How to Lyft oneself Uber a growing population of frogs and pipe dreams

I’m writing at the train station in Hollywood (Florida, that is) this morning, and then on the train itself, because I decided to take a Lyft to the station before even starting to write.  I used one yesterday morning, but only after the initial draft of the blog post had been written.  I just feel too worn down from this URI to want to bother with the bus, and in fact, if not for the Lyft, I might not have gone in to work yesterday or today.  Thankfully, I should have this weekend completely off, since it is my coworker’s second weekend, making up for the two weekends I took in a row.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

I have to admit, I find those ride apps—Uber and Lyft—rather useful.  I’m not going to make a habit of using them; that would just end up being way too expensive.  But it is nice to have the convenience when I’m not feeling well.  I wish I had tried them before, about three or four weeks ago, because I had been thinking about going to see Guardians of the Galaxy 3 in the theater, but my bike tire had gone flat and I was having trouble with my back whenever I rode it, in any case.  I was feeling pretty discouraged that weekend, and ended up just saying to heck with it, but if I’d been familiar with Uber or Lyft, I might have used one.

You may ask why I couldn’t just go see the movie this weekend, but that urge has more or less passed.  Also, I’ve gone back on a more restrictive food regimen, so I wouldn’t be able to eat popcorn, which was something I anticipated if I went to the theater.  Now I wouldn’t eat any, and that would remove a large part of my enjoyment of the theater, a part which might have overbalanced the discomfort of being alone in a theater surrounded by so many people.  As it is, now, since my initial urge to see the film soon (largely due to the presence of Adam Warlock) has more or less passed, I’ll probably just wait for it to come to Disney+.

It would be nice if I had a good enough metabolism and/or had been able to maintain better fitness habits over time (my back injury/surgery/failure to completely recover has gotten in the way of that a lot).  Then, I wouldn’t have needed to worry about eating popcorn.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I need to minimize such things not merely for long-term health—about which I have little concern, since in the long term I expect to be dead—but about moment to moment health.  As someone who already feels pretty bad psychologically a lot of the time, I don’t need the added physical weariness and discomfort that comes almost immediately if I eat the wrong things nowadays.

On a more positive note:  I saw a frog (possibly two frogs) this morning.  Indeed, one of them hopped into my room as I was returning from taking out the garbage, and I had to usher it back out as carefully as I could.  This may not seem like much of an event, but it’s nice to me.

Back when I was little, and we used to come to Florida to visit my mother’s parents, after many big rains there would be oodles of frogs and toads out.  We would sometimes try to catch them, and if we did, they would pee in our hands, which was both gross and hilarious when I was a young child, though I imagine it was terrifying for the poor amphibian, which probably thought it was about to be eaten.

Also, when we first moved down to Florida—that’s my now-ex-wife and my then-few-month-old son and I—when we first stopped in a motel in central Florida for the night, it was raining and there was a veritable biblical inundation of frogs of various sizes.  The motel didn’t have those flap things at the bottoms of the doors, and smaller frogs actually came into the room through the gap.  That didn’t bother us.  We thought it was funny and kind of cool to be moving to such a place.

Well, my son probably had no thoughts about it one way or the other.

However, over the intervening years, frog numbers appear to have drastically reduced.  I am under the impression that there was some form of blight or other that hit many frog populations worldwide, though I don’t recall the source of that impression.  In any case, something seemed to have happened to the frogs in Florida, because for many years now, even after a significant rain, there have been none to be seen.

For all I know, the frog I saw this morning may be the last I will ever see in south Florida—though I thought I saw another one as I rolled the garbage out, hopping to get away from me—but I would like for them to be making a comeback.  I am a fan of most insectivores, especially ones that eat things like mosquitoes and flies and—during swarming times—termites.  Of course, there are various lizards and birds that also eat such things, but they don’t seem to be as assertive about their jobs as the frogs and toads are.

Anyway, that’s all a lot of silliness.  It’s an okay way to end the week, though.  Maybe I’ll play a little guitar if I get to the office early enough.  I did a tiny bit of strumming yesterday, when I had some morning free time, though I didn’t know The Man Who Sold the World well enough to be able to appreciate fully the chord progressions as I played them.  They definitely had the David Bowie flair for interesting changes and sounds.

I have not thought about a tune for my dreary little poem from the other day, nor even reread it.  Maybe it would be funny to give it a jaunty, happy, major key tune of some kind.  As I think I’ve said before, I enjoy irony.

Probably nothing will come of it.  It’s not as though I’ve done any more work on the song of which I did a demo on YouTube—I had called it Mercury Lamp based on the inspiration for the song, but I think now I would call it Hollow Doll.  And though I like the tune and stuff for Come Back Again, the trial arrangement and mixing/recording I did was blurry and muddled, and I think it could use some lead guitar.

Again, though, this is all a collection of pipe dreams—or guitar dreams, I guess, though “pipes” can refer to someone’s voice, and I do sing on the songs, so maybe the original term is okay.  Come to think of it, A Collection of Pipe Dreams* might be a good name for an album.  It could be a follow-up to a first album called Iterations of Zero after the title of my other, now more or less unused, blog.

I must be sicker than I thought to be entertaining such things.  Well, it’s a bit of fun to imagine them, at least.

I hope you all have a good first weekend of June.

*Or even A Collection of Guitar Dreams

Concision, irony, illness, and a first use of Uber

I’m going to try to be a bit more concise today than I was yesterday, though concision in writing has never been my strongest point.  Still, with effort, I can do it.  After all, I pared down Unanimity by a bit over 50,000 words from its original form.  That’s right, it’s actually slightly shorter than it would have been initially, even though it still ended up being so long I could only publish it as two volumes.  I had no idea it was going to be so long when I started it—I merely had the story, which I wanted to tell, and it ended up taking that long.  I don’t know if anyone but I has even read the entire thing, but I’ve read it many times, both as part of the editing process and even once or twice since it was published.

Well, that wasn’t a very concise first paragraph, considering I was discussing the very intention to be concise.  But I like irony, so I guess that’s okay.  I’ve often thought that the song, Ironic, by Alanis Morissette, is a meta-level joke, in which the ironic part of the song is that essentially none of the examples she gives in the lyrics are actually ironic.  If she did that on purpose…wow, what an amazing artist!  Also, she was pretty brilliant when she played God in Dogma.

Okay, what else is going on?  Well, I’m still a bit under the weather, but I’m already on the upswing, physically.  I was very tired by the end of the day yesterday—much more so than usual—which made it clear to me that I really am sick, though I was already entirely clear on that fact.

Ha ha, thinking about being sick just made me sneeze twice.  Or, well*, I happened to sneeze twice right after writing that sentence.  It’s unlikely that writing about being sick was actually what triggered the sneeze, but it isn’t impossible.

So, anyway, I was very tired and still was/am sick, so I was a bit more impatient than usual when I got to the bus stop near the train station last night.  The bus’s arrival time (17 minutes after I arrived, by schedule) came and went and the MyRide thingy didn’t show its usual real-time update on when the bus would actually be there, or if the bus would actually be there.  So, after waiting another fifteen minutes, with no updates and no sign of any oncoming bus, and with lightning flashes occurring about once every ten or fewer seconds (with the thunder gradually getting a bit louder), and an early few drops of rain coming, I gave up and gave in.

I walked back to the train station and I popped open the Uber app—not necessarily in that order—and I requested a ride.  It turned out the driver had literally just dropped someone off at the train station**, and so I didn’t even have to wait the estimated two minutes.  Though I’d wasted more than half an hour at the bus stop, I still got back to the house slightly earlier than I would have had the bus arrived within five minutes of my arrival at the first stop.

It was quite a good first experience using Uber.  It’s reminiscent of my first time in Vegas, when I won $80 on my first play of a joker poker machine***, because both events were so positive and fortuitous.  I gave the driver a good rating and a good tip, and based on the profile the app gave me afterward, he’s had many similar reviews.  I don’t know if Uber has engineered the app to arrange such rapid pickups for first-time users—it seems like something that would be quite hard to manipulate—but if this is typical of how the system works, it’s something I may use again.

There certainly have been times, at the end of a long day, when I’ve looked at the app (and its competitor, Lyft) and seen how much it would cost to get one of them all the way back to the house, rather than taking the train.  There have been times when I’ve thought, “You know, it would almost be worth $45 or $50 plus tip to use it.”  Maybe someday, if I decide I need to leave early because I’m not feeling well, then I might just do that.  Still, that’s a lot of money for a commute.  It’s even a comparative lot to go from the train to the house, though that’s a lot more palatable, especially when the buses are running late.

Speaking of buses, I need to wrap this up and get heading out for the bus.  It’s payroll day, which tends to be stressful, but I did a lot of catching up on the weekly process yesterday, and once my momentum was going, I actually got a bit ahead, so it should be no worse than usual.  I hope you all have a good day, since the sort of people who read my blog are the sort of people who deserve to have a good day.

*Imagine the author of 1984 and Animal Farm introducing himself by saying, “Hi.  I’m George.  Or, well, that’s my penname.”

**I thought this sort of thing seemed possible, which is why I walked back to the train station in the first place.  It also has, by design, good pick-up/drop-off locations.

***And here is yet more of my neuro-atypia:  Not only did that not lead me to getting hooked on joker poker, but I have never played it since****.  Contrariwise, one time my ex-wife and I lost our entire allotted casino budget for a weekend—$1000—in half an hour playing blackjack, but I still enjoy playing blackjack.  I almost never do it, of course, partly because I find all the casinos down here in south Florida rather seedy, especially compared to the good Las Vegas places and Foxwoods (the place we lost the grand).

****Let’s face it, despite the fact that you can occasionally win money, the gambling video machines are never going to be as fun as playing, for instance, Tempest™ or Robotron® or Pac Man© or any of the other classic arcade games back in the day.

Tell me why I [no longer] like Mondays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

A session of digression but without a confession

Hello, everyone.  It’s Monday morning, and I’m still at the house, sitting on the piano bench—the only piece of furniture I use for sitting, though I almost never play the keyboard anymore—and writing this blog post on my laptop.  Last week, every post was written on my phone.  Also last week, my posts didn’t get as many views or “likes” as they usually do.  At least, that’s my impression, and I wonder if writing on my phone contributed to the outcome.  I haven’t actually done an empirical, side-by-side comparison of the numbers, so I could easily be wrong about the posts’ popularity.  Perhaps it’s more a sign of my emotional state than the state of the world.  As Radiohead so aptly sang in There There, “Just ‘cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there.”  Or, as I like to say, “Just because you inferred it doesn’t mean it was implied”.

Still, this is my own blog, so I suppose I can allow myself to proceed from my subjective point of view.

I’m not looking forward to this week.  My coworker with whom I share some of my duties is out today and tomorrow, and I’m also going to be working this coming Saturday after having worked this last Saturday, since said coworker was/will be out of town.  I had already had a week of terrible sleep, even for me, which didn’t help.  I did take a bit of rest yesterday, though I had to do my laundry.  But a lot of the resting was simply me being wiped out due to the fact that I had some form of (presumably food-borne) enteritis, so I didn’t feel well at all, despite taking some loperamide*.  That illness, at least, appears mostly to have run its course, for which I am grateful.  It’s not pleasant to try to commute while fighting a lower GI issue, but it’s not as though I can stay out of work today with my coworker out.

Sorry, I know all this trivia about my day to day life is probably both boring and depressing.  What can I say?  I’m a depressing and boring person.

Yesterday, between trips to the bathroom, I picked up the Les Paul guitar that my former housemate built, because I wanted to practice some more on that David Bowie song I mentioned last week.  As with most songs, it sounded even better on the Les Paul.  It’s the best sounding instrument—of any kind (which includes cellos, pianos, guitars, violins, and keyboards in general**)—that’s I’ve had the privilege to play.  He did an amazing job with it.  The red Strat he made is also excellent, and I love it, but the Les Paul is almost miraculous in its tone.

It was remarkably dusty, but that didn’t bother me too much.  I’m not one to polish or tweak or maintain things, except when using them, and then only to the extent that it’s necessary in order to use them.  My brain just doesn’t work in such a way that, for instance, I would ever notice or care that a car I owned could use a car wash, or that my room was cluttered, or that my desk was cluttered, or whatever.

Cars and the like are merely things one uses for a purpose, as far as I’m concerned.  And I’m actually quite happy that I seem to have been spared the whole social hierarchy, showing off, keeping up with the Joneses, owning things as status symbols, and so on, kind of mentality.  I’m not intimidated by so-called superiors, and it usually doesn’t occur to me that I ought to be so.  I’m also not disdainful of so-called subordinates, and I am provisionally convinced that this is the correct attitude.

Of course, all this sounds a bit like a species of showing off in its own right, I guess.  I don’t mean it that way (though I am glad of it, as I said).  I just recognize now that perhaps some of the things that have always been true about me, and which I guess are different from the way many other people are, may in fact be related to ASD if I do indeed meet the criteria for that.  I have never been a person who cared about owning the latest popular brand of sneakers when I was a kid, or a particular brand of clothes or jacket or whatnot—I honestly couldn’t even understand why people cared about such things.

I did like some things that I thought looked cool, or neat, or interesting sometimes, and I still do.  I also had a jacket, on the left breast of which were pinned dozens upon dozens of buttons depicting the band, The Police, because I was fairly obsessed with them and bought every such button I encountered.  But I am not and have never been the sort of person who would have put racing stripes or LEDs on a motorcycle, or tried to get bright chrome doo-dads for a car.  A car is just a tool.

So is a guitar (or a piano or a cello).  These are wonderful tools, and I care more about them than I do about cars, because their purpose is to make music, which is much more aesthetically pleasing than just being able to get places quickly and easily while sitting on my fat bottom.  Even so, what matters in a guitar, say, is the sound.  I honestly don’t really give a flying f-ck at a tiny little rat’s a-s if it looks shiny or fancy or whatever***.

I don’t know how I got started on that big and pointless digression.  I suppose I’ll be able to see the route when I go back to edit this, though I still might be mystified by it.  At least it fills the page, so to speak.  And it isn’t even late enough that I would normally have left for the bus stop, which is good, because it’s raining a bit, and even with the bus shelter roof, the rain tends to get little splatters on the laptop screen if I write there.  I definitely write much faster on the laptop, though at least doing the phone stuff last week doesn’t seem to have hurt my thumbs too much.

I have to work up my courage to go in to work, though.  I just need to survive until Saturday, at least, because I don’t want to leave everyone at the office in the lurch.  After that, it’ll be two weeks in a row where I won’t be working on Saturday (to make up for two weekends on), and so there won’t be any time when my presence is essential—well, except for payroll, I guess, but I can’t be too tied down by that.  Having to prepare the payroll for people is not by itself an adequate reason to continue living, not indefinitely.

I’m not sure I’ve ever found an adequate reason, even during the times when I was reasonably mentally stable.  I just didn’t much think about it, not in any serious way.  When you’re not feeling depressed and/or stressed, you don’t really need a reason to continue, you just coast along on the surface of biological drives and follow the local path-of-least-action.  At least, I do.  But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a noteworthy interval of not being depressed and/or stressed, and unfortunately, when depressed, time seems to take much longer to pass than do the times in between.

Probably, reading my blog posts feels like that sometimes.  Meaning that the time is much longer, more wearing, than other times.  Apologies for that.  I hope you have a good week, nonetheless.  And to all you mothers**** out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday.

*Look it up if you don’t know what it is.  It’s an excellent product.

**I’ve also briefly played a saxophone—a cheap one bought from a flea market.  It made a lovely sound, and I enjoyed diddling around on it and making absurdly loud but cool noises, and it was easier to play than I expected it to be, but I lost interest pretty quickly.  I like to sing and play, and you can’t do that with the saxophone.  I do, in retrospect, regret that I had never even thought to try to work out and play the sax riff from Baker Street.  What a missed opportunity!

***Though I do grant that the guitars my former housemate made are lovely.

****And I don’t mean that as “half a word”.

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

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

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

More so than usual, I mean.

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

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

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

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

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

You can kind of tell that, can’t you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**Ha ha.

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

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate, that Time will come and take my blog away

“Hello”, and “good morning”, and any other standard, ritual greetings one should use in such openings to blog posts.

It’s my “traditional” Thursday blog day‒the day on which I used to write my only blog post of the week, because every other day I was writing (or editing) whatever work of fiction I was producing at a given time.  Often my blog posts had something to do with the fiction writing process, which I imagined some people might find interesting.  Or it was some discussion of the story itself on which I was working.  I often veered off track, I think, if memory serves.  This blog is, after all, my main form of conversation and communication, and it was so even then, so I did as people do when just talking, and let myself say whatever came to mind.

Of course, unlike what happens with most speaking, I reread and edited my words before putting them up for other people to read.

It might be good if people did more of that.

I’m nervous about my commute this morning, because both of the previous two days saw the train previous to “mine” canceled*, and thus the train I took was doubly crowded.  I really don’t like crowds at the best of times, though on the bus it feels less onerous, because everyone on the bus feels thoroughly transitory, which I suppose is appropriate.  Anyway, even a crowded bus ride sees everyone shift or get off after a few stops, and the scenery is also somewhat engaging.  The train feels more closed in, and if you feel the need to do so, it’s harder to get off quickly‒you have to wait until the next stop, which on the train is farther than on the bus.

At least there are bathrooms on the train, which is one big reason I prefer them to the bus.  I can’t wait too very long without needing to use the bathroom; this has been the case for me all my life.  Even my sixth-grade teacher called me “straight pipes”.  It’s rough when your own teacher teases you (openly) but I didn’t really care too much at the time.  It seemed clear she didn’t mean much by it, and I wasn’t really very susceptible to social bullying.  I had my core friends, I knew I was a bit odd, but that I was smart, and I had a family that cared about me, and for the most part I think I was reasonably well liked.

Also, I loved learning things, so I liked school.  And when one doesn’t react defensively, or really at all, to name calling, people stop doing it, because its usual point is to have an effect on you that asserts or determines some form of dominance hierarchy.  I’ve never felt I had anything to prove to people who would say insulting things, or whatever.  If a squirrel chatters at me as I pass, or a bird squawks, or a dog barks, it doesn’t mean anything to me***; it’s just some creature making noise.

Now I care even less, I think, because no other person could possibly say or think worse things‒and especially not more personal things‒about me than I do about myself.  I suppose someone could make false claims about me, but that would probably just be puzzling; it wouldn’t threaten my sense of identity.

I’m not particularly vulnerable to defamation and I’m not readily susceptible to “gaslighting” because my own memory of myself and my doings is always going to be more reliable than the accounts of humans around me.  Have you seen how malleable and unreliable their memories and concepts are?  It’s frankly amazing that some of them remember how to speak from day to day.

I’m continuing working on trying to feel better, to see if I can make myself feel like I’m worth saving.  So far my success has not been stellar.  I’m continuing with the Saint John’s Wort, I’m trying to be careful about what I eat, I’m trying to control my pain as best I can‒that’s a really difficult and frustrating endeavor‒and I’m trying to explore new approaches as well.

For instance, I’m reading the book Breath, about the author’s exploration of how our modern respiratory habits may be harming us and what changes might be beneficial.  It’s a bit less skeptical than I might like, but it’s not full-on woo by any means.  At the least, I’m trying to improve my nose-breathing as much as I can, and to move toward that goal I’m trying to get my allergic rhinitis under control.  We’ll see how it goes.

It’s still really hard to understand why I’m bothering with all this, other than the biological drives to survive and the wish not to cause inconvenience to others.  But one thing I do know, that I have seen over and over, and that I recognize when I think about it: after an initial shock, people just get over it when they “lose” someone, especially if it’s not a person who’s terribly close to them.  And I’m not terribly close to anyone.

So, maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about making people sad or inconveniencing them.  Life is inconvenient, and everyone loses or is lost by everyone else eventually.  Before 1969, I didn’t even exist, and no one was inconvenienced by that fact.  And after I’m gone, the universe at large will not even notice.

We’re all virtual particles, anyway‒we pop into existence only to disappear more quickly than the universe can even notice that we were here‒though, as with “real” virtual particles in quantum mechanics, there can be palpable effects from many of us existing at once.  Only rarely does a virtual particle become “real” and continue to exist beyond the conveyance of a tiny bit of some fundamental force, one blip among countless such blips, existing for less than a Planck time before disappearing, and honestly not even actually being a real thing in the universe, just a shorthand.


Anyway, all that is a heavy-handed metaphor.  Sorry about that.  Now I must leave for the bus, to get the train, to get to the office, to work, then to reverse the journey, then repeat ad nauseam until I can finally, like virtual particles do, self-annihilate.  Or whatever.

I hope you’re feeling more optimistic than I am, and I hope you’re right about that optimism…but I’m not going to bet on it.



*I don’t know why, and I have not yet been able to locate an explanation on the Tri-rail website.  Perhaps I should check their “social media” sites.  If it happens again today, I may**.

**It didn’t.

***Though I will usually greet dogs that bark as I pass‒their tails are almost always up and alert, and they look like they just want to be noticed, so I say hi.

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.

An intention to work on meditation

It’s Friday morning, now, and I’m writing this on my phone, because I did go back to the house from the office last night.  My boss actually made a point to have me leave a bit early; he took me to the train station himself.

I guess it was pretty obvious how worn out I was.  I actually felt rather giddy and weird much of the day, yesterday, but it wasn’t exactly a healthy feeling.  This morning I feel more like my usual self, which is not an improvement, necessarily, but at least it’s “usual”.

I’ve been reading a book called From Strength to Strength, by a guy who was on Sam Harris’s podcast and sounded like he had some interesting ideas.  It’s basically about how the abilities and habits people have as young go-getters, achievers, innovators and whatnot inevitably diminish over time, but that other abilities, and the possibility for a different and deeper kind of success, can happen after passing the peak of the “fluid” intelligence stage.

However, as he notes, it can be difficult for people whose habits of achieving have been honed and have worked well so far in their lives to achieve what they thought they wanted‒money, power, prestige, and so on‒to let go of those habits and move on to more rewarding “second act” kinds of things, like good relationships, family, teaching and helping others, and spiritual pursuits.

Now, I was certainly a high-achiever, but all my youthful rewards were taken from me by injury and ill-health, divorce, depression, and incarceration.  I lost everything I had except a few knick-knacks that had been lent to other people, and I lost my wife and kids (effectively), and I certainly lost any and all prestige I’d had.

The prestige stuff was never a huge deal to me, nor was “being a doctor” the way in which I defined myself (I’m not sure I ever actually “defined” myself in any way other than that I was the person thinking and doing whatever I was thinking and doing).  I went to medical school almost as an afterthought, when other plans got derailed due to my congenital heart condition.

Medicine was something I liked, though‒intellectually challenging and stimulating, full of science and learning, and centered around the ability to do real good in the world and relieve or at least lessen the suffering of some people within the reach of my arm.  That was good, because I have always felt a kind of inherent guilt over the very fact of my own existence, and have felt very much wrong in this world.  I’ve always felt that I had to justify, in some way, my continued existence, the inevitable depletion I caused of the planet’s oxygen and food and water.  Either that or I would simply need to embrace being a villain and willfully choose destruction and cruelty and evil.

That latter bit was too much work, though, and it’s hard to be a pure bad guy when you’re what might be thought of as a sort of anti-narcissist.

So, anyway, back to the subject.  I didn’t need to force myself to jump off the treadmill of my youthful power curve; I had already crashed and burned catastrophically.

I unfortunately have no close relationships whatsoever to cultivate anymore, not really.  My sister and brother, with whom I get along well and always have, are more than 1300 miles away, and my cousin slightly farther.  I cannot face the prospect of trying to move closer to them, to change where I am located, to try to find a new place to make a living, and to become a burden, even a minor one, upon those people‒even if they would be willing to take that burden up.  I am not willing to deliver it.  Not to them.

However, I may be able to try to approach some kind of “spiritual” life.  I can’t be religious in any kind of traditional, “western” sense.  I just can’t buy into that stuff.  I’ve tried.  I’ve read the whole Bible (parts of it multiple times), both testaments, including the first chapter of Genesis in Hebrew.  I’ve read as much of the Koran as I could force my way through (about half).  None of them are very impressive, and I’m willing to bet the Book of Mormon, for instance, isn’t any better.

However, I’ve always been pretty good at self-hypnosis and meditation.  I’ve had trouble with meditation in recent years, because, while it tends to reduce my tension and stress, it seems to exacerbate my depression.  However, that was often meditation associated with a sort of mantra, drawn from my time of self-hypnotism habits.  But maybe if I try simple, pure Vipassana meditation, it might be better.

I don’t think I could possibly become very much more depressed than I already am without crashing full-steam into a life-threatening‒or life-ending‒crisis.  And that would be at least some kind of result, so that’s not so very bad.

Anyway, I think I’m going to try, in my moments of lack of work, to get into a more persistent practice of mindfulness meditation.  I’m not ready‒and I may never be‒to work toward any metta (lovingkindness) meditation, because it’s hard for me to feel beneficent feelings toward the world in general, though it’s easier than feeling them toward myself.

It’s not true that in order to love others you have to love yourself; that’s patent nonsense.  It may be that you have to love yourself in order to be loved, but I doubt even that is close to being true.  These all seem to be just tropes and gimmicks trying to trick people, often with good intentions, to work on loving themselves.

Anyway, that’s a tangent.  I do hope that maybe, at least, being less tense will make me snack a bit less, since eating is almost a form of “stimming” for me, a kind of self-soothing behavior, a reliable source of at least transient positive feeling, strongly wired into the nervous system.  I don’t eat because of actual hunger, that’s for sure.  When I actually am hungry, I usually don’t eat, because the feeling, the sensation, is quite interesting and stimulating.  But, of course, these kinds of eating habits end up making me feel worse about myself, and they aren’t good for my physical health.

So, I’ll try to do the mindfulness stuff.  I might as well.  I’ve tried every class of antidepressant except MAO inhibitors in the past.  I’ve not tried psychedelics, unless you count my disastrous attempt to take a hit off a former coworker’s blunt that led me to feeling weird‒not in a good way‒and throwing up repeatedly for a few hours.  I’m very nervous about psychedelics, because my mind is not my friend, and I don’t know what it might do to me.  Anyway, I have no idea where I would even get psychedelics from, or even MDMA (which seems like it might be interesting, but is apparently neurotoxic).

I’ll try to try meditate, and who knows, maybe I’ll develop at least some insight and improvement.  If I do, I imagine the character of this blog will change.  That might be something to which my readers can look forward.

In any case, I work tomorrow, so in the shorter term, I will be writing some form of blog post tomorrow, barring the unforeseen.  Don’t expect any real changes by then, of course.  That would be almost ridiculous.

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.