And careful hours with time’s deformed hand have blogged strange features in my face

“Hello” and also “good morning”.  It’s Thursday again—this time the 18th of August in 2022 A.D.—and so it’s time for another daily post and also for another edition of my longer-standing weekly blog post.  And, of course, this being my Thursday, longer-standing blog post, I almost always start with some variation of “Hello and good morning”, so that’s what I did.  It’s good to try to be consistent, all other things being equal.

I’m very tired, both physically and mentally, so I’m not sure what I’m going to write about.  I certainly don’t have any fiction writing to discuss.  I doubt whether I’ll ever write any fiction again.

Yesterday I very briefly picked up my guitar at work because I wanted to play the opening riff from I Feel Fine, since I’d started using it as one of my alarm sounds on my new phone.  I ended up playing a bit more of the song than that, and then the opening of Wish You Were Here, and then I got tired and didn’t do anymore.  I think that’s all played out for me, if you’ll pardon the pun.

I don’t really feel like I’m ever going to do anything that brings me real joy anymore.  I doubt that I’ll ever see my kids again, though this is thankfully not because they’ve suffered any tragedy*; it’s simply that they have their lives and their pursuits and I’m not part of them and not particularly wanted.  As I think I’ve said before, my son has only interacted with me once—to send an email to thank me for this year’s birthday presents—since about 2012 or 2013**.

I do have a knack for causing the people I really love to hate me or at least to hate having me around.  Does that mean that I must love myself, since I certainly hate having me around?  No.  I’m a special case.  I’ve never been able to get away from myself.  I can’t even get a good night’s sleep to get away from myself for more than an hour or two at a time.

So, as I said, there’s no new fiction, no new (or rehashed) music, no new insights.  I have some new puzzlements and minor irritations.  For instance, in thinking about why people prefer some blog posts to others, I’ve noted—or been told—that having images mixed in with the post helps, and long ago I started putting pictures in my Thursday blog posts.  Now, my popular Monday post this week didn’t have any image, but it did have an embedded video, so I thought maybe that at least helped explain its relative popularity.  So I embedded one video in Tuesday’s post, but it didn’t seem to help that one.

Evidently, the things that make posts relatively popular are more complex or at least more chaotic than my simply hypotheses would support.  This should come as no surprise.  I doubt anyone has undertaken any rigorous, thorough evaluation of the nature of the popularity of blog posts or the like.  There’s lots of data available, but it’s very messy, and the system is nowhere near any kind of equilibrium, so trying to figure out where it goes for what reasons would require real sophistication in statistics and related matters, and I doubt anyone who’s tracking blog posts is really bothering with that.

As I said, I’m tired.  And that being the way things go, since I have no source of relief or rest, I’m getting steadily more and more tired.  I’m tired, and I’m sad, and I’m lonely—but I can’t really stand being around most other people very much either, at least not the ones I see and encounter nowadays.  All my old friends are thousands of miles away, and they have their own lives, and unfortunately, I’ve never been good at maintaining friendships with people at a distance.

It’s not that I don’t want to or don’t think about them.  I just don’t really know what to do, or to say, or how to deal with such things, and I get very stressed out by them.  I also don’t feel I have any right to intrude on other people’s lives and time, or anything to offer anyone.  It’s presumptuous for me to imagine that anyone would want to interact with me at all, and I find most people inexplicable and unpredictable.

Being in the world these days feels for me like being one of those wild animals you sometimes see in news stories—a bear, a coyote, something more unusual, maybe even a tiger—that’s wandered down from the mountains, or out of a forest, or was released from someone’s private “zoo” and has found itself in an urban or suburban environment which is not where it’s adapted to be.  Everything around it feels potentially hostile—and is potentially hostile—and so it must always be on its guard, always trying to avoid even those who might be benign, because it cannot be sure, and it’s made the mistake of thinking other creatures were benign before, only to have them become hostile (or reveal themselves to be so), and to damage it, leaving permanent pain and deep scarring.

Better to avoid everyone and to be avoided than to face more of that.  There are no other creatures out there that seem safe or beneficial or even familiar enough to be worth the risk.  Better just to lurk in the shadows, scrounging through scraps and garbage to find minimal sustenance, and simply to continue, until starvation or disease or something else gets you; it might even be something of a relief when that happens.

So, no fiction or music, but merely this metaphorical morosity is what I have to offer you.  I’ll understand if this post isn’t popular, but I don’t really give a fuck at this point.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m sick of caring about things.  And I’m tired.

FOFN

cougar in town


*Other than having me for a father, which I suppose is tragedy enough for anyone.

**Prison sure does wonders for making non-violent “offenders” shape their lives up, doesn’t it?  We should send everyone to prison for a while, or maybe just select people randomly for the reward (as often seems to be the way things are done, anyway), and make sure it affects the rest of their lives afterward, curtailing their possibilities, making them unable to practice their professions, severing their ties with their loved ones, restricting their employment and other prospects, and just generally pouring concentrated acid all over their lives.  If it’s good for part of society, it must be even better if it’s done for more people, right?  Yeah, prison for the nonviolent non-criminals (in any legitimate sense) teaches important lessons, the main one being that “civilization***” is a fiction and/or is fucked, and it should probably be wiped from the surface of the universe.  Possibly, even life itself is a bad idea.

***Which, remember, is just a spontaneously self-assembling structure, no more deeply important or planned or meaningful or ideal than a school of fish, or a flock of starlings, or an ant colony, or a “flange” of baboons, or a hurricane, or crystals of saltpeter that form in bat guano.

Imagine this post to have a title with a quote from a song about eyes.

I’m not sure how well this is going to go today.  Last night, sometime not too long after midnight, maybe, I must have done something to scratch the conjunctiva of my right eye behind the middle of the upper eyelid, and it wasn’t long before I woke up with real, sharp pain.  I haven’t been able to see anything in there, such as a foreign body, despite mirrors, lights, and bright flashlights, and a complete lack of squeamishness about looking around under my own eyelid.  All I can see is that it’s irritated, though it feels as though there’s a needle in it.  But, of course, I can’t see very well in there even with lights and flashlight and lack of squeamishness, because the eye in question is impaired by the irritation, so there are limits.

I would offer to take and include with this post a picture from my cell phone camera, but I don’t see how that would help.

It’s so bad that I was tempted just to stay home from work, but the problem is, there are too many things in and around the house that are irritating to my eyes in and of themselves—dust from work that’s being done, residual cat dander from the people who used to live in the room in which I’m currently staying (and who had two cats), the general feeling of being annoyed because of where I live…these are all reasons not to want to lie around the house.  Anyway, I would probably just feel guilty, even if I had a good reason—which I I do, in a way.

I suppose I could claim to have—or fear that I have—“pink eye”, but even if I had it, it would be bacterial conjunctivitis, since it’s entirely unilateral; the viral form spreads so easily that it frequently occurs in both eyes.  Also, I just don’t have any other signs or symptoms that go with pink eye.  I am shedding a lot of tears—ironically, not because of my mood—but they are not tainted with pus.  Conjunctivitis tends to produce a greenish discharge.  Mine is as clear as more ordinary tears.

Nevertheless, those tears are annoying, as is the process itself.  And it’s not as though I could just pop into my primary doctor’s office to get it looked at, and maybe get some prescription eyedrops; I don’t have insurance, and I don’t have a primary doctor.  This is what comes from a combination of apparent “neurodivergence”, dysthymia, possible other neuropsychiatric issues, chronic pain, a completely ruined life, a comparative lack of higher-level self-preservation drive*, and a near-total lack of social supports (a complete lack, locally speaking).

So it’s not as though anyone else is going to take care of me when I’m not feeling well.  That’s not surprising, really, and it’s probably no more than I deserve; I’m not the sort of person other people seem to want to take care of, and I usually have been better at (and preferred) taking care of other people than the reverse.  I’m still the one to whom people at the office always come if they need band-aids, or antiseptic, or Tylenol, or to have an MRI report explained to them, all that kind of stuff.  I’m a bad patient, but I’ve almost always been considered a good doctor by those who are qualified to judge.

Anyway, my eye is really annoying me, and I want to give it a rest, so I’ll draw to a close here for today, and also for this week.  If this post is too short, well, at least yesterday I wrote a longish one, with pictures and video and everything.  Feel free to check it and/or any of my other, older posts out.  Have a good weekend.


*Though, as I’ve commented before, here and on Twitter, even if one is intellectually okay with the fact that one is going to die, it’s hard to ignore the fear of death that evolution has baked into us.  “And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of”…well, instinct, not thought, in this case.  But terminologies change over time, and I think Hamlet was basically saying what I mean.

“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.

Is it really?

Okay.  Um…it’s Friday now, which tends to happen on the day that follows Thursday, and since yesterday was Thursday, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise anyone, let alone me, that today is Friday.

I suspect there are plenty of people for whom Friday is a good thing in and of itself.  Or, well, not really “in and of itself”, now that I think about it.  In and of itself, it’s just another day, with nothing to set it apart from the 1.6 trillion or more others since the Earth first coalesced and cooled and the similar number that will pass in the future, until the sun’s expanding surface envelopes Earth and reduces it to cinders and dust in the eventual ring nebula that our solar system will become.  But within our current social system, Friday is the end of the “work week” and the “school week”, and so for many people it is a harbinger of pleasant—albeit brief—times to come.

This will be my weekend off, meaning I won’t be working tomorrow (the office is never open on Sundays), so I don’t expect to be writing anything tomorrow.  I also don’t think I’m going to be making and uploading any videos, but that’s not unusual.  Eventually, I expect I’m going to do a bit of the latter for a while, though it probably won’t last for long.  If I do end up successfully following that plan, I will no doubt share/embed such videos here, for posterity and for the ease of my regular readers.

I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling discouraged that there are so few regular readers out there in the world.  Has it been this way my whole life?  I feel that when I was younger there were more readers around, as a percentage, than there are now, but perhaps that’s a misperception on my part.  I lived in a family that embraced and celebrated reading; both of my parents read to me when I was young (as did my sister), and certainly my sister was (and is) at least as avid a reader as I am.  My brother is not as big a reader of fiction as I or our sister, but still, he read quite often when I was young.

I think my Dad didn’t read as much as he wanted to, because he worked a full time job, but his father was a big reader, and my Mom read quite a lot.  I remember she liked those Harlequin romance novels, but she also always loved mysteries.  And my family got three daily newspapers, at least for a while, and quite a few magazines.

Nowadays, even people who have good imaginations and who will want to tell stories and be creative in doing so are going to have a higher chance of being distracted by all the video media that abounds, and very few people will read, let alone write, long stories in the printed word.  Even things like Harry Potter became movies even before the whole series of books had come out, so though the books did bring many young people to the wonderful world of reading magical stories, I can’t help thinking that there’s someone out there who would have started reading the books and loved them, and maybe from there would have gone on to read more and other books, but didn’t because, thanks to the films, they didn’t need to do it.

Oh, well.  There is no gravity; the universe is just warped.

In front of me now, one the wall of the train, there is a (very nice) poster advertising* the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and related services.  It’s good that they promote it, and that they do it in such a way, trying to show a group of people from various walks of life, all of whom look glum, and above whom are symbols of things like heartbreak, confusion, pain, etc.  “Lonely?  Depressed?  Anxious?” it asks.  Then below, it tells us, “It’s OK to not be OK”. I have two minor and really pointless quibbles about this line, and I can’t help having them, despite the fact that it makes me hate myself even more than I already did.

The first quibble is with the split infinitive.  I don’t like split infinitives partly because, in many languages, it’s not even possible to split an infinitive**, and this includes the most broadly spoken language in the western hemisphere***, Spanish.  It’s not a terribly big deal, I guess, but I feel that in many ways writing “It’s OK not to be OK” would be at least as good, and in a certain emphatic, rhetorical sense, it might be better yet to write “It’s OK to be not OK”.  That last one makes “not OK” the state you’re in, as one phrase, and I think it really works for emphasis.

Never mind that.  The point that really got into my idiotic, dysfunctional nervous system was to note that, well…it had better be OK not to be OK, because it’s not like people get to choose.  If people could choose, no one would choose to be “not OK”.  Why would they?  It makes no sense.  Surely, if people could choose, everyone would choose to feel good and energetic and motivated and enthusiastic every day.

If people could choose, there would be no self-help books.  Who would say, “Hmm…today, I think I’ll dial myself toward the ‘depressed’ and ‘suicidal’ settings, just to change things up and keep from getting bored”?  If they could do that, why not just adjust the “boredom” dial downward and not be depressed and suicidal?

It’s a bit like saying “It’s OK not to be able to go the speed of light”.  Well, it had better be OK, because you don’t have any choice about it.  And though it’s more complex, you don’t have any simple choice in the previous matter, either.  It’s like I always want to say when I hear the Rush lyric, “I will choose free will”—No.  You won’t.  You either have free will or you don’t have free will, but you don’t have any choice in the matter.  It’s not up to you.

Of course, ultimately, I’m quite sure that the whole point of this most welcome poster on the wall is to say, in a concise and relatable way, that they know that people don’t have a simple choice about not feeling OK, and that people shouldn’t feel guilty or bad about the fact that they do.  It’s not a sign of weakness, or a fault, and even if it could be called such things, it’s not your fault in the sense of being a mistake or failure on your part.  It’s something that happened to you, not something you did.  And it’s OK to ask for help if you’re able to do that…though many of us are not…it’s one part of that thing that makes us not OK.

If you had designed and built the world and yourself, you might be personally to blame, but you didn’t and you aren’t.  Neither did any of the people around you.  So, try not to take at least that bit of blame and shame upon yourself, if you can help it.

Of course, when you’re depressed and suicidal, that’s a state of mind that can be hard to achieve.  Goodness knows I can’t seem to do it.


*Is that the correct term?  I guess it works.  I wish I had taken a picture of the poster; I tried to look for it online but have been unsuccessful…which doesn’t really help my self-esteem much.

**To do so in Spanish would be to split the word in a bizarre kind of tmesis.  “To not be” would roughly equate to “ha-no-cer”, but even that doesn’t quite capture the trouble.

***Based on number of countries, at least, in which it is the primary language.  I think one also cannot split infinitives in Portuguese, the primary language of Brazil.

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.

Warning: Dysthymic/Depressive Thoughts Follow – Read at Your Own Risk. (Further bulletins as events warrant).

Well, it’s Monday again, which seems to keep happening every week, no matter what people try to do to stop it.

I took the weekend off writing because I had the weekend off work, but now I’m back at the train station (and then back on the train, but thankfully not back on the chain gang) so I’m writing.  I still don’t have the will to write any new fiction—nor to play any music.  But I seem able to do this, at least.

I didn’t get anything useful done at all this weekend, including getting a good rest, because I’m thoroughly washed out, physically as well as psychologically.  I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it’s just a physical manifestation of worsening dysthymia.  Traditionally, I’ve been quite an energetic person, really.  Ask anyone who’s known me for a long time; I’m not usually lazy, though there are things I don’t like to do because they’re psychologically unpleasant.  But I’ve never been averse to work, per se.

Now, however, I’m barely inclined to get up and go to the office, or to write even this much.  But even lying in bed* is frankly uncomfortable for my back after a while, though being up and about is likewise eventually uncomfortable.  So, I have to keep switching it up.  Anyway, just not working, and not writing, and not doing anything at all would probably shortly become more irritating than doing those things.  I don’t have anyone to do anything fun with, because, unfortunately, I find dealing with most people more and more stressful as time goes by (and my masking skills atrophy), and that makes being with me frankly not much fun for other people, either.

Sorry, I realize this is turning into just a complete bummer of a post.  I apologize.  I’ll try to put some warning** in the title for the sake of those who are easily upset by what the thoughts of someone suffering from potentially-terminal depression sound like—or, well, look like, I guess, since this is written.

I don’t know, do most people read by “speaking” the words in their head, so that reading is like listening, and reading someone’s thoughts is like hearing them?  That’s how I read, a fact which probably arises from the prior fact that my parents (and my older siblings, too, if I remember correctly) read out loud to me when I was very young.  I get the impression that not everyone experiences this.  I personally think any parent who doesn’t read aloud to their children should not be called a parent, and indeed, probably ought to have their organs of generation removed and burned on a sacrificial altar.  I am biased in this, of course, but I also think I’m actually right***.

For those of you who haven’t heard (or read) yet, the new 988 hotline number has gone into effect, or so I understand, starting on July 16th, 2022.  This is a new way to access—by phone and by text—the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or whatever the official name of the thing is.  It’s good to know and have available, though evidently the old toll-free number (1-800-273-8255) is still extant and is hooked into the same system.

This is the sort of stuff to which I pay attention, for what are probably obvious reasons.  I skim over to the associated website a couple of times a week, weighing pros and cons.  Unfortunately, I had a very bad experience after calling the original number a while ago****, so I don’t think I’ll ever use it again, though I have in the past (obviously).

Anyway, I hate myself far, far too much, and I don’t honestly think I deserve to get help, so I’m highly unlikely to seek it in any straightforward way.  The best route for me is probably the Shakespearean bare bodkin…though honestly, the idea of using a dagger for such a purpose is intimidating, to say the least.  But I think Hamlet was speaking somewhat figuratively when he said that.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for now.  If I’m still doing this—or anything at all—I suppose I’ll probably write something tomorrow, and maybe it’ll be a bit cheerier than this.  I would say it couldn’t be much less cheery, but this is me we’re talking about; I don’t think there are any limits to how gloomy and dismal I can be.

A person has to be good at something, I guess*****.


*I sleep on a futon on the floor, actually, because it’s a bit better for my back and saves space.

**I did, see?

***Okay, perhaps not about the burning on the sacrificial altar.  But I think the rest is correct.

****This was NOT the fault of the helpline, however!!  I want to make that clear, and I do NOT want to discourage anyone from calling or texting any version of the helpline.  If you are in doubt, use it!  It’s a brilliant organization, and the people involved are wonderful and do a terrific job providing a very beneficial service that saves who-knows-how-many lives.  My bad experience was with a couple of imbeciles in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, who handcuffed me because I was feeling suicidal—which I guess is scary, because it might be, I don’t know, contagious?—and did nerve damage to my left hand in the process.  They do seem to let a lot of pussies become cops these days, but I have no doubt at all there are good cops out there, and I’d be willing to accept that most cops are good cops and good people, or at least try to be such.  Who knows, the guys who cuffed me for being depressed might have gotten forced into early retirement after shooting someone for having partial complex seizures or something.

*****That’s not of necessity true as a matter of physical law or logical necessity, but I think it’s almost certainly true that every reasonably functional human has abilities that could be considered “good” at a significant number of things.  The ability to speak, let alone read and write, in a complex symbolic language alone is unprecedented in the natural world.  No other species before us seems to have done it, and as far as we can tell, no other species alive right now does it.  On Earth, anyway.

What’s past and what’s to come is strew’d with blogs and formless ruin of oblivion

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday now, so it’s time for my usual, “official” weekly blog post, as opposed to the extra ones I wrote yesterday and the day before.  You can read those at the preceding links, if you missed them because I don’t typically write on Tuesdays and have almost never written for this blog on Wednesdays before.

In case you’re wondering why I wrote posts these last few days, when I don’t normally do so*, it’s because I simply haven’t been up to writing any on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, nor to writing any Outlaw’s Mind, nor to writing any other fiction.  It feels pointless.  I also haven’t felt up to playing guitar in the past few weeks; that’s probably even more pointless than writing fiction.  I haven’t lost my calluses, but they are no doubt fading.  So, I figured I might as well just write some random blog posts, to see what would come out, whether anyone would read them, and maybe even to act as a kind of therapy (though I don’t feel optimistic about this being very useful).  If anyone who is reading this now has any opinion one way or the other regarding whether they would like me to keep doing that, please let me know in the comments below**, here on my blog.  I will read those, if they are there—probably pretty quickly—and I will do my best to respond when I’m able.

In other news, so to speak, I might have mentioned here before that I did a video of me reading/performing Act I of Macbeth.  I’ve been editing that video, since I went to all the trouble to make it, but I don’t know if I’m going to make any more; I find it nauseating to look at my own face, and editing videos involves more or less entirely that.  I suppose if there’s a very enthusiastic reaction when I post it, I might be persuaded to do more, but that seems unlikely, and you should not feel pressure to pretend to like it.

I’m not sure even whether I would want it to get a big, positive response and a clamor for me to make more videos.  I mean, it would certainly feel good, as far as it would go, but I’m not my own biggest fan, so I might have trouble understanding why anyone would like what I do.  I have a hard time understanding even what’s going on in my own head; I really don’t much like it in here.

My housing situation is still up in the air and frustrating, as I’m supposed to be changing rooms and so on, which was not my idea, and in the meantime there’s no settled situation and I don’t feel I can just be in my own space and do my things, however dreary they may be, when I’m at the house***.  So, there’s not much rest after work or anything.  I don’t suppose I have any reason, let alone any right, to expect things to be in a sane configuration in my external reality, especially when my own internal state is unsane, but it doesn’t help me feel in any way able to correct things out or balance myself.

I’m also still feeling physically rather under the weather.  My nausea and lower GI trouble are not as bad as they were over the course of the previous seven days, but I still feel queasy at a steady, nonzero level.

Anyway, sorry to be such a bummer and a downer and any number of other synonyms for the same basic description.  I would prefer to feel good about myself and the world; unfortunately, I’m not good at fooling myself regarding such things, and I don’t really respect the urge to fool oneself just to try to feel better.  I guess I can see why people don’t tend to like to be around me too much for very long if they can help it.  I don’t like being around myself most of the time, but there’s only one alternative to that of which I am aware.  Believe me, it has its appeal.

I’ll probably be done with my Macbeth video soon, and when I am, I’m sure I’ll both post it to YouTube and share it here on this page.  So, if that’s the sort of thing to which you look forward, then I’m pleased to be able to tell you that you can look forward to it.  Apart from that, I don’t know what to say other than to ask you to be good to the people who love you if you can, even if they can sometimes be difficult.  And, of course, be good to the people you love, if you’re lucky enough to be able to spend time with them.  That’s something you should not take for granted.

TTFN

ruined house


*I have, in recent months, been uploading parts of Outlaw’s Mind on Tuesdays.  But I posted the last of that (so far) a few weeks ago, and it’ll probably be quite some time before I write more of it, let alone post it.  In fact, it may never happen.

**Do NOT comment on Facebook if you have something to say that you actually want me to read anytime in this life.  I share posts to Facebook (and to Twitter) to make sure people can know about them who might want to read them, but I’ve been forced to avoid spending time on Facebook since their algorithm changed to—apparently—curating outrage and stupidity, rather than showing the latest of what’s going on with my Facebook friends or the groups I’ve joined.  Similarly, though I look at Twitter more often than Facebook, it’s not much of a venue for actual conversation.  And I’ll be damned if I’m going to try to use or follow Instagram or TikTok or any other such sewage.  And I’ll never forgive Mark Fuckerberg for stealing the term “metaverse”, which I had invented for my fictional worlds decades ago.  Bastard.

***I don’t like to say, “When I’m at home”, because I don’t feel like it is home to me.  The office feels more like home, frankly, but it’s not home either.  Nothing in the State of Florida feels like home, to be honest.  It really is just America’s ulcerated, syphilitic penis.  I wish I had never moved here.

CLICK-BAIT HEADLINE!  “LIKE” AND SHARE!  NUMBER 51 WILL AMAZE YOU*!!

It’s Wednesday, and I cannot summon the will to write on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, so I’ll do a bit of writing here as I discussed yesterday.  I’m not sure what the topic will be.  I did at least come up with a headline that amuses me, though I doubt anyone else will find it funny.  Still, you can’t rely on anyone else to amuse you—they’re much more often infuriating—so you might as well amuse yourself.

There’s no dearth of potential topics out there in the wide world, from the war in Ukraine, to the January 6th hearings, to recent Supreme Court rulings, and of course, “mass” shootings**.  The latter, though certainly serious and important, still constitute a mere rounding error in the overall gun deaths in the United States, the majority of which are still suicides, as I understand it.

All of which nevertheless makes clear that, whatever your take on gun control/gun rights, there’s little doubt that we have a mental health problem in the USA (anyone reading my writing can surely testify to that fact).  In some ways it’s merely part and parcel of our overall healthcare issues, but I suspect that there are aspects that are orthogonal to, and in addition to, all the various other issues we have with our healthcare system.  I’m not part of that system anymore.  I don’t have insurance, nor do I go to any doctor, though I am one myself (no longer in practice).  My own health is one of the things about which I am least enthusiastic—which is really saying something.

Of course, in six days (if all goes as scheduled) the James Webb Space Telescope will release to the public the first of its scientific data so far.  Actually, the telescope itself won’t be releasing the information.  Though it could be considered a robot, it’s not that kind of robot.  NASA and/or the various agencies and institutions involved in the research being done will be the ones releasing the info.

Isn’t that just typical?  The JWST does all the work, but various groups of humans take all the credit.  Humans!  Ptooey***!

As for me and my house…well, I don’t actually own a house, though I live in one, but its state is up in the air right now (figuratively speaking).  I’m being moved into a different room in it so the owner can then rent out the remainder of the house to people as yet unknown.  Meanwhile, my former housemate is doing repairs and upgrades and whatnot, cleaning up after the people who were there before (who were nice, but were messy as well as unreliable, still not having paid for their last 2 months of utilities yet—I covered all that myself).  He’s been using this new sports energy drink powder that’s making him a little too wired, and he was doing odd repairs at about eleven last night, right outside my room.  It woke me up, and I was rather cross; I don’t like surprises much.

Anyway, I’m apathetic and stressed out, all at once.  I’m also still at least a bit ill****.  It’s all terribly interesting and exciting…but only in the sense of the curse, “May you live in interesting and exciting times”.

I’m working on editing a video project or two, which I expect I’ll mention a bit more tomorrow, during my usual weekly blog post.  That editing process reasserts the reality of my appearance upon me, and I really doubt I will do any more such videos in the future.

I honestly still don’t know what, if anything, I will do beyond the immediate future.  I have no plans of significance, and I have no real hopes.  At least, there’s nothing to which I’m looking forward.  No, not even the JWST results, nor even the findings from the latest startup of the Large Hadron Collider, which surely won’t give anything that can be coherently shared with the public for months.  At least we can reassure anyone who still fears the LHC might produce some dangerous phenomenon that will obliterate the planet, by pointing out that cosmic rays of similar character to LHC collisions but vastly greater power—I mean there’s really no comparison—strike the upper atmosphere of the Earth countless times every day and have done so for as long as the Earth has existed.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), none of them has wiped out the planet.  That’s a tremendous number of missed opportunities on the part of nature, if nature actually did want to destroy us*****.  So, there’s no reason to worry about the LHC.  Looking through a magnifying glass at something interesting in the grass is, honestly, more likely to do damage; if it’s a sunny day, you might accidentally focus sunlight and burn an insect or start a fire.

So, please be careful, anyone who still has the childlike sense of curiosity that might make you go out in the field and look at things under a magnifying glass.  First, do no harm.


*Because even though it looks like it ought to be prime, it isn’t; it’s divisible by 17 three times.  53, however, is prime.  57 is not.  59 is.

**Defined in physics as shootings that interact with the Higgs field, and so cannot ever travel at the speed of light.

***I doubt the JWST really cares—it was never designed to have such mental states, even if humans knew how to design and create such states yet, which humans don’t.

****Physically, I mean.  There’s little doubt that I am, have been, and probably will be mentally ill until the day I die.

*****Clearly it doesn’t, because if the universe, or nature, did want to kill us, we would be dead, instantly.  There are innumerable ways the universe could obliterate all traces of life on Earth if there were some actively hostile will behind it.  We living things are, after all, extremely tiny and insignificant on any scale but that of our own minds.

Thoughts while commuting on Tuesday

Well, there’s no new portion of a story to post here today, but I did write some yesterday on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado—about 1100 words.  That’s the first bit I’ve written since the 800 words I mentioned last week.

I also went into the office yesterday, because we were open for part of the day.  It was a thoroughgoing waste of time and effort, and I already wasn’t feeling well (I’d stayed home from work sick on Friday, and I was not feeling much better yesterday…come to think of it, I still don’t feel great).  Almost no one seemed to want to work, and those who did were interrupted and interfered with by those who didn’t.  And then, one infantile “coworker” let off a stink bomb or stink drops or something (near the one person who was trying to work, ha-ha…that would have been juvenile even back in grade school), flooding the office with a horrible smell on a day when we were having a bit of an office cookout, so people were going to be trying to eat there.

Yes, seriously, this all happened.  I was very pissed off, because I had gone into the office despite still feeling sick to my stomach, and the stupid stink-bomb nonsense didn’t help me feel any better.  Back at the house, one couple have been moving out of part of the house—they’re nice enough people, but they were horribly messy, even by my standards.  When I’m messy, I keep it in my own space, I try hard not to mess up common areas.  But now a transition is ongoing, and the property owner asked me to move into another room, though I’ve been living in the same room for almost five years.  The other room is bigger, but that doesn’t automatically make it better.  And I don’t like change much at the best of times.

I’ve also made a few videos, including one in which I read the Declaration of Independence out loud, which I’ll embed here, below.  I suspected most Americans probably hadn’t read it in a long time, and many have probably never read it at all, so it was worth a bit of effort, even when I wasn’t feeling well.

I did another video earlier, last week, about science, and about learning about science, which I haven’t posted to YouTube yet.  If and when I do, I’m sure I’ll embed it in some blog post here, as well.  Why not?  I’m not doing much of anything else that’s productive or valuable.  Of course, that begs the question of whether doing such videos is productive or valuable either, but I guess that can only be learned after they’re done.

I’m not feeling well at all, however.  This creeping crud is really doing a number on me, and that’s on top of my precarious mental state, which leaves me very easily irritated and also unable really to talk to anyone about the many issues that I have.  I don’t really know what to do.  I know what I want to do, but that want is not unadulterated.  If it were, I would simply do it.  Although, frankly, I don’t think right now I’m physically up to anything taxing.  I feel so beat up.  I guess I’ll have to wait a bit on that, no matter what.

I don’t really know what to do.  The wind is going out of nearly all of my sails, and I don’t have a big enough stock of provisions to endure if the sea is becalmed for too long*.  Maybe instead of trying to write fiction every morning, for a while I should just try to write a blog post every day, including my regular Thursday blog post.  I have a couple of files in my note-taking app full of what I call “article” ideas, and it’s not as though there isn’t plenty of nonsense in the world that might be worth discussing.  There are many topics on which I have thoughts, judgements, and opinions, and even some matters on which I am an expert.

Maybe I could do this as a sort of therapy—a kind of pseudo-Freudian free-association daily blog.  Who knows?  At one point, I considered writing a memoir/autobiography, and I even had a title planned for it (A Most Stormy Life, taken from the Poe poem Alone, which is one of my favorites), but that feels just so pompous.  Plus, I don’t think my life is all that interesting.  It’s had interesting and gripping moments, of course, but surely that’s the case for everyone.  But I had long since planned, or considered, to share various random thoughts on Iterations of Zero, my other blog.  I was going to constrain this blog to deal primarily with my fiction writing and related matters, but it’s veered gradually at least part of the way away from that, and I have far more people following this blog than the other one**.

Well, these are just some thoughts that I’ve had.  I suppose, if I make another post tomorrow, you’ll know that I decided, at least for the time being, to write and post something every day.

In closing now I’ll tell you a little about the very weird dream/nightmare I had last night.  As is often the case in my (rare) nightmares, I ended up becoming irritably, grouchily defiant toward the forces of evil (embodied in some manner of building/complex/zone that seemed to have a malicious mind and will, and which did not want to let us leave) that were victimizing or at least tormenting me and some other people.  As is also often the case, the form this defiance took in the dream was related to the fact that I had to go to the bathroom, and after making a horrible-sounding, shouted demand*** that I think I must have said out loud, because it woke me up—my own voice sounded demented and weird and otherworldly, even to me—I discovered that I had to take a wicked pee.

At least I know I was well hydrated.


*To really brutalize a metaphor.

**Probably simply because I do regularly make posts on this one, but don’t do so on IoZ very often.

***The exact words were a repeated, “Do you understand?!?”