I blog not you, you elements, with unkindness

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, February 2nd, and the day of the week on which I’ve long done my semi-traditional blog posting.

I don’t know whether I have the energy to hunt for a Shakespeare quote to alter and/or a picture to put at the bottom, both vaguely related to whatever “subject” I address in the blog.  But, of course, by now, you readers will know what decision I, the writer, will have made, even as you read the words I’m writing while I do not know.

It’s a bit wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, isn’t it?

Of course, the biological experience of time is much more malleable and irregular than the actual nature of time, but time is not a simple, straight, linear dimension.  It’s warped by the planet beneath your feet, among many other things.  Your physical body’s tendency to want to follow the most “direct” path through it‒and the fact that the planet is in the way, preventing you from following that path‒creates what we call gravity, locally.

When you’re free-falling, you’re coasting through time (and space, of course), and it’s the ground that actually accelerates you once you reach it.  It’s a hell of an acceleration if you’ve been pursuing your geodesic unimpeded for long by the time the ground throws itself into your path.  Human’s aren’t built to withstand that kind of acceleration.

I’m writing with my smartphone again, today, by the way.  It’s just too annoying to deal with the laptop at the bus stop.  I also wrote more words than I really had meant to write yesterday, probably because I type faster on the laptop, but I don’t think the increased number of words was associated with an increase in actual content.  I think the signal-to-noise ratio, if you will, of my blog post yesterday was lower than it has tended to be with the phone.  That’s not an objective measure, however, and others may disagree.

As for my thumbs, they already feel a bit better than they did, and they’re not giving me too much trouble now.  I have some Voltaren cream (or is it an ointment?) that I can apply to the joints if necessary, though I already take round-the-clock NSAIDs every day for my chronic pain, so it’s not really recommended that I add the Voltaren, a strong NSAID in it’s own right.  It increases the risk for kidney damage and liver damage and stomach issues and so on.  But I’m already at risk for those things (though I take Omeprazole for my stomach protection) and I don’t see easy short-term solutions to the problem.

This is one of the conundrums (conundra?  Probably not) that make opiates and opioids both necessary and yet culturally difficult‒our non-psychoactive pain medications are literally toxic to our bodies above a quite low threshold relative to their analgesic powers.  Yet pain does not easily just go away on its own in many cases‒biology is subject to much stronger pressures for pain to persist than to allow it easily to be relieved, and those incentives will remain so in any evolutionarily stable form of life.

Opiates and the like can work against nearly any degree of pain with limited direct toxicity, but with diminishing success and tolerance, requiring increasing doses over time*.  But they do affect neural circuitry, reward, and motivation, among other things, and so their use is complicated‒and it’s additionally complicated by the fact that the treatment of pain, physical and psychological, is somewhat taboo in our society.

The use of various substances in one’s own body is even criminalized, and so black markets arise to take advantage of the inevitable demand.  And without matters being out in the open and subject to expert scrutiny and monitoring and education, various abuses and issues relating to lack of access to appropriate guidance and treatment and support arise and worsen.

And they will persist.

Do you think continuing to criminalize the use of drugs of various kinds will decrease abuse and death and even violence related to the drugs?  You hypocrites!  I say to you that it is the criminalization of that use that created the black markets and abuse and danger and sordidness‒and, indeed, the majority of the deaths‒in the first place!

You punish people for trying, however imperfectly, to treat chronic pain and those who suffer from it from addressing it, and are surprised that sufferers turn to the market you have created for illicit meds.  You have the temerity to be “shocked” that people die from the unmonitored, unregulated, inexpert use and manufacture of these things which you have removed from the bailiwick of expert awareness and oversight and monitoring.  You took an area that should have been medical and made it criminal and are stupid enough to be surprised that opportunistic criminals (whether they be gangs or governments or otherwise) are not as careful and caring as actual medical professionals.

And sometimes you are so hopelessly moronic as to imagine that further punishments of both producers and suppliers‒and even users‒of drugs will change the problem or decrease it or make it go away.  As if making an already suffering person’s life even more difficult and miserable is going to diminish their urge for relief and escape from at least some forms of pain, and their willingness to risk the permanent end to their pain that is death by overdose.  I’d need to exist macroscopically in all the ten spatial dimensions of M Theory to be able to give that the eye roll that nonsense deserves.

Phew.  That was a heckuva tangent.

I don’t actually use opioids or related medications, though I have been prescribed them in the past.  They interact with my rather peculiar nervous system in ways I find truly unpleasant, though they can help with pain.  So, instead, I suffer constant daily assaults on my kidneys and GI tract and my liver, and I accept that.

It’s not as though I will seek treatment if my organs fail.  I have no insurance, for one thing, but also, I just don’t see any point in trying to preserve my existence.  Heck, I’ve been told I have a possible recurrence or deterioration of my congenital heart problem‒I’m not fully convinced that it’s really any kind of recurrence‒for which I had heart surgery when I was 18, but I have no interest in pursuing possible further exploration or treatment of it, anyway.

Let my kidneys fail, let my liver fail, let my heart fail!  Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!  Why would I try to preserve or prolong my existence when I don’t even like myself, let alone have anyone else nearby who likes me and spends time with me***?

Anyway, that went off the rails pretty quickly, didn’t it?  It also got longer than I expected.  Sorry.

I still don’t know the answer to my initial wondering about titles and pictures‒but you all do.  And I love you for it.

TTFN

windstormandmanscaled


*Though at least they don’t directly poison livers and kidneys, and the needed doses don’t keep going up without limit, though they are nevertheless often higher than most doctors are willing to prescribe.  This is largely because doctors fear having what happened to me happen to them, and who can blame them?  The only exception to this general hesitancy is with cancer.  People with cancer are allowed to be treated with whatever level of pain medicine it takes to reduce their pain, because in the typical human “mind” having cancer pain is different, and people with cancer are special.  They’re allowed to be dependent on pain medications, because surely they have the only type of pain that can go on and on without resolving and can steal all the joy from their lives, eventually killing them.  Anyone else is just a disgusting drug addict, a scum of the Earth, and deserves merely contempt**.

**The latter portion of the above paragraph is sarcastic.

***I cannot blame them, so don’t be defensive on my behalf.  I find myself infuriating and disgusting.

A brief return to the laptop, but without any dancing

I’m writing this on my laptop for the first time in quite a while, though I am still doing it at the bus stop.  I’m using the laptop because I’ve been getting significant stiffness and pain in the carpometacarpal and metacarpophalangeal joints in my thumbs.  The right is worse than left, but it’s symmetrical enough that I’m fairly sure it’s from my phone, since I use both hands to write on that.  So, I’m giving them a break (but hopefully not a fracture).

I know, it’s all so exciting, isn’t it?  Just wait until I write a blog post about watching paint dry.  You’ll barely be able to contain yourself.

Oh, right, I forgot to note that today is February 1st, the first day of the second month of 2023.  It’s time to pay rent and other bills, and then, only twenty-eight days later, it will be time to pay rent and other bills yet again.

Time flies when you’re having…I don’t know, certainly not fun, but when you’re just grinding through each day with absolutely nothing that’s of any interest or importance happening, and with only stressful things happening at work.  Or, well, the only things of note at work are stressful.  For instance, we had two of our most prominent employees leave this week under dicey circumstances; by that I mean, they’re probably now going to go on either to be arrested or to overdose or to go back into rehab.  My boss is very forgiving, at least, but there’s only so many games of Russian roulette they can play before they get a loaded chamber.  Nature doesn’t tend to make exceptions.

As for everything else, well, I still haven’t figured out how to check the poll results from my story poll.  I’m not sure anyone has responded or even noticed, other than a family member.  I don’t mean to disparage family.  Cat forbid!  I’m very glad that some of my family members read this.  But I’m not sure if more than two or three people (two of them family) ever actually read all the way through any of my blog posts.

Maybe what I should do is, sometime later this week, find one of those samples of pseudo-Latin writing that looks like normal paragraphs and copy and paste it after one or two short introductory sentences, and at the end leave an exhortation to comment but not to “like” if you have seen or recognized the nonsense.

That seems like a lot of work, though, so I probably won’t do it.  But it is frustrating to wonder how many people actually read my blog, even among the ones that “like” it.  Not that I want to discourage the likers!  I enjoy the little hit of reward that generates as much as anyone.

It’s interesting, also, to see new likes for older posts, some of them getting into quite high number counts (for me, anyway).  I have to think that those, at least, really must be among my more enjoyable posts.  One of my most popular ones is the one where I announced that I was going to be beginning to write The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, in which I included quite a few of the illustrations that I’ve included in the posting of the story itself.

But I still don’t have any real feedback on ongoing writing, or on whether or which story I should continue to, or start to, write.  I suppose that’s just as well, since right now, I don’t feel much creative impulse at all.  I haven’t played guitar more than twice this whole year, short though it has been.  I have occasionally thought of short story ideas as one or more curious little event impinged on my awareness, and I interpreted it in my usual, bizarre fashion, similar to what I described yesterday about things like “Deerfield”.  But none of the ideas stuck in my head, and I certainly didn’t write any of them down.

I haven’t even copied my old “notebook” entry in which I had jotted down lots of story ideas into my new phone.  It’s still just in an email I sent to myself  when I got the new phone.

I’m circling the drain, anyway, orbiting just outside the event horizon of a black hole.  It must be a large one, because though the tidal forces are palpable, and are quite uncomfortable, they haven’t spaghettified me yet.  I can look out and see—because of gravitational time dilation—all the lives of the people around me proceeding speedily, with some perceptual distortion but otherwise normally, while I’m just slowly creeping through time, every second lasting an eternity on the scale of the outside world, with less and less chance of ever escaping, and greater and greater difficulty interacting in any real way with any of the people in the outer universe.

I don’t know when something will nudge me over the horizon, but the singularity awaits, and it ain’t the one Kurtzweil envisioned.  I wonder what it will be like.  I probably will never know; that’s the irony of such things.

Anyway, I’ve reached what should be the end of my first draft, and it’s definitely been faster, or wordier, than it would have been via the phone.  I’m not sure if readers can discern any difference, other than the fancy quotation marks that Word automatically applies, and which get copied and pasted to WordPress when I do the copying and pasting, but which don’t appear when writing directly on WordPress or through Google Docs.  It’s not really important, though I do like the fancy quotation marks.

Any comments—about this blog entry, or about previous topics, or about anything remotely related to this blog—would be welcome.  And do feel free to “like” and share.

Oh, and with that in  mind, why not listen to some of my music, which is on YouTube, but also on Spotify, iTunes, and so on.  I would like not to be the only one who ever listens to it.  It’s not great stuff, but it’s not too bad, either.  Given that it’s all done by me, and recorded using USB mics, and mixed using the free program Audacity, I think the songs came out pretty well.  Except for the keyboards*, I had to teach myself how to do everything I did in them, and I had no studio, just the back room of an office** and a bedroom.

I’m probably tilting at windmills, but whatever.  It doesn’t really matter.  Who knows how much further I’ll go on?  It’s already truly felt like the longest time***.


*I took piano lessons starting when I was about nine years old, so I already knew how to play piano.

**You can see it in my videos of me playing guitar and singing and so on.  That’s where I work.

***This is a very oblique reference to the Billy Joel song The Longest Time.

“Hump Day” calls to mind a camel’s back, which we know can be broken by a straw

I’m starting this post at the house, seated on my “piano bench”, as I did a week or two ago when it was quite cold out.  It’s not cold today; it’s already over 70 degrees (F).  I just want to minimize the potential time in which I have to worry about the “shouty” lady, who really hasn’t been shouting so far this week, but has been laying around at my “usual” bus stop.

She was still there when I got back to the bus stop last night at about quarter after eight.  So she had been there for at least 15 hours yesterday, unless she wandered off during the day, which is certainly possible.

Anyway, that’s not very important, I just feel too socially awkward to want to have to worry about being approached by anyone, let alone someone to whom I can offer no consolation for what are surely myriad troubles.

I want to keep this post relatively short, because the last few have been absurdly long, especially considering the fact that I’ve been writing solely on my phone.  I think it can’t be encouraging for casual readers if I write thirteen to sixteen hundred words every day.  It would be one thing if there were significant substance to the posts, a deep analysis of some topic, but they’re just random, meandering blather.  That’s best in relatively small doses.

It’s only Wednesday, but the week already feels so very long.  I’m mentally exhausted, though physically I’m getting slightly more fit, walking 4 or so miles a day, sometimes more.  But even physically, yesterday I was in exceptional pain, even for me, all up and down my left side, focused on my lower back and hip but down to the ankle and up to the arm.

My whole left arm felt not just painful but numb, and was even vasoconstricted.  My left hand was pale and cool to the touch compared to my right hand, confirmed by a coworker.  I don’t know what I did to trigger it, but it was apparently some form of what they used to call causalgia, if memory serves.  I do have an old soft-tissue injury to my left shoulder that never completely healed.

I don’t think I can do this‒meaning, anything‒much longer.  I’m coming up on the last chance to get a “message from the universe” in the form of the most strikingly palindromic possible recording number yet, at the office.  I’ve missed all the others‒as expected.  Palindromic eight digit numbers are a rarity, especially when the first three to four digits vary only slowly.

Of course, I don’t really think the universe is capable of, let alone inclined to, deliberately send me a message in the form of a recording number.  This is really more like a game of chance I’m playing.  It’s not quite a variation on Russian Roulette, but it’s not really that far off, either.

I don’t want to let anyone at work know the nature of my game*, lest they try to fake an outcome for me.  I don’t think they would succeed, but they might try.  Of course, if I got even a hint that they were doing such a thing, I would just call the “game” off and consider it lost‒or won, depending on your point of view.

It’s sort of like how most people would say I won the game of Russian Roulette I played more than 10 years ago, but I sometimes think of it as having lost.  Very little net good has happened to me in the intervening years.  I won’t say there weren’t good things, but it’s been an unquestionably net negative, and the slope of that curve doesn’t look to be changing, certainly not in the positive direction.

Oh, by the way, those last two paragraphs were written at the bus stop.  The shouty lady is nowhere to be seen (or heard), and while I’m slightly concerned and hope she’s okay, I’m glad not to have to stand for twenty minutes while waiting.  My back and hips already hurt this morning, but it’s primarily on the right side today.  It’s good to keep some variety, to keep one guessing.  We wouldn’t want the pain to be boring, would we**?

Anyway, it’s also drizzling a bit this morning, so it’s good to be able to get under the bus shelter.  The water doesn’t bother me, but it’s hard to write when you have to keep clearing raindrops off the phone.

Okay, it’s become more than a drizzle, now, and the bus will be here in about five minutes.  I guess I’ll call that good for today.  It’s not good; very little has been good for me in a while.  But we’ll call it that.

Rest would be good.  Sleep would be good, if it were restorative, or at least entailed true oblivion.  I want to go to sleep.


*They already know my name, so there’s no need for them to guess it.

**That’s a slight joke.  Sometimes one hears of pain described as “boring”, meaning it feels as if something is drilling into or through some body part.  There are so many delightful and multifarious types of pain in this world, aren’t there?  It’s enough to make you want to throw up.

Bus stop, waiting, she’s there, I say, “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

I considered writing this post this morning directly onto my WordPress site, which is something I almost never do.  But that would require a change of pace from my usual practice, so I’m not going to do it this time.  That’s largely because I have an already existing “change of pace” today, in the form of some person yet again lying down on the bus stop bench.

It’s very annoying.  I mean, I’m sure it’s probably annoying for that person, too, but I’m not the one that put them in that position‒I am all but mathematically certain of that‒but that person is the one who put me in the position of having to stand at the bus stop (and finally sit cross-legged against a tree, which put one of legs to sleep) with my back and hips and knee and ankle really giving me trouble already, writing my stupid ass blog post that maybe 5 people will actually read if I’m lucky.

By the way, there’s even someone at the “alternate” bus stop as well, apparently.  It never rains but it pours, as they say.  They talk too much.

I don’t know if anyone has actually read The Dark Fairy and the Desperado so far yet, but I’ve seen no feedback on it.  Maybe it’s so bad that no one can get through even the modest part that I’ve written so far.

I’m still struggling to find interesting things to read; most of the science books I have are dull to me now, though I reread The Coddling of the American Mind recently, almost all the way to the end, and it was good again.  I also got a new “biography” of Radiohead, titled Radiohead: Life in a Glasshouse after one of their songs, but it took me less than a day and a half of highly interrupted reading to finish‒maybe three hours, tops‒so it was engaging, but very brief.

I’m trying to start rereading Stephen King’s 11/22/63, which I remember being quite good when I read it once before.  So far it’s not bad, but I don’t know how long I’ll stick to it.

I have a modest amount of trouble with the premise.  Not the time travel thing, even in the atypical way King sets it up.  That’s fine.  It’s imaginative, and he recognizes and has the characters recognize‒and mainly just shrug in confusion, which is appropriate‒the apparent paradoxes.  It’s a horror story, not science fiction, so it’s not important to get into the nuts and bolts of this curious phenomenon.

No, I have trouble with the notion that changing any event in history could have any impact on any cosmic level of stability whatsoever.  I think the question of whether JFK hadn’t been assassinated only seems Earth-shattering to people who lived through it, and for the most part, the course of events doesn’t change much in any case.  I suspect most Gen Z “kids” barely know who JFK was, any more than they know who Andrew Johnson was, or Pepin the Short, or Phillip of Macedon.  Really, why should they know or care?

I mean, yes, history can be quite interesting, and it is good to know history, so we can try to see‒to the best of our ability‒the way events have flowed, and the sorts of mistakes and failures and successes are possible.  But this is all still parochial knowledge.

The universe wouldn’t care at all if the Cuban Missile Crisis had led to World War III or if a much more devastating all-out global thermonuclear war had happened at the peak of the arms race in the 80’s and wiped out civilization*.  Frankly if another asteroid the size of the K-T asteroid hit and drove 70% of all Earthly species extinct, including humans, it wouldn’t matter to the universe…indeed, if another huge impact such as the one hypothesized to have created the moon literally wiped out all life on Earth and reduced the surface to a new, partly molten “Hadean” phase again, the universe would not notice.

Probably.  Very probably.

I think this notion that human deeds could endanger some kind of cosmic balance is just hubris and delusion, harking back to pre-Copernican worldviews, though I’m quite sure King is not literally so deluded.  But this focus on humans (and human-like) things may be why King can never quite pull off the Lovecraftian, cosmic type horror, in which humans come to realize just how tiny they are and that even the “gods” of reality are not in any way anthropomorphic.

Though even in Lovecraft, having such “gods” is a bit of anthropomorphizing of the universe.  But then, a merely dead and bleak universe does not make for a very interesting story.

Still, maybe that’s one of the reasons Stephen King is so much more generally popular than Lovecraft‒because in his worlds, the deeds of humans are not only important to humans, but they can have cosmic significance.  And his bad guys are mostly very much human as well, in their character and motivations‒even the Crimson King and It.

His scariest stuff, to me, anyway, is his material along the lines of The Shining and Pet Sematary, where the evil forces are quite otherworldly, quite different, and though they certainly have malice toward humans‒the Overlook does, I’ll be bound‒even the “ghosts” in the hotel are not really the source or center of the evil.  They are, if anything, just the spiritual husks of souls that the hotel‒whatever it is‒had devoured in the past, like the empty carcasses of insects in a spider web, or perhaps like trophies on a hunter’s wall.

Well, that was a meandering and surprising turn through my head.  It’s curious sometimes to see what will trigger what.

By the way, I think that was the same woman from before who was sleeping at the bus stop, because she woke up just before the bus came, and she asked me something.  I thought she was seeking bus fare at first, and I had to tell her that I use a monthly pass, so I don’t have any cash, but then she said something about needing to stop the buses running because of something to do with a wedding.  I tried to tell her I didn’t understand, and she repeated part of it and then asked if I had heard from the children about the bus and the wedding.

All I could do was tell her I think she had mistaken me for someone else.  As I suspected before, I’m pretty sure she is mentally ill, with some manner of schizophreniform disorder.  Though I’m not a fan of interacting with strangers, she certainly didn’t make me feel frightened at all.  She just made me feel sad.

It’s very sad to think that not only is there nothing I could do for her in my present state, there would be little anyone could do for her even in the best of circumstances available in the modern world.  Mental illness is terribly difficult to treat, and it doesn’t get nearly as much scientific interest and resources as it should merit, as with so many other things.

It’s far more “important” to humans to have brand name shoes and mocha lattes and Frappuccinos from Starbucks** and to own the newest iPhone (same as the old iPhone), and to follow “celebrities” and to buy their ghost-written books.

That’s probably part of why even “cosmic” level horror stories, with rare exception, make humans so important.  Humans are delusionally self-important in reality, and want even their fictional horrors to be likewise.  And so, humans will continue to deceive themselves about their inherent importance, and vanishingly few of them will realize that, if humans want to become cosmically important, it’s going to be up to them to make it happen.

They aren’t inherently important, except to themselves (which is perfectly reasonable), and it seems vanishingly unlikely that any space faring, extraterrestrial civilization (if such a thing exists) will come to save humans and show them the way.  Why would they?  At most, they might send some disguised observers, anthropologists in the literal, outside sense.  Xenobiologists, from their own point of view.

All right, that’s enough for now.  It’s too much, actually.  I don’t have any idea what my point is.  Which may, ironically, be the point.  Or maybe I’m crazy, even beyond the illnesses of which I’m aware, and this is all just a hallucination.

What a dreary, disappointing hallucination that would turn out to be.  It’s not even scary.  Even the truly dangerous things in the universe are banal, dreary, and not all that impressive.  One would expect paranoid delusions to be frightening.  But I guess that would depend on how much the amygdala and related structures are involved in the disease process.

Enough.  ‘Tis done. 


*That’s the sort of thing I grew up being afraid of and feeling completely powerless to prevent.

**Why is there no apostrophe in the title of the coffee giant chain?  Is it meant to imply that there is more than one Starbuck, or indeed that each customer is a Starbuck?  It strikes me as lazy and slipshod.

Even the bus route isn’t a prime number

Well, it’s Monday morning, the second Monday of 2023.  I’m probably going to stop keeping count of such things pretty soon, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to keep track for yourself.

I hope you all had an excellent first weekend after New Year’s.  I myself did not.

I won’t get into the specifics, but remember how I said that I was considering changing my daily schedule so that I would take the bus to the train to work and then back again?  Well, that change has been forced upon me by various circumstances, mainly related to my own mental fatigue.  It turns out that I wasn’t feeling as rested on Saturday as I thought I was‒that was apparently an illusion brought about by the fact that I was so chronically fatigued that a slight increase in sleep duration‒brought about by having taken half a Benadryl, in this case‒gave me a foolish sense of false well-being.

So here I am at the bus stop now, waiting for the first bus of the day.  Unfortunately, it arrives about half an hour later than my memory of its schedule, but it’s been a long time since I took it, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about that.  I’m waiting for the southbound bus.  I think it must have been the northbound bus I was thinking about when I thought it arrived half an hour earlier*.  In any case, I’m quite a bit early even for that, because I woke up and left the house at my usual time.  It looks like I won’t even be close to catching the first or even the second train this morning.

I had been thinking about buying a new bicycle, and if I took such a means to get to my usual train station, I might make the second train of the day, but then I would be lugging a bike around, and I would also get quite sweaty from riding.  That’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s slightly annoying.  Still, it would be faster than the bus in the long run.

Of course, I could just plan to get up later in the morning, and come to the bus stop closer to the appropriate time, but sleeping late enough in the morning is not something at which I’m that skilled or gifted.

As for writing…well, at least I am probably going to finish this blog post in plenty of time.  I may well finish the first draft before the bus comes (I did).  But I don’t think I’m going to be trying to work on any fiction after that, even fiction that I had already begun.  I don’t think I could completely finish a new novel and have it ready for publication before October of this year.  I certainly wouldn’t want to work on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, because that’s supposed to be the first of a series, so even finishing it by October would be rather beside the point.  Only Outlaw’s Mind has any chance of being done, but that’s far from certain.

And once October comes, my age will no longer be a prime number, though the latter portion of the year still will be for a few more months after that.  And I don’t want to be past my prime yet again if I can help it, because the next time I and the year will be in my prime is far too long from now to contemplate.

It’s not that riding the bus to the train and then back again is such a big deal.  Hell, I did it for a long time after getting out of work release**, and though I was tired a lot, I was thinner and more fit, certainly.

It’s amazing how things that would have been minor to moderate inconveniences way back when one had family and friends around, as well as a (misguided) sense of purpose, become just overwhelming when one has no one around from day to day, and no ability to connect with anyone, and when one is already teetering on the edge of collapse***.  Setbacks feel like mortal crises, and in a way, they are, because they really do push one to the brink of literal self-destruction, and that brink itself is not a stable platform.  It’s a cliff ledge over an abyss, and it’s riddled with cracks, more and more all the time, and it could give way any second, at the slightest perturbation.

Ugh, all this heavy-handed use of metaphor is galling.  I feel as if I’m trying to be evasive or something, as though I can’t say clearly what I mean without making things worse.  I guess my point is merely that I have nothing to which to look forward, I am achieving nothing and contributing nothing, I have lost almost everything that mattered to me, as well as pretty much all the skill I’d ever had at connecting to other people, and so I have no local, day-to-day emotional support nor any ability or clue about how to achieve it.

Even when people try to reach out to me, I react defensively; I find such situations stressful and even frightening at some level, like a feral cat that can’t be approached even when someone is giving it food.  It’s difficult to trust other people after a certain point.  If nothing else, prison can do that to you.  I even tend to say now that I don’t trust anyone, and even that I don’t believe in trust, I just take calculated risks.  I’m not lying when I say that; it’s really the way I think.

It’s all just so tiring and thoroughly unfulfilling.  And it’s not as though my chronic pain has stopped, even though I don’t write about it often.  It’s been going on for twenty years already; why would it suddenly stop?  That’s just now how significant biological damage works, especially neurological damage.

Anyway, the point is, I’m getting fed up and worn out, and things are more or less entirely pointless to me, as I suppose they have been for a long time.  I’m 53 and the year is ’23, which are both prime numbers.  Today isn’t a prime number day of the month, but there are 7 more such days left in January…and seven is a prime number itself!  That’s nice.

I’m just about out of gas.

But like I said, I hope you’re all feeling much better than I am.  If not, the world is even worse than I thought it was, and that’s saying something.


*I was correct in his assessment.  The northbound bus arrived at the time I had been expecting, incorrectly, to catch the southbound one.  The situation makes sense.  The intersection at which I was waiting was near the south end of the bus route, so it was near the beginning for the northbound, but near the end for the southbound.

**In fact, I feel almost as though I’m regressing back to my earlier state.  Maybe I should just arrange to do something so that I go back to prison.  But that is a pain.  There are good things about prison, but the inconvenience is irritating.

***It’s funny, on Saturday my brother texted just to ask how I was doing, and I replied that I was metastable at least‒an unusually effusive report for me, but more accurate than I knew.  Those of you familiar things like energy diagrams for quantum fields and for chemical reactions and for other similar systems will recognize that something that is metastable is a system that will stay in its current state if undisturbed‒it’s on or near some plateau of the energy function‒but if nudged at all will fall down the slope of the energy curve.  Imagine a pencil perfectly balanced on it’s tip.  If nothing disturbs it in any way, it could stay that way forever.  But if even a slight breeze comes along, it will topple.  I feel that, if I’m not indeed already toppled, or toppling, then I’ve barely been able to retain my balance on my pencil point.  I don’t think I can keep it up much longer.

“No more work to-night; Christmas Eve, Dick! Christmas, Ebenezer!”

critic

 

Okay, well, it’s Friday at last, and it’s “Christmas Eve eve” as I sometimes say.  It turns out that the office apparently isn’t going to be open tomorrow, which surprises me‒as is obvious, I guess.  I still could find out otherwise, I suppose, but I doubt it.

I’m writing this on my phone again, and I have been doing so most days this week.  I think I used my laptop on one of the days, perhaps Tuesday, but not on Wednesday, when I wrote my long and rather irritating post full of self-congratulation for deeds of the past that have no relevance to my current life.  That long-winded blather was from my phone, if you can believe it!

I actually slept comparatively well last night; I only finally woke up at about 3:50 this morning, which for me is about a two-hour lie-in.  I’m not even waiting for the first train of the day; I’m waiting for the second one!

I’m surprised that I slept quite so well yesterday, because I had an unusually bad day for pain‒or perhaps it would be better to say it was a good day for pain and thus a bad day for me.  The pain was focused in my right lower back down through my hip to the ankle and the arch and ball of my foot, but spreading up through to the upper back and shoulder blade and arm, and nothing that I did or took seemed to make more than a transient difference.

I was walking around the office like Richard the Third most of the day, when I was up.  We did get some very lovely cookies from my sister for the office‒she sends such packages often and they are beloved by all, and justly so‒but I couldn’t enjoy them as much as I wish I could have, because I was in a lot of pain and severely grumpy.

They were/are amazingly good, though.

I am still in a bit of accelerated pain this morning, but then I’m basically always in pain.  It’s not yet as bad as yesterday, at least, so keep your fingers crossed, please.  Or don’t if you’d rather not; I hardly think it actually has any effect on any outcome other than the configuration of your fingers.

I suppose it’s just a way for me to express my anxious hope mixed with fear and tension, and to invite some kind of shared emotional support from readers.  Though, of course, for that, it doesn’t make all that much sense, since how would I even know if any of you are crossing your fingers?  I suppose you could leave a comment saying that you are, but the very act of typing a comment must make it at least slightly less likely that your fingers are actually crossed, certainly while typing.

Anyway, I hope that my pain today is less than it was yesterday.  But even I personally will not be crossing my fingers, since I don’t think that gesture has any magical powers, so you shouldn’t feel obliged to do it, yourself, either.

Come to think of it, I don’t think anything has any magical powers.  My first thought about that is “more’s the pity”, but really, what would magical powers even be?  If they existed, they would be actual phenomena of nature, and would have some lawful underpinning and explanation.

That’s one thing I’ve always kind of been disappointed about in the Harry Potter books.  They take place in a school, and have genius characters like Dumbledore and Tom Riddle and Hermione, who surely would have curiosity toward the hows and wherefores of magic, yet there’s not even a hint of an explanation for how it works, why it works, what it actually is, or anything.  I think some touching upon that subject would have been very fun.

I mean, for instance, how does apparation work?  It involves a sensation of squeezing through something, but is that some form of hyperspace, or a wormhole, or what?  How do wands enhance or channel magical power from individuals gifted in magic?  How was that figured out for the first time?  Clearly people can do some magic without wands‒so, how necessary are they?

When did people begin to be able to do magic?  Clearly people haven’t always been able to do magic; there haven’t even always been people!  Was the ability to use magic some new, isolated mutation, like blue eyes, that spread through the population (as it surely would)?  Clearly it’s not some complex mutation, as it arises de novo in the human population, leading muggle-born witches and wizards to arise with some regularity.

Perhaps there is a complex of genes that, only when all present together (perhaps even only when homozygous) instantiate the ability to do magic.  Maybe most humans have some large fraction of the necessary genes‒after all, as I noted, the ability to use magic seems likely to have been a significant evolutionary advantage‒but it’s so easy to lose some necessary part of the biological (neurological?) machinery necessary through random mutation that most people are mutated slightly away from the complete set and so become muggles*.  Or, if born to witches and wizards they are given the derogatory term “squibs”.

I don’t recall how I got on this topic, but it is interesting, and I wish Rowling would at least have hinted at some studies or explanation, at least when discussing the Department of Mysteries.

Alas.

Anyway, since I apparently won’t be writing a post tomorrow, I would like to wish all of you who celebrate it‒in the words of the late, great hero, Dobby the house elf‒a very Harry Christmas**.  Maybe take a moment to read the Christmas scenes in the various Harry Potter novels.  Christmas at Hogwarts, for the students who stayed over the holidays, seems always to have been an interesting occasion, albeit not as fun as Halloween.  Halloween at Hogwarts would have been quite the thing to experience. The only close contender that readily comes to mind is Halloween with the Addamses.  That would be interesting!

I guess I’ll be back on Monday, then, though it is at least slightly possible that I could be wrong about tomorrow.  If I am, I’ll be writing a post, and it may be quite a grumpy one, though maybe not.  After all, what do I have to do with my time other than go to the office?  Not much, honestly.

Oh, well.

santa-whoand merry

 


*This raises the odd thought for me about what might happen if a cancer developed that, by chance, has a complete set of magical genes, in a muggle who had been almost complete.  Could one have a “magic tumor”?  I guess probably not, since it seems magic would be a collective function of many aspects of the nervous system, not a property of every individual cell.  Perhaps this is one reason why wizards can’t just fix visual impairment‒Harry Potter wears glasses, and no one ever even suggests that magic might be able to cure his vision. But the eyes are, quite literally, extensions of the central nervous system‒though the lenses aren’t, come to think of it‒and maybe tampering with the eyes through magic is particularly dangerous, or perhaps the nervous system always rejects such attempts.

**As an aside, I have to tell someone that, in the song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I’ve always tended to hear the line, “Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more,” as if they are singing, “…gather near to us one s’more”, and I think, “How are they going to share one s’more between a group of people?  I mean, it’s “friends” who are dear to “us”, which to me implies at least four people, total.  How can you split one s’more between four people?  Also, it would make a mess, with graham cracker crumbs and melted chocolate all over various hands and the floor and all that.  Anyway, I know that’s not what they’re saying, but every time I hear it, those thoughts go through my head.

Well, here we go again.

It’s Saturday—the one that comes two days after Thanksgiving, though I don’t think it has any special designation—and as I said I would, I brought my laptop with me, so I’m using it to write this post today.

I didn’t play any music or write any fiction yesterday.  Obviously.  I mean, I haven’t written any fiction in months, now.  I’m not sure how many.  And although on three occasions I’ve done a tiny bit of plinking on the guitar and once on the piano, it’s really been nothing like what I did in the past.  I just don’t have the desire to do it, even though I used to enjoy it.

As I’ve said, I used to enjoy fiction, mostly fantasy/sci-fi and horror.  I have a difficult time forcing myself to read any fiction anymore; even the Japanese light novels are getting daunting.  Non-fiction that I would normally have enjoyed, like books about physics, or biology, or psychology, or even politics and sociology, are all just blah.  Most of the videos I want to watch, I’ve already watched, over and over again, and though I am able to enjoy things repetitively, and I always have been, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve just about squeezed what I can out of the ones that I like.  I haven’t even been able to get more than a few dozen pages into Sean Carroll’s new book.

And now, here I am, sitting at the train station on Saturday morning, ready to go into the office.  The person who last triggered my meltdown on Monday*, was off yesterday and will be off today, enjoying his holiday, and will get paid for his bending of the rules.

All the people I love in the world are elsewhere, with the ones they love, presumably enjoying their holiday weekends—I certainly hope they are—or just enjoying themselves in a faraway land, experiencing other cultures and so on.  And I’m here by myself, near the distal dorsum of America’s flaccid, syphilitic penis.

I think I stay here because, honestly, I don’t feel like I deserve anything better, and anyway, this apparent ASD that I probably have—or whatever psychopathology I have that mimics it—makes it very difficult for me to contemplate changes to any given situation, even though it’s far from ideal.

After I got out of prison, I decided to come back to Florida after a brief visit to my parents, instead of staying with them (I was invited to stay), because I hoped to be able to see my kids sometime relatively soon.  That, of course, did not happen, and I don’t give high odds on my ever seeing them again.

I’m certainly no good at being pushy about trying to get my own way in interpersonal relationships.  I didn’t fight my divorce or any related stuff, never fought about how much child support to give—I was happy to give as much as I was asked.  Frankly, there was nothing better for me to do with my money.  I honestly have little to no inherent sense of having any rights of my own, certainly with respect to other people, though I will tend to demand that people keep their hands off of me, literally and figuratively.

So, I missed the last few years of my parents’ lives that I could have spent with them, in the vain notion that I might get to see my children sooner.  And, of course, that was why I pled guilty in the first place, though I consider myself innocent according to the law as I understand it.  I certainly never willingly broke any laws, but was trying to help people who had chronic pain, such as I have.  I’m not claiming my thought processes were clear or ideal, and I was certainly naïve and foolish, but I never meant anything criminal, and certainly made no profit.

But I figured, three years’ plea bargain (with time served counting toward it) was better than a chance at a longer sentence, especially since I’m not a likeable sort with whom a jury might be expected to sympathize; or so I was told by my court-appointed lawyer.

This is the way the state extorts people into taking “shorter” offered sentences rather than going to court to fight legitimately for their side and their rights.

Anyway, I gave all that up for what turned out to be a pie in the sky notion.  I lost my medical license, my community, my use of skills that I’d put years and years of effort into gaining, and I lost the last years of my parents’ lives, and I lost my children anyway.  I wish I were just some selfish prick who was good at looking out for number one and living for his own enjoyment.

Well, no, no I don’t.  I despise such people.  But sometimes I envy them their ability not to care what anyone thinks of them, or what impact they have on others, no matter what they do.  I mostly don’t worry too much what other people think of me, but I do want people I love not to hate me.  I’m not sure I’ve been very successful at that.  I’d also like to be able to be with my kids and I certainly didn’t want to be divorced, or to disconnect from various other people, but I’m not good at people, it seems, though I was always good at being a caring doctor.

Oh, well.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s all pointless and irrelevant, and I don’t expect I’ll ever see my kids again, any more than I’ll see my mother and father again, though for different reasons.  I guess not seeing my kids is my punishment, or whatever the proper term is, for being utterly incompetent at human relationships.

It sucks, but I can’t get the rules changed as a special dispensation for me.  And I certainly don’t want to inconvenience my kids in any way; I want them to have the dreams they want to achieve, to do what they want with their lives and to enjoy the world as best they can.  Same with my old friends, and my ex-wife, and her family, and everyone else I’ve known.  I’m not interested in being the center of anyone’s attention, unless it’s something they feel good about.  For instance, if they like my writing or my music, I don’t mind if they pay attention to that.  But I’m certainly not worth derailing anyone’s plans out of any sense of obligation or anything along those lines.

I have no idea what I’m trying to say, today.  I’m getting bored with this blog, both today and in general.  I’m calling it good for now.  We’ll see how Monday goes.


*I want to make it clear that he was not the primary cause, he was merely the last straw…but he does often put himself in that position.

There is no room upon the hill

It’s Monday, and I was loosely considering writing the second part of my discussion of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc., today, but yesterday (and to a lesser extent Saturday), I got my head thrown for a loop by something that other people would probably consider minor, and because of that, I didn’t do any preparation, such as reviewing some of the latest information on the subjects, so I’m going to put that off a bit.

It’s rather strange how fragile my mental state has become—or perhaps it was always so, but I didn’t know, because my surroundings were such that I was not as vulnerable, or because I avoided the mistake of ever getting used to anything going as I expected or hoped.  In any case, my usual Sunday routine is to get up relatively early and do my laundry in the morning.  It’s two to three loads, and it’s the only day in the week that I can do my laundry, given my schedule, so I’ve kind of carved that out as the way things work.

It was my understanding that the new people living in the outer part of the house knew that; I’d asked the owner to make that clear, and hitherto it’s been good.  It feels like it shouldn’t be much of an imposition on anyone, since the remaining six days of the week are theirs to do what laundry they will as they please.  I do pay for the cable and internet, and for (more than) half of the water and power, despite there being only one of me.

I laid in just a little bit—for me anyway—yesterday morning, which means until about 8:20 am, before going out to do my laundry, only to find that there was a load in the wash and the dryer, just getting started, and the lady was there with some man I haven’t seen before, though he’s not important.  I tried stammeringly to remind her that I need to use the laundry on Sunday morning, that it’s the only day I can do it, and please to leave it free in the future, but I think that I didn’t say half of that, and not just because of my very rusty Spanish.  I was just so stressed out, and felt so angry and anxious and irritated that my words kind of froze up, and I don’t have any idea what my expression looked like.  I also felt almost as though I was going to cry, which is quite embarrassing.  I finally said, “por favor” a few times before retreating into my room.

I know for a fact that my face doesn’t adequately convey my emotions—apparently neither does my voice nor my writing—because I frequently find that I when I am horribly depressed, and having suicidal thoughts, and am trying to send out some kind of request for help, and expect that it’s obvious, and that someone will say something about it, people act just they way they normally act.

I don’t know, maybe they aren’t acting like they normally act, but I’m no good at reading them.  In any case, my experience of their behavior doesn’t seem to change.  Thus, my frequent reference to the line from Brain Damage, the penultimate song from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon:  “And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear / you shout, and no one seems to hear”.  (It’s followed by what is, for me, an even more poignant and heartbreaking line:  “And when the band you’re in starts playing different tunes / I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”)

Maybe it’s just that people have seen me get depressed and stressed out so often, and I’ve tried to express how horrible I feel so often, but no one has done anything or recognized it or something, but I haven’t killed myself yet, so it’s probably okay just to leave it, he’ll get over it and keep on going, since that’s what he’s always done so far.  But, of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the dot-com bubble, and the housing bubble, and the 2008 banking crisis reminded us, though it feels as though most people had never realized it before, and probably most people have never internalized the lesson even since those big slams.

Anyway, there’s a reason that the reference to the straw that broke the camel’s back became a cliché.  When a rope is fraying steadily, for a long time it looks like it’s still holding—after all, it doesn’t tend to stretch as it frays, especially not if it’s a modern, polymer rope—but when it fails, it does so abruptly, and often catastrophically.

Too many metaphors.  Too much mixing thereof.  Sorry, but I’m having trouble being very organized.

Anyway, just having my laundry schedule screwed up—I had to wait hours for the person’s laundry first to be done in the wash, then for them to clear it from the dryer while my first load of wash waited, finished washing, in the washer—really fucked me in the head.  It didn’t help that I couldn’t go for a walk as I’d hoped to do, since it’s been pissing down rain for the last thirty-six hours or so, with a fairly steady wind that makes umbrellas pointless, since your lower half is going to get wet no matter what.  Frankly, it’s significantly more inconvenient than the “subtropical storm” was a few weeks ago.

So I couldn’t finish my laundry and then go for a long walk or anything, or really do anything else while waiting for the laundry machines to be available*.  Not that I would have done anything edifying or useful, but I had planned (as I mentioned) at least to review some more recent stuff about the diseases I’d begun addressing.

This is not the only thing that stressed me out.  Saturday, I made the mistake of making a slightly substantive comment on a post in a blog that I follow, and another reader replied to my comment, starting the fucking idiotic response with “You’re missing the point”, and then spewing some irrelevancy about something that didn’t pertain to the point I was making; and by the way I had not missed the supposed point this person thought the original post was making.  It just wasn’t pertinent nor frankly in any way persuasive.

Anyway, I felt very angry—probably inordinately so—and made the mistake of replying (substantively, I think, and not rudely) to the comment, trying to make my own point clearer.  But now I don’t even want to go back to that blog, and I certainly don’t want to get involved in the comments section anymore.  Maybe some people enjoy such argumentative interactions, but they make me want to go full Hannibal Lecter, or maybe just full Thanos, frankly, and that just ends up making me feel more horrible about myself than I already do.

I’ve had lots of other little stressors getting to me far out of proportion to their actual importance—after all, nothing at all is actually truly important—and it’s just highlighting for me again, in case I should ever start to forget, that I don’t belong in this world, I’m not a member of this species, I enjoy very little about the fact of being here, and that little seems to be shrinking asymptotically toward zero.

I can feel each straw gathering on my back in such moments.  I don’t have any idea when it might break.  It doesn’t help that my back always hurts, of course, but it does make the metaphor apt.  I don’t know the extent of my endurance, and I guess I won’t know until it breaks.  But it is being worn down.  I can tell because I’m getting more and more stressed out by milder and more foolish things all the time.

It’s particularly frustrating, though in a different way, when someone, meaning well, asks me how I’m doing or “checks up on me” in passing, because I have to either just dodge the question—since I know people don’t really know what to do if you tell them that you’re doing terribly and wish your life would end—or just say, “Meh,” hoping that is enough to get across the message if they really want to know, but noncommittal enough that they don’t have to feel upset if they’re just trying to be polite.

But I’m not doing well.  I haven’t been doing well.  I’ve been trying to tell everyone that for a long time, and it feels like it’s silly for someone to ask.  If there’s no one who can help me get the load off my back, I’m going to collapse, sooner or later, and I honestly hope that it’s sooner.

Anyway, that’s an unpleasant way to start the week.  I’m sorry.  I’m not much fun.  And I’m sorry about that, too.  I’m sorry that I’m such a waste of a person.  It’s not how I would prefer to be.  It’s not who I’ve tried to pretend to be.  But pretense can only be carried on so far if it requires so much energy to do, and if it just makes you feel like a liar and a fake, when you already feel like a stranger and, above all, a monster.

Oh, well.  The universe wasn’t built for me, that’s for sure.  It’s under no obligation to be the way I wish it were, nor do I have any business complaining about the fact that I’m not who I might wish I were.  I don’t want to be anyone else, of course; I just wish I were a better version of me.

Maybe somewhere out there in the multiverse, if there is such a thing, there is a better version of me, possibly an infinite number of them.  Of course, there would therefore also be an infinite number of even worse versions of me, based on the mathematics of the situation.  I wonder if I’m close to the mean, or the median (these are tricky concepts when dealing with infinities, in any case), or the mode, or if I’m an outlier.  It doesn’t really matter, I suppose.  As far as anyone can tell, this is the only universe with which I have to work, and I am the only me that there is, and I am the only way I can have been.

How disappointing.


*I did at least get to watch Lydia Ko win yet another golf tournament, apparently a big one, and that’s always good.  I would have watched that anyway, but it’s still good.

Just say “No” to vember

Well, it’s Tuesday morning, and against all my considered advice, a new month has started. That month is November, in case either you’re reading this at some later date or you’re really not paying attention. It’s the year 2022. That’s AD or CE depending on your preferred terminology, though those things, like the number of the year or the month or the day are all arbitrary. For all I know, by the time you’re reading this, you may be using something like stardates from Star Trek or summat.

I’m writing this on my phone again, because I didn’t feel like bothering to bring my laptop home. Yesterday was just about the least enjoyable Halloween I’ve had since I got back from being “up the road”. It was a disappointing October in general. I had an almost unnoticeable birthday, then a pathetic Halloween, which was a particularly rotten day for business, also. I put together a pretty cool costume, in case we did something at the office as usual, but we didn’t. I wish I had that money and effort back.

It’s not a big tragedy to have a disappointing Halloween, obviously, but it is one of the only things to which I look forward, so it hits harder on top of my general deterioration than it might for other people. I also had more trouble with the WIFI last night, and my rest was worse than usual even for me. I didn’t get a single hour of uninterrupted sleep. My back/hips/leg/ankle are really bothering me this morning, but that’s partly from worse-than-usual sleep and probably partly from wearing boots to go with my stupid costume yesterday. That was an ill-considered idea in retrospect, but it’s no one’s fault but my own. I always make a mistake when I approach something optimistically.

I did upload that video about perception not being reality yesterday. The content is literally the same as the audio I posted with my blog yesterday, other than the screen picture, but here’s that video, anyway.

You are certainly encouraged to “give a thumbs up, subscribe, hit the bell, comment, and share” if you are so inclined. It doesn’t really matter, of course. I’m sure my YouTube channel has no future of any note.

Speaking of the future, and also about the past, I didn’t even begin to edit the audio that I recorded with my nocturnal thoughts about time from Sunday night/Monday morning. I anticipated there being…I don’t know, something happening at the office. There was nothing. But I still didn’t get any editing or anything else useful done there. I don’t honestly know if I’ve ever done anything useful. I guess it would depend on one’s definitions of usefulness.

I’ve been trying to find books that are intriguing to me, but no fiction or even non-fiction seems interesting. My favorite blog (or should I say “website”) that I follow is on a near-hiatus, with only minimal posting for the moment. That site is the closest thing I come to socializing, so I’m disappointed. Anyway, I’ve curtailed my commenting on it of late, because most comments I make end up coming across as weird or stupid or irritating to me or to other readers or to the writer of the site, and I don’t want to bother people who are some of the only people, and some of the most rational people, with whom I interact in any way. That would really be mortifying*.

***

We’re currently stopped in the train at the station two up from mine, apparently waiting for clearance from the dispatcher. I have no idea why. They haven’t mentioned anything about any accidents or whatnot. It’s a bit frustrating, because I seriously considered not going in to the office today, since I had such a rotten night’s sleep, and I feel so utterly depressed, and in more pain than usual. But I said to myself that since I wasn’t literally sick**, and especially since it’s the first of the month, when rent is due and all that, it feels irresponsible not to go in. Considering yesterday was such a lame day for business, it seems only right to do my part to be “all hands on deck” today.

I’m so tired of always feeling responsible, though, of always feeling like I have to try, to do my best, to do my part (or more), to try to act cheerful and to be a person who can help other people when they come to him for help, as they always do. Honestly, the times I’ve been in the hospital for surgery or relatively severe illness were such a relief in a weird way. Everything was out of my hands, and I could rest.

***

They just announced that there has apparently been a “trespasser strike” north of Fort Lauderdale station; that’s the cause of our delay. I believe this is a euphemism. A trespasser is someone who wanders into the vicinity of the railroad tracks, which is technically the property of the state of whoever runs the railroad system, and by “strike” I don’t think they mean someone is marching on a picket line holding a sign.

This is why I said it would be rude if I were to throw myself in front of the train or in between cars of a freight train. It leaves everyone on the trains delayed and inconvenienced. Of course, it’s very sad that someone was apparently hurt or possibly killed, but little stressors and inefficiencies and backups accumulate in any society, costing money, time, energy, stress…and these effects do wreak costs upon the health and the lives of numerous people, with consequences that are real and tragic, but are not seen so clearly because they happen via the accumulation of disparate forces and events. What looks like a traffic accident due to driver error is really an externality produced by the increased stressors that accumulated to wear that driver down, until the wrong thing happened at a bad time, with tragic outcomes. It’s happening all the time, it’s as real as the cumulative effects of sun exposure that lead to skin cancer over time, or accumulating atherosclerosis leading to heart attacks and strokes when the system finally fails at some weak point, and it’s even harder to pin down. It’s probably utterly hopeless and pointless for me to even try to do my part not to make things worse by not destroying myself in a disruptive way, but I don’t want to make things worse if I can help it. I probably can’t help it, given my nature.

Oh, well. My foundations and load-bearing walls are creaking and cracking and crumbling day by day, and they will eventually give out somewhere, and the whole edifice will collapse. I can hear the creaking; it’s getting louder and louder, growing slowly but with an exponential trend as time goes on. I don’t know what to do about it. I have no personal resources to apply to it, and I have no right to ask anyone else for help.

Anyway, that’s enough of all that. I’m sure you all wish I would finish off sooner rather than later, and just get it over with. Probably a good idea.

In the meantime, I hope you have a good day and a good month, and a good remainder of the year, and a good next year after that. If you’re patient enough to have read this far, then I’m sure you deserve the best.

***

P.S. We had started to go forward, but halfway between one stop and the next we approached what must have been the scene of the “strike” and now they say we’re going back to the previous station, though currently we’re sitting still. I don’t know what they’re going to do from there. Sometimes they arrange bus services or whatnot, to go around the spot. I don’t know if I can handle that. I may just walk to the nearest regular bus.

P.P.S.  I have gone back to the house.  I cannot wait for the shuttle because it’s not there and I’m in increasing pain and stress and am so very tired.  I went back to the station and back to the house.  I have no reliable means to drive to work and back, and I do not have the wit or will to deal with taking the bus.  I just want to go to sleep and stay asleep.  That would be so nice.


*Unfortunately, not literally so.

**In any infectious, contagious sense, anyway. I am sick in the head, and I’m not being facetious about that. I am very, very ill right now, and I don’t have any good idea what to do about it. I think it’s going to kill me.

How strange or odd some’er I blog myself

Hello and good morning.

It may not be morning when you’re reading this, but it is morning when I’m writing it, and since the time any given person reads it is variable—it could be anywhen from noon back round to noon, and in any time zone—the only stable point from which to make departure is that time in which I am writing.  Thus, again:  good morning.

I’m using my laptop today, which is easier and faster, though it may lead to the post being more wordy and rambling than the ones I wrote on my phone.  Perhaps not.  Those who’ve said anything at all have said they can’t tell the difference.  It feels different, of course, but then, it would feel different, wouldn’t it?  A laptop and a smartphone are, despite many common attributes, very different devices with which to work.

I’m waiting for the second train this morning, rather than having gotten up for the first as I did the previous two days.  It’s not that I wasn’t up frequently during the night; I was awake well in time to come for the first train, but somewhat ironically, since I’m not feeling quite as physically ill, I was able at least just to lie there “in bed” and wait until five minutes before my alarm went off before getting up.

Of course, given my traditional greeting, in case you don’t know, it’s Thursday, the day I’ve long reserved for writing my blog posts, even when I didn’t write them any other day.  As with the time, you might be reading this on pretty much any day of the week, but I’m writing it on Thursday, and that’s not going to have changed, unless reality is far more fluid than it seems.  I’m pretty sure it’s not.

I’ll briefly relay an issue I had when I arrived at the office yesterday, already sick and uncomfortable, forcing myself to go in when I should have stayed in bed because it was payroll day.  Suffice it to say that I had to rush to the restroom when I arrived, only to discover that the toilet paper had not been maintained as I’ve always asked people to do, even in my absence, and I was caught rather short.

I decided to enact a temporary, prison-style system of people having to be responsible for their own toilet paper, since they couldn’t be responsible for looking out for each other according to very simple procedures of letting someone know when they take the last replacement roll from the cupboard.

I’ll revert to the old system today, for stability’s sake, but it’s frustrating that grown people don’t take simple steps to be considerate.  I wish I could fit everyone at work—including myself—with a shock collar, to activate when someone does something rude or inappropriate.  Of course, the person I have most complaints about is myself; the very fact that I get so angry about everything, and always feel so tense, just makes me hate myself more every day.

I have an electric stunner at the office—I bought it because in Unanimity, some characters use them for specific purposes, and I needed to know how they sound and look when activated, and how easy it was to get one.  I do various things to hurt myself when I’m either too angry at myself to hold back, or so stressed out by various things people do that I want to lash out, but I can’t allow myself to do such things, so I let it out where I can, at myself.

I’ve destroyed my own writing and art work, I’ve banged my head against desks and walls and tables until I bruise myself, I’ve punched walls—the first two knuckles of both of my hands are slightly bulbous from my having done this often over many years—I’ve thrown away precious items and books, and I’ve hurt myself in more extreme ways than these, but I won’t get too much into that*.  I don’t want to have to title another blog post with a trigger warning, especially not on a day when the title is supposed to be a minced Shakespearean quote.

The point is that I’ve never tried using my stunner on myself, mainly because I’m nervous about how it might interact with my chronic pain, which is at least partly neuropathic in character.  I don’t want to trigger muscle spasms or neural feedback loops or the like.  It probably wouldn’t do any bad or good, though; I’ve used TENS units with no particular benefit, even at very high power.

That’s the character of my life.  Each day is a loosely connected string of things I do to try to distract myself from chronic pain, tension/stress, sleep loss, dysthymia/depression, and deep inability to connect with anyone despite being profoundly lonely.  It’s a shitty ride, I’ve gotta say.  I’m not even going to give it one star on TripAdvisor.

People sometimes say** things like, “Hang on, keep going, there are people who care about you, you’re not alone.”  And that’s nice, and I’m sure there are people who care, at least in the abstract sense.  But it’s at least a bit like saying, “Hang on, keep going, there’s a supermassive black hole in the center of most galaxies!”  It’s true, and it’s interesting.  It’s something I care about.  But it has no apparent impact on my daily existence and the fact that I hate myself and hate my life.

I don’t have any answers for myself, in case that’s not obvious.  But I’m getting wearier and wearier of just plodding along, without any goal, and with no one nearby to talk to, with all the people I’ve cared most about not wanting to be around me.  Who can blame them?  You’ve read my writing; how much time would you want to spend with me?

Anyway, that’s enough for today.  I hope all of you out there are doing well, and have things for which to live, and people around you who love you and care about you and want to spend time with you.  If you do, please be grateful and treasure them.

TTFN

me distorted


*Although I will give a caution about one long-past event:  don’t hit yourself in the kneecap with a ball-peen hammer, even if you’re doing it to distract yourself from chronic pain.  Just…don’t.

**Or, to pick nits, they write such things.


This is an addendum, to be added to today’s blog post at the end.  The train I’m waiting for is delayed, and they keep running an automated announcement overhead that it’s delayed “10…15 minutes”.  But it’s already 25 minutes late, and according to the app that tracks the trains, it’s going to be at least 10 more minutes before it gets here, so the announcement is just wrong, and that grates on my nerves far more than it ought to do.  Of course, as always with delays, the train will be more crowded, because people who would have missed the usual scheduled time, or who arrive early for the next train, will be aboard.  I feel like I’m going to split in half because I’m so tense about it.  When the whole universe, or at least everything related to humans, feels like the Enemy, it doesn’t take all that long to become shell-shocked.  I feel that I have no escape and no comrades, like I’m the only member of my species in a strange, foreign universe.  I think I’m on the verge of some breakdown.  Hell, maybe I’m already in the midst of it.  I don’t know what to do.  I need help, but my need is no claim on anyone else’s abilities; my need is my own problem.  It’s a need I don’t think I’m going to be able to meet, and when one is unable to meet one’s needs, one deteriorates and/or suffers and/or dies.