What should I title this blog post? Wait, I know…

Well, yesterday was seriously painful, in the literal sense and also in a more figurative sense, though the figurative pain was at least partially due to the literal pain.  I tried various postural and furniture-based changes, altered and/or tried some exercises, all sorts of things.  It’s hard to tell whether any of them did any good.  It’s also hard to tell—assuming that some or all of them did any good—which one(s) did the good, and how to tease it out.  This is, of course, why in a proper, scientific exploration of such things, one would try to change only one variable at a time, holding all the others constant.

However, when one is in soul-grinding pain while still trying to do one’s job, one tends to be willing to split away from pure scientific rigor.  At least, I am.  And I’m as committed to the notion of scientific rigor as anyone I know.

I slept reasonably well last night—for me, anyway—only waking up at about two in the morning, and being able to get back to sleep for another 35 minutes or so starting at 3:15.  That may not sound like much, but for me, it’s comparatively restful.

I also went rather off the script with respect to food yesterday.  I decided, since I was feeling so much like crap as to be barely distinguishable, I would just eat what I felt like eating, when I felt like eating it.  So, I did.  Mind you, there wasn’t all that much available, but I did order a pizza and so on, and even got a Mountain Dew® with it, something I haven’t had in certainly over a year, but probably far longer.

I’m likely to relax my dietary restrictions today as well—I really don’t feel great, but I can’t quite tell if I’m going to have another day like the previous few or several—but then, since I have this weekend off, I’m going to go back, much more strictly, to some food regulation, so to speak.  It’s easier when one doesn’t have much to do.

And, yes, I do have tomorrow off, so I won’t be writing a blog post.  I guess, technically, Monday is Memorial Day, which I only realized quite recently, but we generally work on Memorial Day at our office.  It’s a good day for sales and all that, though we often close early.  Of course, the buses and trains will be on a “Sunday” schedule, which is a minor pain, but they are on lower schedules on Saturdays, as well, and I’ve gone in to the office the last two Saturdays without difficulty.  Still, I do find myself tempted just to call out on Monday, at least if I don’t feel much better than I’ve been feeling.

Actually, if I don’t feel much better soon—at least back to my ordinary baseline, however unpleasant that both is and makes me—I feel I should call out from everything, permanently.  I’ve been back on my historically best-working antidepressant for about four or five weeks now, if my reckoning is correct (it’s not very careful, so I could be off).  It doesn’t seem to be making a huge difference, but it’s possible that it’s making some difference.  I certainly did, for a few days, pick up my guitar(s) a bit.  But then—now—I haven’t played or wanted to play for several days.

Some of that is pain related, and a lot of it is depression related, and it’s also just a feeling of pointlessness about playing.  I had thought about working on a cover of Ashes to Ashes, as I’d mentioned here (I think), a sort of sequel to my own cover of A Space Oddity, as Ashes to Ashes was for David Bowie.  But at least for right now, I don’t see that happening.

I don’t see much happening.  The farthest ahead I can really think is laundry on Sunday—will the washer and dryer be clear for me in the morning or not—and then whether or not I’m still going to be in pain on Monday, Memorial Day.  After that, as Paul McCartney sang in You Never Give Me Your Money (and I sang in my “bad cover” thereof), I “see no future…”  Though I will pay rent on the first.  I may even pay it slightly early, because it takes a load of tension away, since then I don’t have to worry that I’m going to forget.  That’s about it.  That’s as exciting as life is for me, which is to say, it’s not very.

I don’t know what would help put the wind back in my sails, or if that’s even possible—what might renew my interest in writing fiction, or playing music, or even writing and making songs.  I don’t really have anyone that I hang out with, since I only really socialize at work—but, then again, I don’t know that I would want to hang out with much of anyone I could possibly encounter near me.  I don’t have much in common with most humans, and that fact seems to become more overpowering all the time.

It would be nice to do some good in the world again, and to have a friend or similar that actually shares interests, but it seems unlikely.  Most people I’ve encountered—or so it feels—seem to want to take advantage, or else find me too unpleasant to stay friends with (I can’t blame them), or have their own stuff going on.  And, frankly, I’m rotten at socializing anyway, even with people I like.

Even on-line socializing, which I briefly did a bit of in the past, has become tense and unpleasant for me most of the time.  Leaving comments—whether on a video or a blog, or whatever, let alone replying to a tweet or a Facebook post—fills me almost immediately with a good deal of tension and anxiety.  I fear that someone will engage with my comment and I’ll have to get involved in some kind of discussion or argument, or else willfully ignore it, which will feel rude.

I know, it’s  a trap of my own making, or at least of my own nature.  I certainly can’t blame the other people.  But that doesn’t make it cease to be a trap.

Ah, well, it really doesn’t matter.  When I’m in a lot of pain, I’m not interested in socializing, anyway.

And now, I need to start heading for the bus stop, so I’m going to wrap this up for today.  I won’t write a post tomorrow, and if I don’t write one Monday, it will mean either that I decided (or needed) to take that day off, or something else has prevented me from writing.  I guess, if I don’t write any more posts at all after that, you’ll be able to infer at least that something relatively drastic happened.

But if I return no later than Tuesday…well, you’ll know that I’ve returned, at least for the moment.  I’m not sure which outcome I prefer.

Anyway, have a good holiday weekend, those of you who live in the US and are celebrating.

Wheels keep turning, unless they’ve gone flat–then things fall over

Well, in case it wasn’t obvious, I did not write a blog post yesterday, as I suspected might happen—or not happen, I guess.  I toyed with the idea of just quickly getting onto my blog account and writing a note that I was off from work and trying to rest, but even that took too much mental and physical energy.  So, sorry if anyone was worried.  I did mention on Wednesday that I thought I might take the next day off, so hopefully no one was too concerned.

I’m still pretty tired overall, but nothing like I was on Wednesday.  By the afternoon, I was really feeling confused and slow and still having those annoying little out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye flashes of movement that I thought were cockroaches (if they looked like they were nearby) or cats (if they looked more distant).  It’s a strange pairing, because I like cats, but have at best a mixed attitude toward roaches.  Oh, well, who knoweth the mysteries of the mind, with its vigour?

Anyway, I got back to the house Wednesday night—not early, but not later than the previous few days, at least—and I took two Benadryl and some Aleve and Tylenol (because it’s easier to rest when one’s pain is at least blunted) and I soon fell asleep, by 11 or so, I think.  I only woke up a few times during the night, but was able to get back to sleep because of the lingering effects of the Diphenhydramine, and only really woke up at about 5:30 in the morning, which is quite late for me.  But I also lazed about and dozed when I could during the day, so I did make up for some of my deficit, though as experts will tell us, one doesn’t truly make up for lost sleep.  One just works one’s way asymptotically toward the baseline one was “supposed” to maintain.

One also cannot build up a surplus of sleep, more’s the pity.

It was a fairly uneventful day, which shouldn’t be too surprising.  At one point I had the thought that I would try riding the bike to the train station today (though yesterday, today was tomorrow), but at a slow pace, to see if that helped avoid triggering a pain exacerbation.  I went out to look at the bike and saw that the front tire had gone surprisingly flat in the week or so since I’d ridden it last.  Still, I wasn’t worried.  I had my handy-dandy USB charged tire air pump, which works like a dream.

I got the pump out and attached it, and it seemed to be a bit slow inflating—then, I heard a weird little noise, and it stopped inflating, and the pressure readout dropped, and soon it became clear that there was a rupture somewhere.

I don’t know how it ruptured from sitting in the back of the house for roughly a week and then being inflated after losing air.  It’s very annoying.

Anyway, I quickly looked into how one repairs flats on bike tires and so on, and decided to order some same-day deliveries of replacement inner tubes (more than one because, if I was going to bother doing it, I might as well keep some spares), and a tire lever thingy, or whatever those are called, and also some stuff called “slime” that works a bit like “Fix a flat” I guess.  But by the time it arrived, I was by no means inclined to try to use it.  I’m still tired, and though I rested, my motivation, my will to live, and most importantly, my capacity to deal with the little, artificial tasks of life really are still all but nonexistent.

Oh, and another thing happened that was interesting.  I had ordered some food for delivery, and was making my way out front to wait for it, and found that my scooter—which had been moved without permission by the others who live in the house when they had what I guess was a Mother’s Day party on Sunday night, which was rather loud—which had clearly not been on the best level spot, had fallen over on its right side.  I’m not sure how it happened, but again, it had been moved to a less stable spot than I had put it in.  Now this is not some cute little scooter, easily returned to an upright position.  This is a 650 cc Honda Silverwing, and is essentially a motorcycle without a manual transmission.  I haven’t ridden it for a while because its tires have a slow leak and it’s a pain to have to inflate them and worse to replace them, and the battery has died, but anyway, it’s what it is.

I wasn’t even sure if I could lift it back up, but I tried, and I was able to do it—probably unwisely, given my failed back surgery syndrome—and then jockeyed it back into a better spot with some difficulty, as the front tire is low.  Hopefully, no one touches it again.  As it is, some of the paneling is cracked from the fall.

It’s little things like this that just wear me down steadily and surely.  There’s no upside to having to deal with them (obviously) and there’s no counter-balancing bunch of relatively good things in life to make up for them, or to re-energize me after I’ve gotten stressed out by dealing with them.  I know they aren’t major issues or crises, but that’s even part of the problem.  One feels motivated and even energized to deal with major issues when they happen—or else, one doesn’t feel too chagrined if one is overpowered by major issues and has to seek help.

But dealing with the minutiae of daily life is just mind-numbingly irritating, and there is no compensatory satisfaction to doing them, no reward other than just being able to get past them—which is preferable to the alternative, or else I wouldn’t bother, but is not even transiently satisfying.  It’s just the slight and temporary relief of a kind of psychological pain, which will inevitably return.

I wish meditation didn’t give me so much trouble with my depression, which it seems to do.  It would be nice to get past the sense of self and the dukkha of life.  Maybe I should try fasting or something, if I can work my way up to doing that.  Trouble is, as I think I’ve pointed out before, food is at least a slightly reliable source of minor, temporary pleasure.  But I’m overweight, anyway, so food mightn’t be a bad thing to eschew (get it?) for a while.

Maybe I’ll do that, if I can.  I’ll let you know.  Meanwhile, it’s about time to leave and head for the bus.  Thanks for letting me indulge in venting my thoughts here, those of you who read them.  It’s the only outlet I have, so unfortunately, it bears the brunt of a lot of tedious dreariness.  I try at least to be mildly funny when I can.

I’m not sure if I succeed at that very often.  But it’s one of those things about life; you have to laugh when you can, or else you’ll just cry.

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.

A ledge on the edge of a bottomless pit

Well, I got almost no sleep last night, to the point where calling it “last night” feels very odd and surreal, since my consciousness has been continuous—more or less—since yesterday morning.

I think I dozed for about twenty minutes, total, over the course of the night, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating, though when it comes to subjective experience, it’s always difficult to be entirely certain of all the details.  In any case, I just wanted you to know that, if I’m even more bizarre and erratic than usual, that’s at least part of the reason why.  I know that I’m misinterpreting many of the things that I see out of the corner of my eye, currently, experiencing visual illusions that border on being hallucinations.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do.  I apologize for always dumping all my negative crap on here, no doubt alienating many potential readers, but I literally have no one else with whom I can talk about things like this.  I certainly don’t want to converse about this with anyone who is still willing to talk to me at all, because my unguarded thoughts are poisonous, even to me, and all the more so to anyone else.

It was partly a good and partly not so good day at work yesterday.  Of course, I was very busy, but for the most part I kept up with things and even kept a positive demeanor (for me, anyway).  However, there was overflow of work well into lunch hour, so I didn’t get much break, and didn’t get a chance to rest my back.  So that’s not in very good shape now.

More than one usually sensible person tried to push to get deals in situations where it wasn’t really ideal, and we supposedly have criteria to guide us on this, but the boss doesn’t stick with his own rules consistently.  When you do that, people will tend to try to push around the rules, since they recognize that they aren’t absolute.  And I end up being the only gatekeeper on these things, or the main one.

So I have to be the official asshole of the office, I have to be the bad guy—which should be fine, considering my love of villains, but it really is not.  It also feels futile, because I’m always being overridden, and I have no power or authority to put my foot down against the owner of the business.  So I just get angry and frustrated, partly just because of the inconsistency.  And when I say that I’m angry and frustrated, I don’t mean it in a lighthearted way.  I get really angry, but since I’m not easily able to express or release my emotions even at the best of times, they just churn inside me, and I hate myself because I get so hatefully angry.  I feel that I want just to burn everything down, to destroy it all.  But of course, I won’t do that because I have no right to do that, so instead I’m inclined to destroy my things and to harm myself, psychologically and physically.

I do it, sometimes.  I’m frankly surprised that my guitars are not in pieces yet.

Then, at the end of the day yesterday, a person in the office with whom I get along as well as anyone ended up staying quite late trying to close a relatively annoying deal, and of course, I have to verify and then process and record the deal, so it’s not as though I can leave until everyone else is done.  The boss waited, since he was driving this coworker to the train station, and he offered to take me there as well, but I was too wound up to want that.  I wanted to walk to the train—it’s only a mile, anyway.

But I was so angry and so stressed out, anyway, somehow even more so because it was someone I like, and toward whom I don’t want to feel the towering rage and frustration that I know people can’t quite even tell is happening—though they know I’m upset.  Why would I not be?  I live farther away than almost anyone else in the office, and I have to leave last, because I’m the one who processes and records and locks up.  Also, it’s just annoying as hell that people flout the schedule that we nominally have, since it’s a schedule we have had all along, and it hasn’t changed.

But again, it’s one of those things where, if a rule or a schedule isn’t enforced, people in general don’t take it seriously.  They think they can do whatever they want, or at least they push, they test, they see how far they can go outside the boundaries of the supposed rules, and eventually the rules might just as well never have existed.  And I get so mad, and when I get so mad at someone I actually like it makes it worse, and I really hate myself that it gets me so upset.  I hate feeling that way.  But I don’t seem to be able not to feel that way, not for as long as I’m trying to keep going, anyway.  I would have to give up completely in some sense not to care, not to let it bother me.

So, I didn’t get back to the house until just before nine last night, and one would think that I would be able to get to sleep after such a stressful afternoon and evening, but that was not the case.

I was thinking to myself at the office as I waited for that last deal finally to finish, that I have to be at the office today (which was tomorrow, yesterday), and I need to be there through this Saturday, since my coworker who can do some of the things I do won’t be around.  But after that, there will be at least two weeks in which I am inessential, and in which, if anything happened to me, there would be time and situational setting for the office to adjust to me being gone.

The only real problem would be payroll.  If I have a complete breakdown, and if I crash and burn, as I actually hope or at least wish I would do, then it will be minimally disruptive otherwise, and as for payroll, well—it’s not like I’m the only person in the world who can keep track of sales and commissions and splitting of deals, and keep track of who is paid by the hour versus (or in addition to) commission, and note when people arrive and leave if they’re hourly, and scan written records to keep for future use, and download phone recordings to the local hard drive, and update the sales board numbers on the fly in his head, and keep track of whether we need to order more coffee or more sugar or more paper towels or toilet paper or coffee cups and to order them.

I may well be the only one with an MD (and a supposedly very high IQ) who is doing such things for a small sales office, but that, I guess, is what happens when one is quite smart but has a chronic mood disorder, and chronic pain, and (probably) a neurodevelopmental disorder.  Such a person cannot manage the nonsense that living in the world of humans entails, cannot maintain a sensible and successful lifestyle without people close to him who can help him do that.  So one ends up where one ends up—ultimately, the grave, of course, but in the meantime, there are many ledges on the way down to the pit.

And, of course, now I’m on my own, living in a single room (with attached bathroom) in a house in south Florida, and I’m not up to maintaining even a scooter or a car, irritated even by having to deal with a bicycle, especially when it seems to make my back and hips and legs worse when I ride, which is maddening, because otherwise I kind of enjoy riding it.

Anyway, I’m shrinking inward, and my mind is shriveling, and I think I’m on my way out, one way or another.  If I had any purpose, if I had any meaning in my life, I probably could endure indefinitely—I have a fairly deep well of persistence or stubbornness.  It doesn’t work to my advantage, though.  It just leads me to keep torturing myself, chipping away at myself, eroding myself, grinding me into dust.

The whole process is taking too long.  Anyway, I should get going and head for the bus…because that’s what I do, I guess, I just keep going…I keep going until I break.  But I am breaking; I’m in the process.  I don’t think it will be long now.

Silence will fall when all questions are answered by the unthinking

It’s Saturday morning as I write this, in case you don’t know.

I hope you all had a momentous night.  I wouldn’t say that I had one, but I was awakened by pain again, which is not a rare occurrence.  I do take something for pain before I go to sleep, but I guess it wears off too quickly, even though the dosage period for Aleve (the “something” to which I refer) is 12 hours.  That’s a bit frustrating.  I also had reflux, which hasn’t happened in a while, but that’s a minor problem, and I think I know what caused it.

So, here I am, with less sleep this week than I think I’ve had since one November rotation in the ICU/CCU at Einstein/Weiler hospital during my medical residency.  That was the rotation during which, on one shift, I literally did not even sit down for nearly 36 hours.  It was very stressful, but at least I was doing some good in the world, and practicing my skills to do more good in the future.  That’s not the case now, and frankly, I’m not sure I could ever have the energy even to try to figure out some new way to do good.

Here’s a little aside:  When I wrote the phrase “even to try” just now, Google Docs underlined/noted it as possibly incorrect, as most word processors do nowadays.  But the thing is, it recommended that I change it to “to even try”!  That’s right, automatic grammar checkers are encouraging people to split infinitives*, instead of encouraging them not to do so.

I can be reasonable and nondogmatic and accepting about split infinitives‒they occasionally provide a cheap means of rhetorical emphasis that might require a full second or two of thought to achieve otherwise.  But ever since I started studying Spanish in high school and college and realized that there are many languages** in which it is impossible to split infinitives without actual tmesis, I’ve decided to try to avoid the practice.  In writing dialogue, of course, I’m quite happy to split infinitives, since people do that frequently in extemporaneous and casual speech.  But I try to leave it out of narration or nonfiction.

I’m sure I accidentally allow it to happen without even noticing at times.  Such are the fruits of living in a society that indulges in lazy grammar.  But between the fact that autocorrect keeps replacing “its” with “it’s” when the added “s” is possessive, and that it’s*** now suggesting that writers split infinitives, I’m leaning toward the conclusion that it’s time to pull out the Glaive of Silence and do a restart on the world.


Just wipe it all out, everything but the microbes, and see what happens next.  Because with bullshit shortcuts like ChatGPT and whatnot, humans are going to get lazier and lazier, and their thinking is going to get sloppier and sloppier.  And, of course, since these “deep learning” programs don’t actually learn deeply or understand at all, but are merely “trained” on oodles of brain droppings from across the internet and web to predict what sorts of words might follow a previous one, and what might be a typical response to particular queries, cyberspace is going to be flooded with recursive nonsense.

Future ChatGPT type programs will “learn” from, among other things, the garbage produced by prior chatbots and so on, with no way to discern what’s good, or what’s correct, or what’s reasonable or logical or true, only what’s common.  Then it will make those things more common by its own actions.  And while it might be interesting to see how such crap evolves as people use it more to avoid having to think and work themselves, there’s no path toward actual understanding.

Probably most people don’t think about how things work, and they don’t want to do so.  They just want to become the Eloi.  Who cares if they’re being eaten by Morlocks?  It’s worse than the Matrix.  People will become addicted/enslaved, to a system that can’t even know it’s enslaving them.  It’s worse than an idiocracy or a kleptocracy or an autocracy.

Imagine a world consisting solely of second-rate, “postmodern” literary and social theorists whose intellectual pursuits consist only of critiquing others of their ilk, in a cycle that never forces itself to make any contact with actual external reality, or with any actual literature, for that matter.  Then take that to the billionth power and turn it into the new, accidental paradigm of civilization.

How long can it survive?

Not long, I would wager.  But it can do a lot of damage before it goes.  So maybe we should do a reset.  Okay, maybe it’s not necessary to wipe out all multicellular life.  Maybe we should just eliminate civilization, but keep the history and scientific knowledge, so that when rebuilding, repeated mistakes can be avoided.

It would be like going back to the last “save” point when your character is killed in a video game; you can learn from what killed you last time.  It would be so much better than just being forced to continue the game without saving, and then, if you die near the end, just losing, without even the option to start over.

Maybe even that would be better than continuing to live indefinitely in a big “neural network” that doesn’t even actually understand itself, let alone anything else in the universe.

Wow, I didn’t expect to be writing about that when I started.  But I know what initiated it and why, and I didn’t just react to it randomly, but have thought about such matters before.  I even explored some of the issues in Son of Man, though not specifically those relating to chat bots and related civilizational tumors.

Son of man icon

I guess I get a bit grumpy from lack of sleep and depression, not to mention a week of persistent and horrible sensory overload that’s borne down upon…well, a person who is probably somewhere on the autism spectrum, and who has never been particularly amenable to loud noises and random conversations and chaos except when it serves actual purposes.

I don’t know how long or even if I will be able to tolerate much more.  Every camel’s back has a breaking point.

I already think I probably gave myself a mild concussion yesterday from banging my head repeatedly against a wall out of stress.  I’m not exaggerating; I got woozy and sleepy not long after that, and even felt a bit confused and spacey.  I still have a slight headache and just a mild degree of spaciness, even now.

I probably should avoid doing that too often.  Knowing my luck, I’d probably get debilitating brain damage with which I would then live for decades, rather than something that kills me on a relatively short time scale.  That would be ironic.

I need to find other, better reactions to my extreme stress, I guess.  But it usually needs to be something painful, whether psychologically or physically (or both), to do the job.  I’ve torn up drawings and paintings and music and the like in the past, but I don’t really have such easy targets nowadays.

Of course, it would be nice not to feel so tense and horrible that I have the‒sometimes irresistible‒urge to hurt my things or myself.  But I don’t know how that is ever going to happen.  The world only seem to grow less tolerable, not more, and whatever doesn’t kill a person often kills one slowly, with drawn out pain and suffering.

On that note…well, I hope you have a nice remainder of your weekend.  ^_^

*And to do so boldly, one might be inclined to think.

**Spanish is one of them but not the only one.

***This is a contraction, and that is when an apostrophe belongs between that “t” and that “s”.

Back to work with a back that doesn’t work well

It’s Monday morning‒early‒the first day of the second work week of the fifth month of 2023.  That sounds a bit like the sort of time when one might be able to use a magic key to open a hidden door in a lonely mountain or something similar, but pretty much any day sounds that way if you describe it in that fashion.

Try it.  You’ll see.

I’ve had a pretty uncomfortable weekend, because whatever flared up my back pain last week‒I suspect it was riding the bike‒has not faded back to normal levels.  I have scrupulously avoided riding since mid-week, but so far that has just made the pain shift a bit, not fade.  I barely even went to the nearest convenience store this weekend.  I ordered in food for dinner, which had its own comical or ironical pitfalls.  But I did make sure to take a decent walk on Saturday, and it was nice enough, but wasn’t adequate to sort my back out, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

Of course, I did not go to see The Guardians of the Galaxy III this weekend.  I was a deluded child to imagine that I might.  Perhaps, if the scooter had started up and been running easily when I pumped its tires up, I might have gone, but otherwise it just wasn’t worth the effort to get to the theater, whether by public transport or Uber or Lyft*.

Probably my fantasy of going to the movie and having popcorn and candy and soda and watching the movie by myself is much better than the actual experience would have been.  It’s a bit like how I always enjoy thinking about having a beer or glass of wine or mixed drink much more than I ever enjoy the drink itself.  Often I don’t even finish my first drink in such cases.

Reality is just not as good as my imagination, like in the song Kodachrome.  That’s partly why I don’t really care for “realistic” fiction.  If I want a realistic story about ordinary people, there are eight billion of them happening every day all around.  And they’re pretty much all boring, at least to me.  Not the people, necessarily; the stories.  Or, at least, they’re not worth writing a book about for the most part.

Of course, here I am, ironically writing a near-daily blog reflecting my daily, boring life.  But that’s nonfiction, at least.  And I doubt anyone will ever be assigned to read this in school anywhere, any when.  If they are, well:  Hey, kids!  How’s it going?  You’d really be better off with Shakespeare, you know; tell your teachers I said so.  At least, if you’re going to read my writing, read my fiction.

Speaking of my fiction, I finished Mark Red again on Friday.  It was a good book, I thought, but I am biased.  I doubt that I’ll ever write the sequels though, not that that will break anyone’s heart.  But I’m reasonably proud of the book.  I still love Morgan, the vampire from the story.  She’s very cool.  You know she must be cool; Tony Stark named his daughter after her.

That last half sentence was wild speculation on my part, for which I have no evidence other than the coincidence of the two characters’ names.  I’m okay with that, though.

Oh, btw, I’m writing this on my smartphone, because I chose not to bring my laptop with me to the house on Friday.  Given the state of my back and hips and legs, it seemed fair just to keep my load light.  I don’t know if that helped any; after all, as I said, my back is still killing me**.  I’m writing at the house, because I might as well get the first draft done before leaving for the bus.  I suppose I could have “slept in”, but then again, I was awake starting more than two hours before my alarm went off, trying to use my USB chargeable massager to relax my back and hips and sides and all that, with limited success.

See how exciting ordinary, solitary life is, even for a weird, malfunctional, pseudo-human like me?  Why would anyone write or read fiction about them?  Well, people can write and read what they like, and they have my sincere best wishes if they enjoy themselves doing so.  It doesn’t work for me, unfortunately.  I can barely read any fiction at all anymore.

I’m on my second week of retrying Saint John’s Wort.  I don’t think it’s doing much good so far, but it is making me feel more tense and jittery, and I suppose it’s possible that it might be contributing to my worsening back pain (though I consider it more unlikely than likely).  I almost didn’t take it today.  I may give up on it, as part of the process of giving up on everything.  But I’ll give it at least one more day in court.

And with that, I think I’ll head over to the bus stop and head in the general, eventual direction of the office, because as long as I’m unable to suppress my biological urges, I need to feed myself, and as long as I keep not wanting to inconvenience or disappoint other people, I need to keep doing the work I do.  I don’t find any meaning in it per se, but then, nothing currently in my life has any meaning, so that hardly matters.

Such is real life.  Why would anyone want to write and read stories about it?

*I have downloaded and signed up for the apps, but haven’t used them.  Perhaps if I had previously done so and felt comfortable, I might have gone, but I still have resistance to it.

**But far too slowly for my taste.

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.

Taking pains to meditate on some of my books

Well, it’s Saturday, and I’m writing this at the bus stop instead of starting it at the house because…well, I just felt like getting out of the house.  I had a pretty bad night, pain-wise, with the pain waking me rudely at a bit before 2 am.  It hasn’t really gotten any better since then, and I certainly didn’t get any more sleep.  It’s really bad, even now, on the second edit; it may be getting worse.

This sort of thing makes my attempts to fight depression extremely difficult sometimes.  Yesterday I did, as I said I would, make it a point to do a bit of mindfulness meditation, usually only for a few minutes at a time; I am just getting into/back into it.  I feel that I was at least a bit less tense thanks to that.  I even walked about halfway back to the house from the train.  That was the second half, since I took the bus partway.

The walk was decent, and I don’t think it triggered my current pain flare-up, because I was already having an equivalent flare-up during the day yesterday, and if anything, it felt a bit better after the walk.  I’m not sure what might have made my pain edge up from its baseline, but edge up it has indeed done, and with a vengeance*.

As I said, it’s hard to try to think about improving my spiritual status when my pain is so striking**.  But I’ll keep trying.

I’m also trying not to listen to any podcasts or audio books or even music for now so that, when I have moments without tasks to which to attend, I can try to relax and be “mindful”.  Possibly it’s beneficial, in and of itself, not to have information piping into my ears all the time, even if it’s interesting information.  Maybe that will help encourage my own identity to speak more.

That’s probably not a good thing, given the nature of my identity, but we’ll see.  As I say, though, the pain makes it hard to meditate, or indeed to be positive in any sense.

I’m well aware, of course, that it is actually possible for one to meditate using one’s pain as a focus of the mindfulness.  I, however, am not nearly advanced enough for such a thing, and I doubt I ever will be.

I’m very tired of being in pain.  It’s been going on for two decades pretty much without any respite‒not for a single day, as far as I can recall‒and it surely looks like it’s going to be with me until I die.  That’s a horrible thought, but it would be mitigated if I had something else onto which to hold.  Unfortunately, right now I do not have any such thing, nor do I have any inkling where to find such a thing, or even if such a thing exists.

It’s frustrating, but I’ll keep trying to meditate, and to walk, and to minimize my eating-as-stimming habits.  I’m even tempted to start taking Saint John’s Wort again, though the last time I started it I felt worse rather than improved.  But maybe it was interacting with something else at that time, because the first time I ever used it, it was quite beneficial.

This is all probably an exercise in futility, or more than one such exercise; it’s entirely possible that I’m simply not built to be relatively pain free or psychologically stable.  It may be my destiny to be the King of Pain, as the song says.  That’s one song I have memorized still for the piano.  It’s a great song.  One of the others I can always play is Eleanor Rigbyyou know, the song about all the lonely people.  Why do you suppose those two songs have stuck in my head over the decades?

It’s a mystery, Charlie Brown.

I don’t have much more to write this morning.  Though, speaking of my writing, I did, on a whim, begin to read my book Mark Red again yesterday evening.  I’m still only in the first chapter‒really, the first scene‒but it’s something to read at least.

I am fond of the book; I think it’s a good story, and I like Mark, and I like the version of vampires I’ve created in this universe.  But I particularly love Morgan, the vampire who saves Mark‒because he was mortally wounded thinking he was trying to save her‒by making him into a demi-vampire.  I think she’s still my favorite character that I’ve created, though there are strong contenders in The Vagabond and The Chasm and the Collision.

Heck, I really like Michael from Unanimity, who I didn’t realize as I was writing him is almost certainly on the autism spectrum.  He’s an awkward, shy, brilliant but self-doubting, reluctant hero, so to speak.

I guess it’s good that I like my characters and my stories.  It’s not as though I wrote them to try to please anyone else, though I certainly had my kids in mind when I did CatC.  Sure, it would be great if there were lots of people who read and liked my books, and if any of you want to share links to them with anyone you think might enjoy them, I would certainly be delighted.  But I didn’t ever really expect wide readership let alone fame, though I can’t say I never dreamed of it..  I’ve just always liked to make up and write stories.

Self promotion, on the other hand, has always been one of my worst areas.

Life is curious.  Sometimes it’s even curious in a good way.  Often it’s not.  Ah, well, I wasn’t consulted when the universe came into existence…as far as I know, anyway.  Although, as in my book Son of Man it’s conceivable, if far from known to be possible, for the “future” to influence the “past”.  So maybe I was consulted.  Maybe someday I will even create the universe itself, to my own design.

That would probably explain a lot of the poor craftsmanship, wouldn’t it?


*We’re talking Wrath of Khan, Captain Ahab level vengeance here; we’re talking Law Abiding Citizen level vengeance.  We’re not pussy-footing around.

**Or boring, perhaps, would be more accurate.  But I mean boring like a drill is boring, not as a synonym for “dull”…though it could be described as feeling as if someone were using a drill with a dull but broad bit on various parts of my anatomy.  And it does certainly get old.

The deep of night is crept upon our blog, and Nature must obey necessity.

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, the 27th of April, the week after my son’s birthday, and I’m already in the office as I write this blog post‒because I never left the office last night.  It got to be late enough that, if I caught the next train, I probably wouldn’t have reached the house before nine, whether I took the bus(es) from the train station or walked.  That is what happened Monday night and Tuesday night.

Of course, If I’d had the bike at the train station I might have reached the house earlier, but I didn’t, and I don’t regret that.  Given that every time I ride that bike, it triggers a flare and a new (but not improved) alteration of my back and leg and foot pain, I think I’m going to keep it for “special occasions” or something like that, even though I’ll be paying for it for three or four more months or something like that.

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?

Even if I’d caught an earlier train, I don’t think I would have had the energy to get back to the house from the train station, and had I reached the house, I don’t think I would’ve had the energy to come back to the office this morning.  I had sort of planned all along to stay here, because if I went back to the house, I didn’t think I’d be coming in today, and I wasn’t sure if I would be coming in ever again (if you know what I mean).  I guess maybe it was a kind of semi-conscious self-preservation thing, in a way.  But, of course, that can’t work forever.

It’s not a big deal if I stay one night in the office.  It’s not like it will produce a noticeable effect, outwardly.  I always wear one of 2 kinds of black shirts, the same kind of black pants (or trousers if you prefer), the same brand of black socks and one of three brands of black shoes.  Once you find something that’s comfortable for you, I say, you might as well wear that.

I prefer black because you don’t have to worry about matching anything; black goes with everything, particularly other black things.  It’s also a nice, outward representation of my character, my heart, my outlook, what have you.  And if I ever have to pass as a Sith Lord, I can do that.  I only wear black nowadays.  Even my underwear(!).

In any case, though, I don’t mean to stay at the office tonight, though if there were a shower here I might be tempted.  I feel very grimy and sticky, and that’s a particularly unpleasant feeling for me.  But it is dreary to have the daily ritual of going back to a place that feels no more like home than does the office or the train, and not much more like home than the bus, frankly.

Nothing feels like home, anymore.  The planet Earth doesn’t feel like home‒not that it ever really has, to be honest.

I find myself strangely envying my former coworker who just died.  That may seem insensitive, but it’s simply true.  He didn’t die instantly, with the initial heart attack, which sometimes happens.  He had a few weeks or more of being ill and having all other responsibilities taken away, and his family (and friends), aware of his ill health, got to come and be near him for one last time.  That might be nice.  I sometimes think that, if I were known to be dying of cancer (for instance), maybe my children would come and see me.

I don’t know what other sort of thing might engender that outcome, and I certainly don’t want to try to force my way into their lives.  They deserve autonomy and to be free from my odious self, who already screwed up everything in his own life, and caused them pain in the process.  But I would dearly love to spend time with them.

Of course, I do have a potentially terminal condition, and I don’t just mean “life itself” which is uniformly terminal as far as we can see.  I mean depression.  Depression has a direct lifetime mortality rate of about 15%, or at least that was the statistic the last time I checked.  That’s not counting the many things depression makes one more likely to have‒people with depression are more prone to various kinds of physical illnesses and to worse outcomes if they get those illnesses, and they are also more prone than others to drug and alcohol problems.

But I’m talking here about direct self-destruction: suicide, from the Latin “sui” meaning self, and the “cide” part that always means killing, as in fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, anthropocide, etc.  “Suicide” almost feels like it ought to be the opposite of “sui generis” but that’s not correct, and in fact they probably often go together, subjectively speaking.  Maybe it would be the opposite of “sui genesis”.  Could it also be called “sui exodus”?

Anyway, my point is that depression has mortality rates comparable to many cancers, but there are no Ronald McDonald houses for it (as far as I know).  It’s not a sexy/tragic/dramatic disorder worthy of Hallmark movies and that kind of twaddle.  It just sucks all around, because its very nature is to suck and to make everything in the universe feel like it sucks.  Maybe in this it’s like the very curvature of spacetime; tending to bend inward on itself and collapse, unless it is infused with a uniform, positive energy, in which case there will be a tendency to expand.

Believe me, I don’t have a uniform positive energy.  Maybe I used to, but my cosmological constant has long since quantum tunneled into a vacuum state so close to zero that it makes that of the universe, tiny as it is, appear flipping gargantuan.  I don’t know if I have a negative cosmological constant, which would make a kind of human anti de Sitter space.  Then I would collapse rapidly, which might be nice in and of itself.  Also, you could mathematically demonstrate the holographic principle on me using certain areas of string theory.

Maybe the state of suffering from depression is rather like being a human anti de Sitter space.  And the speed of collapse depends on how large the negative lambda is, but collapse is inevitable unless it changes signs.

Incidentally, it appears that people on the autism spectrum‒which I suspect I am, though I don’t have an “official”* diagnosis‒suffer from depression, including chronic depression AKA persistent depressive disorder AKA dysthymia (which I do have), at a significantly higher rate than the general population, are harder to treat, and also, if I recall, are more likely to commit suicide, and certainly to engage in self-harm.

I could have told you that.  Wait, I just did!

Okay, well, that’s more than enough for this Thursday.  I don’t know what I’ll do tomorrow or the next day.  I’m scheduled to work on those days, and I suppose I will, since I don’t like to inconvenience the people around me.  But as I told a coworker yesterday, I’ve been staying alive for quite a long time mainly just not to inconvenience other people, and there’s only so much longer I’m going to be able to do it.  I don’t have any other drive to stay alive; there is nothing to which I look forward.  I’m tired.  Sleeping on the floor in the office is no worse than sleeping at the house, but that’s not saying much at all.

Someday, perhaps soon, my sign off on a Thursday will be “TT” rather than TTFN, because I won’t expect to return.  But for now, the expression remains:


ads space ish

*It’s an odd notion, the “official” diagnosis of anything.  I mean, it’s useful for things like insurance and statistics and science, and certainly there is some value in the judgment of experts on such matters, but it is not something handed down from Mount Sinai (the medical school or the Ten Commandments place).  No one can speak ex cathedra on medical diagnoses, or on any fact of nature, frankly.  So don’t put too much stock in them**.

**Unless it’s good chicken stock.  Good chicken stock is tasty.

“…and we sang dirges in the dark…”

I’m writing this on my phone again, today, because it’s still a relief not to have to carry the laptop.  I wouldn’t have thought it would make such a big difference, since the computer really is quite light, but the subjective experience is a notably easier feeling‒physically, at least.

I had to run a bit across some major roads to try to catch a connecting bus last night, because the first one was 35 minutes late, and it was good not to have the minor bit of weight in my back when doing that.  Of course, now, today, my back and hips and legs are aching more than usual, probably as a consequence* of that running.  It’s not the muscles that are the problem, though they do spasm up in response to the pain.  It’s the joints and the nerves.

Speaking of that, I’m not sure why typing on the phone isn’t giving me more trouble than it is.  Maybe my thumb joints have adapted after the initial use back a few months ago, or maybe I’ve adapted my typing style.  Or perhaps the problem is still coming, and I just haven’t been doing this often enough for long enough yet to trigger the inevitable flare-up.  I guess I’ll soon find out if it’s the latter, though even if I don’t get an exacerbation, it’ll be hard to differentiate between those first two hypotheses.

It’s not really important, I guess.

I haven’t been riding my bike, as I’ve said before, and I don’t think I’m probably going to be riding it.  It’s been too clear from the timing and the specificity of outcomes that it was triggering both pain exacerbations and postural adjustments that interfered with my sleep.  I can’t lose more sleep than I already do, and I already have enough pain** every day.

I literally feel fear at the thought of riding the bike because of the clarity and certainty of those outcomes.  It’s a shame and a waste…but then again, so am I, so I guess that’s fair enough.  I’ll just walk and take the bus until something kills me.

Speaking of that, it seems one of the people who used to work at our office, and who had recently had a heart attack at a rather young age, died yesterday, in the hospital.  One of the people at the office rents a room from him and he was devastated by the news.

I won’t give names, but the former worker was an electro-pop musician in slightly earlier days, and though his stuff isn’t really my kind of music, it was really quite good.  He wrote and performed it, and had albums and everything.  One of his songs was used in a movie.  So, he was the real deal, if not truly a big star or anything.

He said he really liked my song Breaking Me Down, and that if a slightly shorter version of it had been released in the 70s, it might have been a hit.  He also said he was impressed with my guitar playing on my “baddish” cover of Street Spirit (Fade Out), but that the vocals didn’t sound great***.

It’s very sad that he died so young, particularly for the guy who rented from him, because they were friends in addition to being “landlord/tenant”.

We’ve had a surprising number of people die who worked in or used to work in the office since I’ve been there.  It’s not my fault (I think) nor the fault of the business.  Of course, when I was in medical practice I saw a lot more people die, but that’s the nature of adult medical care.  Still, it’s also kind of sad.

Well, it’s very sad.  These are people who‒as far as I know‒did not actually want to die, and yet they did.  And here I am, ironically relatively healthy apart from my chronic pain and my mood disorder(s) and whatnot.

I would say that it’s hard to make sense of it, but that’s not really true.  It’s just that the universe isn’t set up such that the laws of mortality apply relative to one’s desire to live.  Biology leads us to tend to want to stay alive and have offspring, and after that, whatever happens is really just stochastic and erratic, and an adult human body is like an empty seed pod that lingers on a branch past all use once the age of reproduction has gone.

And I think to myself, “What a wonderful world.”****

I really don’t think I’m going to be able to go on much longer.  By which I don’t mean this blog, though of course that is subsumed in the larger subject matter; I mean I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to continue living.  There’s really nothing to which I look forward, short or long term.  I don’t look forward to getting up and going to work, I don’t look forward to coming back to the house and going to bed.  I don’t look forward to meals or drinks.  There are no shows or movies I’m awaiting‒I’ve become more or less indifferent to the Doctor Who specials and new series that are coming later this year, and the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie also doesn’t particularly spark my interest.  All the new Star Wars related crap seems just to be blah at best.

I wish there were some book series I was reading that was enticing, whether new or old, but I still can’t seem to read fiction anymore, which is a truly hellish turn of events for me.  Reading fiction was always my refuge, my joy, my escape.  Not anymore.

There is some interesting nonfiction, which I usually tend to seek out after hearing someone on a podcast with Sam Harris or Sean Carroll, but the podcasts are getting boring, and I haven’t finished the last 3 books I’ve gotten under those circumstances.

It’s like the line in the Beatles song I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party: “There’s nothing for me here, so I will disappear.”  She’s not going to turn up while I’m gone‒whoever the metaphorical “she” is‒so there’s no need to worry about letting me know.

I’m so tired and in pain and depressed and I really, really hate myself.  I wish I would have a heart attack, or develop cancer, or catch pneumonia, or something like that.  In my case, it would have no serious, life-altering repercussions for anyone, though I’m sure there are those who might find it sad.

There are sweet, kindly, compassionate people out there, after all, and my family members and some of the people who know me are among their number.  They would be sad over the deaths of anyone they know, and particularly family members‒as I am sad over the death of my former coworker‒and it’s good that people feel that way, I guess.  But death is the guaranteed payoff of life, after all, for everyone. It really feels like it would be better just to skip to the end.

*If you can have a consequence, why is there no sinquesence or perhaps sansquesence?

**One might even be inclined to say that I have too much pain every day, but let’s not be reckless.

***He wasn’t wrong, though I’m not sure if he meant my voice itself didn’t sound great, which it didn’t‒I had recently had Covid, and was not fully recovered‒or just that the recording of it was not great, which is fair enough, since I don’t have a studio or high quality recording equipment or mixing equipment or anything.  Possibly he meant both.