but they don’t have to be around me 24/7.  Trust me, it gets old.

You can kind of tell that, can’t you?

I half expect that, someday soon, I will have a healthcare crisis‒perhaps a ruptured aortic aneurysm or summat‒just as a verification is being done, and as I lie dying, I’ll ask what the verification number is…and it will be a palindromic number!  At least that would be funny and ironic.  I could die laughing, or at least smiling, saying, “Good one, universe.  You really got me there.”  I would honestly find that hilarious.

I don’t know, I guess I have an unusual sense of humor.

I did play on the guitar just a bit, yesterday.  I’ve recently become mildly obsessed with the David Bowie song, Ashes to Ashes, which I’ve been aware of since I was maybe 11 or 12 years old, but hadn’t fully appreciated.  I really like the rhythm and the shift in melody from section to section, and the patterns of overlapping four step repetitions of three chords in the intro and outro and everything.

So, I looked up the guitar chords for it and realized that‒as was the case for A Space Oddity‒Bowie didn’t even need to use any esoteric chords to make a brilliant progression and melody structure.  Hell, there’s only one barre chord in the song, and it’s used once in the first half and once in the second.

I also surprised myself by being able to sing the song just fine at first try.  It’s been months, I think, since I sang anything, and I expected my voice to be weak, but maybe the resting time did it good.  It got kind of beat up by Covid for a while, which was evident in a few of my song/videos.  And maybe the walking and biking and the newly started breathing stuff is helping.

Anyway, if I maintain my interest, I may even record a video of me playing and singing it‒there are some fun backup things in the song, and some doubling and mild harmonies that could be fun to dub in after the initial recording, too.  If I do it, I’m going to try to do a sort of stereo recording if I can, with the cell phone recorder for mainly the guitar, and the condenser USB mic for mainly the voice.  We’ll see.  As I said, I’m going to be very busy and stressed in the next few weeks, and that’s potentially going to derail everything.

Further bulletins on that as events warrant.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll embed the official video (which is quite…unusual, and was apparently, at the time, the most expensive video that had yet been made) for Ashes to Ashes, for your delectation.

Until tomorrow, assuming it arrives, please take care of yourselves.

*If there really are such people, they should probably seek medical help, but perhaps I’m not being fair.

**Ha ha.

***Not to be mistaken for passing the dutchie.

If this be magic, let it be an art Lawful as blogging.

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, the 4th of May in 2023, and it’s time for my long-standing Thursday blog post.  This is still, it seems, my most popular day for blog posts.  I’ll credit Shakespeare for that; he tends to make everything better than it would have been otherwise.

I’m sitting at the train station as I write this.  I took my time this morning, because I figured I’d do my best to slightly miss the 5:15 train and write this while waiting for the next one.  It was a near thing, even though I dilly-dallied about getting ready and tried not to push myself while riding the bike to the train station*.  I even took my time securing the bike with the two cables and the U lock.

Nevertheless, as I took the elevator down to the northbound side of the station, the train had only just pulled in, and the train doors only barely closed just before I got off the elevator.  This may sound like a bad thing, but it was good.  If the doors had remained open, I’m almost sure that I wouldn’t have been able to resist getting on that train, and starting my blog post there.

However, I find the benches at the station much more comfortable for writing than the seats on the train, probably at least partly because of roominess, but also, I suspect, because these benches are metal, not cushioned.  You may think cushions would be better, and perhaps for you they would be, but I find that firm seats, hard futons, and all that sort of thing, are much better for my back than are soft, cushiony surfaces.  Possibly the latter tend to be a bit unstable for my back, allowing too much shifting, which leads to strain and spasm on my lower back.

This is all hypothetical, but it’s consistent across time.  It also makes sense for humans—even pseudo-humans like me—to do better with less-cushioned environments, given that we evolved in a world where there was no “memory foam” or what have you.  For countless generations, human ancestors would have “slept rough” and that would have been the situation for which we adapted.  I occasionally wonder how many modern discomforts and ailments are at least influenced by mattresses and pillows and cushioned seats and sofas.

It’s curious that it was a chore of sorts to try to come later to the train station.  Part of that is simply a matter of my insomnia.  It wasn’t too bad last night**, but I still started waking up a bit before three in the morning, having fallen asleep a bit before eleven.  Four relatively uninterrupted hours of sleep is actually quite good for me.

I got the battery charger for the scooter battery yesterday, but I haven’t unpacked it.  I’d been thinking that I might like to ride it to the movie theater this weekend and see The Guardians of the Galaxy III in theaters, since it introduces Adam Warlock, one of my favorite ever comic book characters*** (both when he’s in hero and in villain mode).  Then I thought, I might as well ride the bike, instead; the nearest theater is only about eight miles away, so that’s less than an hour bike read even at my unimpressive pace.

The closer I get to the weekend, though, the less I feel like I want to go.  I don’t fancy the prospect of dealing with crowds and whatnot, and Saturday morning, which was my planned time to go, is likely to be crowded, even at the first showing.  Also, I think I would just feel lonely, going to the movies by myself.  I don’t think I’ve ever done it.

Not that I would feel much less lonely at the house, but there at least it’s appropriate, and I don’t have to deal with the sound and presence of lots of strangers.  Though popcorn and a movie theater soda with lots of ice (which I like) seem like they might be particularly nice after a good bike ride.  I don’t know.

Speaking of dealing with other people, I’m now on the train, as of the latter part of the previous paragraph, and one thing that worries me about taking a later train than usual is that I fear I may have displaced people at the station from their usual bench site and on the train from their usual seats.  I really prefer not to do that to other people, because when I have a routine, including a routine place to sit or what have you, I find it irritating when some interloper takes my usual spot.

That’s not a particularly healthy way to react, I know, and I certainly have no right to claim a spot at the station or on the train as my own.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the serious stress and even hate I feel when someone is in my usual spot.

Of course, lately my schedule has been wobbling about, as witness the fact that yesterday was different than Tuesday and today is different than yesterday, and Monday I was lying down in the dark with a migraine.  So, I have no consistent spot in which to be, and no claim on any regular space.

Nevertheless, because a train had just left when I arrived at the platform, I was able to sit where I used to sit every day, since no one for the next train had arrived yet before me.  And the seat I like to use on the first car of this train happened to be open.  But I can’t help feeling worried that someone who normally gets this seat at a later station will be miffed, and I suspect at least one person had to adjust his usual location at the train station due to where I was sitting.  I suspect this because a man came and was going to sit on the other end of my bench, but he appeared to change his mind and took himself to the next bench down.

I can’t blame him for not wanting to sit next to me; I suspect I give off a sort of feral cat vibe of “don’t get too close to me or I’ll go off on you, teeth and claws and all”.

Anyway, I guess that’s enough for today.  I don’t think I’ve said anything of substance; this post has been all noise, no signal.  I guess a lot of my life is like that, anyway, and I’m probably far from alone in this.  But I do hope you all have a good remainder of the week.  I’ll be writing a post tomorrow, barring the unforeseen, but not on Saturday, since I won’t be working then.  Please enjoy your time with family and friends.  Don’t take them for granted.


The Warlock symbol

This is an updated version of the symbol I used to use, as mentioned in the footnote

*Yes, I rode the bike this morning.  So far, there’s only a slight twinge of altered/new pain along my left hip and side.  Perhaps my body has been adjusting a bit during my recent down time.  Perhaps after two days it will flare up more prominently.  We shall see, I suppose.

**I took half a Benadryl at bed time.

***Really.  I used to go by the nickname Warlock in high school, and I even signed my homework and paper and stuff that way for a couple of years, including putting a symbol of overlapping pentagrams—one upright and one inverted—inside the “O”.  My teachers were okay with it.

Half sunk a shattered visage lies

Well, it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m sitting at the bus stop again, because it’s still raining in south Florida.

One thing that I like about summer in Florida—though it seems more of a central than a south Florida phenomenon—is that there is an almost-daily thunderstorm, but it happens in mid-afternoon, lasts for a brief period, and then goes away.  If you’re biking or walking or otherwise vulnerable to the elements, and you don’t feel like enduring the process, you can just wait it out.  Again, this does not seem quite to be the case as much here in south Florida, at least not on the east coast, but it’s relatively predictable.

Anyway, that’s not such a big deal, but it does mean that both walking and biking have been a pain these past few days.  I have also had very bad issues with literal back and leg pain, though the knee brace on my left knee seems to be helping that joint at least a little.  But much of last night, when I wish I were sleeping, my time was taken up with trying to loosen the spasms in my back and my hip and my calf and the arch of my foot and so on.  I met with only modest success.  So, as is often the case, I am now very tired, even more so than average, though certainly not many standard deviations away from the mean.

I try not to be mean, but on average, I think I am meaner than the mode in which I would prefer to be.  Ha.  Ha.

So, physically, I feel pretty ground down, and even the walk to the bus stop was less minor than it ought to have been, though I will admit that, compared to when I started back up walking not so very long ago, it feels like much a lighter endeavor.  Compared to walking five miles to the train station, it’s laughable, but then again, it’s unfortunately not much exercise.

I’ve noticed that riding the bike, while quite invigorating when the weather is decent, definitely puts new and different stresses and tensions on my skeleton and connective tissue and musculature, and it instigates flare-ups (flares-up?) of pain in slightly unusual places that catch me rather off-guard.  One doesn’t really, fully “get used to” chronic pain, but at least it has familiar patterns a lot of the time.  Then, when new things happen, they are especially disheartening, because they don’t tend to reduce the prior pain, just add to and overlay it.


I’m sorry to keep talking (or writing, if you want to be pedantic, though I think “talking” is a perfectly reasonable word to use*) about this kind of irritating and negative stuff, but it’s what’s dominating my mind, unfortunately.  Believe it or not, I don’t even share some of my darker thoughts, even in posts like yesterday’s in which I dwelt on—and considered methods of—suicide.

I would love to make this more a blog of ideas and explorations, but when I’m feeling so depressed and in pain and alone, my ideas tend to go along nihilistic, entropic, pessimistic, pro-mortalist lines.  I look even at notions like the Lovecraftian concept of an alien and uncaring, unkind, malevolent cosmos populated and dominated by truly alien entities, and find myself disdainful—because I think it’s still anthropomorphizing the universe to imagine it inhabited by godlike or demonic beings, however alien and uncaring or malevolent they might be, and however much they may disdain humanity.  I also find it rather ho-hum, because, yeah, so, the universe is vast and dangerous and uncaring.  What else is new?

The fact is, as far as we can tell, there aren’t even any Lovecraftian god-aliens out there, certainly not on any kind of relevant scale, and such beings as there are certainly aren’t showing any interest in humans.  There is no reason for them to be interested.  Humans are only really important to other humans…and indirectly to the various other life-forms on Earth on which their activities impinge.

In some ways, humans are the closest things in the human world to actual Lovecraftian monsters:  innumerable and powerful but uncaring and destructive to less powerful beings.  To cephalopods, for instance and ironically, it would be humans that would be the “great old ones”, though humans are not so old, and they are great only in their power and ability to wreak havoc—though they have the potential for truer greatness.

But overall, the universe is far vaster than people can even begin to contemplate seriously, at least not without concerted effort.  The average, typical location in the universe is intergalactic space, in which there is perhaps one hydrogen atom per cubic meter, where light from even the nearest galaxy would be far too faint for the unaided human eye to detect.  In other words, it is an empty blackness, with a steadily shrinking temperature of only 2.7 Kelvin.  It’s cold, and dark, and empty, and it’s getting more so of all of those things with every passing Planck time.

Left to its own devices, the universe, as far as we can tell, is going to become that way everywhere, only even colder and even emptier.  If life is ever to become truly consequential on a cosmic scale—which is not, in principle, impossible—it will require seriousness and commitment and work, by the majority of people.

The current political and social and artistic cycles of the world, to say nothing of the military and ideological aspects of human interaction, don’t exactly thrill me with their possibilities.  Humans are like preschoolers fighting over toys and snacks and who gets to be “it” while clustering in a ramshackle hut with a hurricane approaching from one direction and an active volcano in the other, and the floor of which straddles a major, active geological fault-line.

When the end comes, it will probably be terrifying and painful, but it will likely be quick, at least—on a cosmic scale, anyway—because the toddlers have no idea how to protect themselves and each other and to survive.  And then, in the end, darkness and decay and the Red Death will hold absolute dominion and sway over all, and the lone and level sands of the desert will blow unnoticing about the forgotten monument-legs the toddlers leave behind, until—in quite short order—even the ruins and then the sand itself will go the way of all else.

There are billions of “livable” years in the universe, and even perhaps trillions if one stays close to red dwarf stars.  Given the potential of knowledge growth of which, if they decide to do it, humans are capable, that could easily be more than enough time to find the science and technology to get around even the heat death of the universe.  It’s not, in principle, impossible.

I’m not holding my breath.  I’ve known toddlers who were intelligent, inquisitive, cooperative, creative, kind, and showed promise of great things.  The human race as a whole does not meet that description.  It’s a shame about the good ones; but there aren’t enough of them, I suspect, to prevail against the troglodyte toddlers**.  So, I don’t think I’m going to try to wait around and see what amazing things they’ll get up to, because I think I’ll just be tragically disappointed.

And if I’m wrong, well—I will have deserved to be wrong, and that’s not a horrible outcome.  I’ll be dead, anyway, so I don’t think it will make any difference to me either way, even if it would be nice to know.

That’s it for today, I think.  There, I did actually get some ideas into this blog post.  I hope you’re pleased.


*For pedants among us—I tend to be one—it’s worth reminding ourselves that all words are made up.  No set of letters or sounds have any inherent meaning, even within the human and related species.  Nevertheless, I am certainly against the casual bastardization and flagrant misuse of words, relative to their generally accepted meaning, and I truly dislike awkward, manipulative, new terms such as “allyship”, which sounds like a vessel in the navy of a nation that’s politically aligned with one’s own.

**Trogglers, if you will.

Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky…

It’s Tuesday morning, and instead of sitting at the train station, I’m sitting at the bus stop.  It’s been quite rainy out, and after riding my bike back to the house from the train station yesterday afternoon in a non-stop deluge, I decided to walk to the bus to the train and so on instead.

I’m a glutton for punishment, obviously enough, but everything in my body aches now after the wet ride yesterday, and I was up more than usual during the night with back and hip and leg pain.  That’s not really anything new, but it felt clear that it was exacerbated by the thorough soaking, and then of course, by nearly slipping on the wet floor in my room, which is hard, smooth tile.

I say “nearly slipping”.  I guess I actually did slip, but I caught myself before getting very close to falling.  I suppose that’s a good sign of improved physical strength and agility from all my walking and biking and everything, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the consequences.

Even my supposedly water-resistant boots were literally squishing inside by the time I’d gotten back to the house, only five miles from the train station.

This is boring, isn’t it?  I keep realizing how boring it is that I’m writing about this stuff, and I do apologize.  I guess it’s the sort of thing about which most people talk to their friends or their spouses or their family in general when it happens, but I don’t really have any such people to whom to talk about it on a daily basis.  I suppose I can mention it at work, and people will probably listen politely, as they will when I tell the about a physics article describing the extreme roundness of an isolated electron and so on.  But no one really interacts about it.

No one really interacts much about anything I’m interested in; I bore people pretty quickly with them.  I, in turn, have a hard time getting interested in anything in which they are interested.  Certainly, typical matters of gossip or popular entertainment are pretty lost on me.

The closest thing I really have to regular, daily social interaction is reading and leaving comments and getting responses on Jerry Coyne’s website Why Evolution Is True.  But yesterday, at least, every comment I tried to leave disappeared.  I don’t know if that was a technical glitch or just that my comments were blocked or whatever by PCC(E)*.  I sometimes get the impression, on the rare occasion when he responds to one of my comments, that he doesn’t like me (this is not an unusual attribute), so he may just be disallowing my comments.  Thus, even that little outlet is fading or at least is glitching.

It’s irritatingly windy this morning, and the wind is blowing water from nearby trees even here to the middle of the bus shelter, and it’s getting on the screen of my computer some.  I may have to stop and finish this later.  It’s frustrating.  But what do I not find frustrating?

I felt horribly depressed almost all day yesterday.  In fact, ironically, I was probably least depressed while I was riding through the rain, partly because my locking mechanism for the seat of my bike had worked, and partly because it was just kind of hilarious how wet I was getting, from above and below.  I would have been less soaked if I had walked, because I could have used an umbrella.  It’s hard to use an umbrella on a bike.

There were a number of times during the day yesterday when I thought about how much I hated my life and hated the world and (mainly) hated myself, and how I wanted to just swallow all the Tylenol in the bottle I have at the desk** or slice myself open with one of the box cutters I have, or douse myself in lighter fluid and set myself on fire***.

None of these are great options, and I would prefer to find something less painful.  Of course, the governor of the sunshine state and the goobers in the legislature are, I think, working on making it so that I’ll legally be able to purchase a gun again soon, if they haven’t already.  Anyway, there are plenty of people in gun shows and so on who probably wouldn’t care about restrictions on selling guns to people like me—you know, non-violent “ex-felons” or whatever the proper term is, even though my “felony” charges were ones to which I pled guilty only because of extortion by the legal system.  I never knowingly or willingly “trafficked” in drugs; I was trying to help people with chronic pain in a society in which those with non-lethal causes of pain are expected simply to keep soldiering on despite constant misery, even though—ironically—their pain will continue much longer than will that of a person with, say, terminal cancer.

It’s hard to say, though, whether I could use a gun to kill myself.  I have too much knowledge about guns, and have used them with respect, shooting competitively and for pleasure—never once having so much as fired at another living thing, unless you count scaring squirrels or raccoons off with a low-power bb gun.  I did once play Russian Roulette, but only once, and afterwards, though I was obviously horribly depressed, my hands were shaking.  I didn’t do it again, though if I had succeeded, at least I wouldn’t have gone to prison, not that I knew that at the time.  I had no clue what was coming.

I don’t know why I’m talking about all this, or rather, writing about all this, sitting at the bus stop waiting to go to the train to the walk to the office.  I don’t have a therapist anymore, so that’s part of it.  I don’t have a personal physician of any kind, either.  I don’t have any local emotional support, and I don’t make a good friend, so I’m not likely to obtain any new ones or any other form of a social circle.

I keep wishing I would catch pneumonia or some other severe illness and be killed by it.  Maybe that’s part of why I was so amused by getting so wet when riding last night; there was just the bare possibility that my resistance would go down low enough that I would catch something.  But of course, that isn’t really how infection works, and I know it only too well.  You have to be exposed to an infectious agent, and I don’t seem to be all that susceptible.  Probably I have lots of antibodies and whatnot from medical school and then medical practice.

I’m just so tired.  I can’t sleep at night for more than about an hour at a time, then I wake up and try to go back to sleep and sleep at most another hour, and then eventually just watch the clock reach the time for me to get up.  I want to be able to sleep and just stay asleep until I feel rested, or forever, whichever comes first.  That would be like…well, I was going to say “like a dream”, but it’s not quite accurate.  That would be wonderful.  That’s what it would be.


*This is how many of us refer to Professor Coyne.

**This is probably not a good choice.  It takes a long time to work, and if it fails it can still cause terrible liver problems, and it’s a long and drawn out death even if it works.  It’s very unpleasant.

***That’s something best not to do indoors, of course, and it was rainy yesterday, so it probably wouldn’t have worked outdoors if I had tried.  Also, it’s not got too high a fatality rate, or if it is fatal, it too can be a long, drawn out, and very painful death.  My point, overall, is to try to diminish and avoid or escape chronic pain, both physical and psychological.

It’s an okay Friday, at least, I guess

Well, as the titles says, it’s Friday, and I’m on the early train heading to the office.  I actually don’t feel terribly well this morning, and probably should just have stayed home, especially since I have tomorrow off and would thus have had a three day weekend in which to rest from whatever is ailing me.

However, I got my new bike seat post and portable tire pump with pressure gauge yesterday, and I wanted to be able to try out and ride my bike today.  So, last night I put the thing together and put it in place—more or less—and this morning I rode it to the station, getting on the second train of the day.

I say “more or less” because the seat still needs a bit of fine, and not so fine, adjustment.  For instance, the clamp that holds the seat post in place* seems to have been thrown out of whack a bit when whatever little mutant troll goblin stole my prior bike seat.  I tried to put the new seat a little higher than I’d had the one before, because they say that having your legs more extended makes for more efficient biking, but as soon as I sat on it the seat slid down into the frame pretty much as far as it would go.

Still, I really don’t like the feeling of not being able to put my feet securely on the ground, so that isn’t such a terrible thing.  Maybe, if I get more used to biking and feel thoroughly at home doing it, I’ll feel better about adjusting it higher.  In any case, I ended up having to bring the seat and post with me on the train, and to the office, because I found that my cable was too thick to fit between the spaces in the frame of this bike seat, and I didn’t want to leave the seat unsecured on this, my first day using it, especially since it’s a holiday and foot traffic in and around the station might be light, and so make the seat more prone to be stolen.

I hate the fact that I have to worry about such things.  It’s one thing to need to worry about mechanical failures and the like; things fall apart, as the poem says.  But people who do things like steal someone else’s bike seat need just a quick death and an anonymous burial.

At least, that’s how I feel about it.  Fortunately (for me and for others) I don’t consider feelings to be reliable guides to action.

It’s amazing how out of condition my legs and everything else has gotten after only a week without using the bike (and despite having walked about forty miles so far this week).  It was really a bit of a struggle to keep going at times, and I rode in low gear at least half way to the station.  I really feel fatigued to an inordinate degree.  I suppose that will go away relatively quickly, unless there is something truly wrong with me physically**.

Oh, right!  The conductor made her announcement and thereby reminded me that it’s “Good Friday” today, and will be Easter on Sunday—the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, as my sister taught me decades ago, and which I still remember in precisely those words.  I guess there’s nothing remarkable about the fact that the specific words are how I recall it.  After all, they are concise, precise, and clear.  Why change them?

Anyway, for those of you who celebrate these holidays, please enjoy them.

I hopefully will make use of my new bike a bit this weekend.  At least having the seat with me today will allow me to adjust the pitch of it slightly, because this morning it was leaning back somewhat, and I didn’t want to get out my socket wrench—which I have brought with me, oh yes—and adjust it early in the dark of the morning.  That’s one of my difficulties when it comes to getting such things done:  I am only at the house before dawn or after dusk, so it’s a pain to do anything that requires light, even though there is, of course, a good outdoor porch light in my entry area behind the house.

I still feel a little fatigued and out of breath, even as I write this, and it’s been more than half an hour since I got to the train station.  We’re almost to my stop.  I hope this doesn’t persist, because it’s annoying.  If there’s something wrong with my lungs or heart, I wish it would just go full catastrophic and kill or at least thoroughly disable me, rather than lead to some gradual, annoying deterioration.

But nature doesn’t respond to requests, unfortunately.  I was going to write that it doesn’t take them, but it takes them fine—you can request things all you want.  It just doesn’t respond.  It doesn’t know you’re making a request.  It doesn’t know you exist, frankly, as far as we can tell.

As the saying goes, “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.”  Of course, you cannot do anything other than obey nature.  That’s the nature of nature.  That’s why we refer to “laws of nature” rather than “suggestions of nature” or “requests of nature”.  Wishes don’t do anything—but learning about nature, learning its rules, and applying them to your best advantage can be useful.

This is what lies at the heart of the saying.  It’s not implying that you could choose not to follow the laws of nature, merely that, if you want to get things done, you should know how nature works as well as you can and apply that knowledge with creativity, with determination, with discipline.  Then you’ll be able to achieve remarkable things.

You won’t be able to revoke or waive the law of gravity, for instance, but you may be able to use fluid dynamics and chemistry and thermodynamics and the like to make a structure that will use the air to create a force powerful enough to overcome the pull of gravity, and which will let you fly through the air at speeds never achieved by any organism in its “natural” state.

Wishing won’t get you from Detroit to Florida in two hours, but science and technology can.  Science and technology can even get people to the moon and back.

Anyway, that’s enough for this week.  Have a nice weekend, whether you celebrate it as a holiday or not.  I’ll do what I can at least to get some rest and, hopefully, to get a bit more adjusted to my bicycle again.

happy easter basic

*I don’t really know any of the “proper” terminology, so if there are bicycle aficionados reading and they can give me better, more useful terms, I would welcome the input.

**One can always hope.

I had rather than forty shillings I had such a blog

Hello and good morning.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for my traditional-format, “weekly” blog post, which is not terribly different from my other daily ones anymore.  I’ve just been doing it longer.

It’s the first day of Passover (Pesach) and I ought not—if I were observant, anyway—go to work today.  But the fact is, I am sitting here at the bus stop, way too early for the bus to arrive, and writing this blog post, because I want to continue to give my knee and ankles and feet a relative bit of morning rest.

Yesterday’s plan worked quite well, foot-wise.  I walked back to the house from the train station, making my day’s tally only about eight miles of walking total, and my feet and my knee felt comparatively good by the end of the day.  This may be because the new shoes I was wearing turned out to be particularly good for my feet and my walking style*, but I figured one more bus stop morning shouldn’t be too bad, even if I wear a different pair of shoes.

I took delivery of my new bicycle seat yesterday.  It seems nice, and it may perhaps be less tempting to thieves than my other one was.  Anyway, the seat post will be arriving today, if all goes according to Amazon’s stated intention, and so with a little luck—assuming I have the will and energy to do anything at all—I will be riding the bike to the train tomorrow.  If I do, when I do, I will thread the steel cable that is part of my lock through the base of the seat as well as around the bike rack, so that it will not be stealable without serious tools and/or time.

I noticed last week that riding the bike seems to be better for my flexibility than walking is, in the sense that it’s easier to bend down and or squat when necessary after riding than it is with long walking.  I’m not sure why that is.  Maybe it’s just that riding works the quads so much that they’re well-conditioned for squatting.  I don’t know.  I don’t suppose it matters.

I really hope things will go okay with the bike seat and seat post, because I would like to use the bike this weekend to go for a longer distance meander on Saturday and/or Sunday.  That twelve mile accidental walk I took a few months ago would be a fairly minor trip on the bike.  I could even, in principle, go to a mall or something—though I think I would not go to a mall on a Saturday no matter what, since there tend to be far too many people in such places on weekends.  Sunday, being Easter, might be better, but I need to do my laundry on Sunday.

Holy schlamoley, this blog has become really boring, hasn’t it?  I don’t even know what I’m trying to accomplish with it anymore.  Then again, I don’t know what I’m trying to accomplish with anything anymore.  “Nothing much” is the probable answer.

At the office, I took my black Strat and tucked it away behind the partition beside my desk, along with its cord and the little practice amp I have always used when playing at the office.  This makes a little more space for me.  No one has noticed its absence, but I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising.  It’s not really relevant to anyone but me, and—obviously—its relevance to me has all but vanished.

I really wish I had the energy or the will or the wherewithal to go somewhere, to do something, to visit someone, but I don’t.  I probably won’t even go for that longish ride on the bike this Saturday, even though it’s in my head that I would enjoy doing it.  I would be inclined to walk longer distances, but the fact that I keep having trouble with my knee and ankles—and the chronic pain in my back—makes that difficult.  Also, I just feel mentally tired, probably as part of my chronic depression, since I’m obviously physically up to the challenge—as witness, I consider yesterday’s total of eight miles to be comparatively light walking.

A person who used to work with me, and about whom I hear via another coworker, had a heart attack last week, apparently.  He’s only a year or two older than I am, but he has had an unhealthy lifestyle, so it’s not too terribly surprising, though I say it as shouldn’t, perhaps.  Anyway, it was apparently fairly serious (even as heart attacks go), but I have to admit to feeling just a little bit of envy, laced with a bit of irony.  He probably does not like the fact that he had a heart attack and will be going through rehab and everything, but for me, one of the big advantages of a major illness or injury or whatever would be simply not having to keep going.

I can’t just lie around on my own.  I don’t do leisure time well.  I can’t just relax—I always feel a sense of urgency, of stress, the idea that I really ought to be doing something, that there are responsibilities I must meet, something like that, some feeling of ill-ease that prods at me, like trying to sit on a cactus.

This hearkens back to the topic of yesterday’s post, I guess, and Sisyphus.  I am the source of my own forced labor, it seems, to the extent that any one, local thing can be ascribed that responsibility.  I just wish I were able to rest without guilt and anxiety about the fact that I’m resting.  I want to be able to let go, to be empty.  I’m not asking for joy or euphoria or eudaimonia.  I’d like just to have a bit of oblivion.

I don’t know what to do.  I keep playing with the idea of doing audio recordings for a bit, especially when I happen to be listening to a podcast or something, but so far I haven’t gotten the gumption up to do it.  I don’t know.

Oh, well.  To those of you who are observant, or celebrate it, or whatever, I say, “Chag Pesach Sameach”.  Many of the rest of you will celebrate “Good Friday”** tomorrow, and Easter this Sunday.  I hope you all have a nice holiday weekend, if it is a holiday weekend for you, and that in any case, you have a nice weekend no matter what.  I wish you nothing but the best.

My best wishes aren’t worth much, but they are sincere, at least.


Passover mosaic with words

*Are there styles of walking, like the kung fu styles in movies and things like that?  If so, would they be named after animals?  I think mine would be something a bit ungainly.  Not quite “penguin”, maybe, but perhaps “pangolin”, though of course, I walk on two legs, not on four.  Anyway, no one has ever been struck by the beauty of my gait.

**A day on which ones is crucified doesn’t seem like it would be a good Friday to me, but what do I know?

Was Sisyphus afraid of moss?

I’m sitting at the bus stop this morning, waiting for the morning bus.  There are a few reasons for that.  Actually, I suppose if one were to drill down, one could probably find many reasons—or at least, many causes­—but the main ones are:  1) I’ve walked over 24 miles in the last two days, and though my left knee support thingy is helping, there is still some twinging in the knee, and B) I am trying out a new pair of shoes.

By that, I mean, I am trying a new model of shoe, so to speak, though they are from the same company as usual.  I didn’t want to give them the full 12 miles on their first day, in case there is any chafing or rubbing in new areas that’s going to be likely to cause new blisters.  I really don’t want that, since my other shoes—the ones I haven’t discarded—are not causing blistering, even with the new ankle supports, even with a full 12 mile days.

I should let you all know, I have bitten the bullet and ordered a new bike post and seat.  They don’t come together as one “item”, which strikes me as odd, but maybe it’s not; maybe that’s the usual way things go in the world of bicycles.  There may be good reasons for it.

Anyway, I don’t know if reading Matthieu Ricard’s book is helping me, or if it was a comment/suggestion of encouragement from my cousin—most likely some combination of both things and just a general stubbornness on my part—but I decided to try it, to get a new seat.  It’s nice to be able to get back to the house before eight o’clock sometimes rather than at about nine (or even later).  I just have to remember to run my locking cable through the seat base when I park the bike.

I don’t know that this will change any of my long-term plans (if that’s even the right term).  Certainly if I get this new seat and post and something else goes wrong, I’m going to be quite perturbed.  That interference with my expected plans is a large part of what made me so upset—maybe that’s part of my possible undiagnosed Asperger’s or something, I don’t know.  On the other hand, a large part of it is certainly down to my dysthymia/depression, with which I’ve had to deal since at least my mid-teens.  As it turns out, that can be secondary to/a complication of Asperger’s, so it could all be intertwined.

I’ve recently come to the realization, which I’ve commented on before, that apparently I have a rather blank expression on my face a lot of the time, even when I feel like I’m conveying severe misery.  The closest I came to being expressive, recently, was last week, when I was having an exceptionally bad, three-sigma at least, outlier day with respect to pain, and I was just miserable and in agony, despite far too much medicine and stretching and back massage machines and whatnot.

Someone in the office asked if I was tired, because apparently that’s what my face was expressing.

I’ve never really thought of myself as expressionless, but I do remember, for a long time, practicing smiling in the mirror, partly just so I could think of myself as someone who was happy (or at least looked happy) and partly because I wanted to have a good smile.  That’s long gone, of course; I don’t tend to smile at myself in the mirror anymore.

If anything, I feel rather surprised sometimes when I look in the mirror, as if thinking, “Oh, yeah, that guy.  I forgot that’s what he looked like.”  You would think I would be used to my face by now.  But it very much doesn’t feel like me when I see it, though as my sister has pointed out (quite correctly), that is not so surprising since I don’t normally have access to it; I’m on the inside, or words to that effect.  Maybe this is everyone’s experience, I don’t know.

It’s been a very long week so far, already, and it’s only now Wednesday morning*, which means today I have to do the payroll.  I haven’t even gotten started on the payroll this week so far, because I’ve just been too discouraged and despondent and tired.  Hopefully, taking the bus this morning will conserve at least a little of my energy and make things somewhat easier today.

Either way, I’ll do it, and I’ll probably do it quickly and accurately and well, and it will look easy to those on the outside, because I’ve been doing it for a while, and I know how to do it.  When I’m supposed to do something, however miserable I feel, I just tend to do it, to keep going, and only occasionally grumble a bit but not really make any kind of stink—and apparently it doesn’t even really show on my face that I’m in despair.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it bears repeating, or re-exploring, that the horror of Sisyphus’s punishment in the myth is not merely that he was forced to keep rolling his boulder up the mountain, or hill, or whatever, only to have it roll down again each time.  The true horror was that he felt compelled to do it, somehow.

It’s not as though an ordinary person would keep doing it, surely.  They’d be all, “Blow this for a lark” and let the boulder fall.  I’m sure that some other punishment would be enacted, but even Prometheus could recognize that, though he suffered horribly every day, it wasn’t his own doing.  His own mind had not been made into the vessel and source of his torment.

Sisyphus was a bit like all those people who walked calmly to the stake or to the gallows or to the guillotine or to the electric chair or whatever.  Why did they do that?  Why do people not at least force their executioners to drag them to the place of execution?  Why do they not fight?  Would I be the same in such circumstances?

It’s bizarre.  I mean, good luck trying to get a cat or a wolverine, or even a squirrel, to go along with you toward a situation that it even suspects is a danger to its life.  You will not come away without wounds.  Yet even unjustly sentenced humans go quietly most of the time.

It’s pretty stupid, if you ask me.  Which may in turn sound stupid coming from someone who often feels suicidal.  But if it’s my choice and I’m the one doing it—to whatever extent that even makes sense—then that’s at least a choice of some kind.  But you can’t tell me that, if Prometheus got a hand free, he wouldn’t have done his best to throttle Zeus’s eagle.

That, again, is the horror of Sisyphus, even though his punishment is less gory.  He has become his own hell.  Maybe that’s true of us all.  It’s certainly often true of me.


*A fact that I cannot state without triggering the beginning of the Beatles song She’s Leaving Home in my head.  As my ex-wife might have said, this is one of my buttons, and when you push them—even when I push them myself—there will be a programmed response.