A bland post but with some good music shared along the way

I’ll start by saying, Happy Cinco de Mayo!

cinco dance

I forgot yesterday was Star Wars day, and I don’t want to miss two such things in a row.

I guess, given that it’s Friday, it might be a nice night to have a margarita, or some other tequila-based beverage, if you indulge in alcohol.  But don’t drink and drive, of course.  That’s just playing Russian Roulette with the gun pointed at other people as well as yourself and your loved ones.  If you do drink and drive, certainly if you do it very often, it might be ethical (but not legal, and for good reasons) for someone else to kill you in self-defense, or in the general defense of innocents.  I don’t recommend it, but it would be understandable.

I’m not writing this at the train station today, nor am I writing on the laptop computer.  I am writing this‒to start, anyway‒on my phone, from the house, because I’m taking the bus to the train today.

Yesterday, after only 2 days of riding the bike to and from the train station (one and a half, really), my back and legs and entire left side up to my shoulder were in severe pain all throughout the day, which didn’t help my baseline grumpiness at work.  Well, it helped the grumpiness, I guess you could say; at least, it enhanced or increased it.  But I felt like crap overall.

So, given that, I’m not going to ride my bike today, and I don’t think I’ll ride it tomorrow, which means I doubt that I’ll be going to the movies, since the distance to the nearest theater is longer than the distance to the train station, albeit not by much.  But if the latter causes me so much pain, I’d rather avoid the former.

I don’t think I want to walk to the theater, either.  I haven’t been walking long distances for several weeks, what with weather and trying to use the bike and so on, so I worry that I might exacerbate things, like blisters and joint pain and so on.  Anyway, an eight mile walk is likely to take more than two hours each way.  That’s chewing up a big chunk of a day to see a movie by myself.  Not that I tend to do anything more useful or entertaining otherwise.

I suppose I could activate either the Uber or Lyft app, both of which I downloaded the other day after the bus was 35 minutes late.  But I’ve never used either one before, and I’m leery of getting in a car with a stranger who doesn’t have an official “chauffeur’s” license and a local (also licensed and regulated) company behind them.  That may be silly of me, but it is what it is.  Maybe I’ll work out the public transportation route to the best movie theater.

Or maybe I should just nix the idea of going to the theater at all and just watch the movie on Disney+ when it gets there, assuming I am still alive by then.  As far as I know, it’s hard to watch movies when one is not alive, but there are counterbalancing compensations, the most prominent one being the lack of pain and another being a lack of sadness/loneliness/depression.  These things are not to be taken lightly.  Escaping from them can be strongly appealing, especially when there are few counterbalancing consolations.

Speaking of not being alive, it was quite sad (though not tragic, since he was 84) when, earlier this week, Gordon Lightfoot died.  I may have mentioned this here before, but his song, If You Could Read My Mind is among my favorites; it came out when I was young, and I’ve always thought it was beautiful.

In fact, I did a rhythm guitar “cover” of it, with me singing.  I’ll embed the video for that here, just in case you’re interested, and then‒to get the taste of my playing and singing out of your mouth‒I’ll embed a video of the real, original song by the man himself.

I only ask, out of kindness, for you not to listen to my version too soon after his, if you do it in that order.  You wouldn’t have Phoebe Buffay try to follow Yo Yo Ma on stage at Carnegie Hall, right?

So, here’s my version:

And here’s the way it’s supposed to sound:

He did a lot of other good stuff, too, of course.  No less an artist than Bob Dylan said that, whenever he heard a Gordon Lightfoot song, he wished it would go on forever.  I wouldn’t go quite that all-out, myself; I don’t think there are even any Radiohead, Pink Floyd*, or Beatles songs I wish would go on forever.

Now, Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto…that could be the background music for the world and I wouldn’t quickly get tired of it.  Or Dvorak’s “New World” symphony would be good, too.

And of course, on the flip side, my own songs, like Breaking Me Down and Like and Share at about six minutes, go on longer than anyone probably wants them to go.  I guess my song writing is a bit like my novel writing‒once I get going, I tend to go on and on, because momentum, or inertia, or whatever, makes it so that I have little capacity or urge to stop.

Ironically, though, I don’t really have much more to say right now.  My leg and back and side and hip hurt a bit less than yesterday, but they do hurt quite a bit, still, and I need to leave soon to go to the bus stop, because I don’t think I’ll be walking as fast as usual.

It’s been a relatively bland blog post, but there are various songs to which I will have linked, to which you can listen if you like.  Most of them are by real, excellent, professional musicians, and have stood the test of decades or longer.  Those ones, at least, are worth a listen.

I won’t be doing a post tomorrow, because I don’t work tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll have rested enough that my pain goes back to baseline.  Have a good weekend if you’re at all able.  And if you see the new Marvel movie, feel free to let me know what you think of it.


*Though Echoes, which is the entire B-side of their album Meddle, goes on for a long time, and it’s not unpleasant.  And then there’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond, the opening and closing parts of the album Wish You Were Here.  

Taking pains to meditate on some of my books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a mystery, Charlie Brown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TTFN

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

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

“…and we sang dirges in the dark…”

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

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

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

It’s not really important, I guess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

****Sarcasm.

Enter freely and of your own will. No need to wipe your shoes.

Well, it’s Monday morning again, and here I am, writing yet another blog post for unclear reasons (though at least they are not nuclear reasons).  I’m writing this on my phone today, because I didn’t bring my mini laptop back to the house this weekend.  I want to say that I forgot it, but that’s not true.  I didn’t forget it.  I willfully chose not to bring it back with me because I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.

It’s not as though it weighs a lot or anything, though I can tell the difference when it’s not in my backpack.  I just didn’t want to bother, either with carrying it or with opening it and using it on my lap in the train (and at the bus stop).  It puts an irritating strain on my knees, because of the way I have to sit to prop it up.  Also, honestly, I’m kind of sick of toting it around.  It’s not as though I’m likely to write any more fiction on it, or on anything else, ever again (and I don’t exactly hear anyone complaining about that).

There are many more stories I could write, the ideas for which I wrote in long note entries on prior cellphones.  And I still find story ideas occurring to me with noticeable frequency, especially when curious coincidences occur.  But I don’t write those ideas down anymore.

I don’t write blog post ideas down, either, because I don’t bother with any coherent, unified theme or context when I write a blog post.  It is a “web log”, so it’s a log, a journal of sorts, and in its purest form, it’s just a recording of thoughts.

Sorry, everyone.  It must be, at best, a mixed blessing to read my thoughts.

Anyway, I’m writing this on my phone, on Google Docs, and I hope it doesn’t cause too much pain in my thumbs, but if it does…oh, well.  It’s better than the flare-up of back pain I have just from riding my bike to 7-11 yesterday (a total of 3 miles), my first time riding it in several days, because of the rain.

I think I’m going to have to give up on using even this comparatively comfortable bike.  It’s been pretty stress-inducing right from the start and every time I use it my pain increases.  I never should have bothered with it.  I probably shouldn’t buy any new things ever again.  They’re all more stressful than beneficial.

I’m barely able to cope with day-to-day minor tasks like brushing my teeth or changing my clothes or any of that‒though I do those things because I have to do them.  And going to work is a pain, too, but as long as I can’t eliminate the drive to eat and drink to stay alive (I am working to try to get over that) I have to go to work.

Speaking of that, I’ve been writing the beginning of this at the house, still, so I don’t have to dilly-dally at the bus stop (and maybe need to use the restroom while waiting, and have to wait until I’m on the train).  So, I’ll pause here, and put in a little gap marker, and resume this at the bus stop.  See you there.

***

Okay, here I am at the bus stop, and I’m still half an hour early, because I misjudged how long it would take me to get here and so forth.  Also, to be more precise, or more complete, I’m not at the usual bus stop, but at the one up the street from it.  Coming later than usual had at least one noticeable effect, and that’s that someone was sitting at the other stop already.  The bench there isn’t very big, and I didn’t want to sit too close to some stranger while writing, but I definitely wanted to sit, because my back is really annoying me.

Sorry to complain so much all the time.  I feel as though the only thoughts I have and the only words I can say‒the only truth about me in general‒is a collection of negative opinions, negative thoughts, negative feelings, and pains.  It’s really frustrating, and I’m sure it must be frustrating to those of you who read this blog.  Then again, I guess you choose to read it, so maybe there’s something interesting in it.

Perhaps it’s a bit like looking at a car crash beside the road as you’re driving.  I’ll grant that, for a long time, my life has definitely been a prolonged and catastrophic wreck.  And the accident is not over yet.  I keep hoping for the gasoline to leak and for a spark to make it catch fire and explode.

I really hate my life, in case you couldn’t tell.  I hate it.  I’m so tired and in pain, and worn down and alone, and lonely but unable to reach out to people because I seem to have lost my social skills, such as they were, and anyway, I don’t feel I have any right to burden anyone else with my heaping pile of shit.

That’s a metaphor, by the way, in case it wasn’t clear.  I don’t literally have a heaping pile of shit.  I use toilets just like pretty much everybody else.  I just mean, more or less, that my life is a heaping pile of shit, that I am a heaping pile of shit.  You get the idea, I guess.  You probably didn’t need me to explain it to you.

I don’t even like to listen to music much anymore, and I certainly don’t play any music.  I tried reading some fiction this weekend, but I couldn’t even make it through a Stephen King short story‒I tried several.  I also didn’t make it through a single movie, though I got through one or two comedy panel shows on YouTube and some “reaction” videos to Doctor Who episodes, though I had seen the episodes and the reaction videos before.

I should wrap this up, now.  I mean the blog post, of course…but I also mean my life.  I should wrap it up.  Put it in a take-away bag and give it to the stray cats and raccoons and opossums.  I’m so tired.  I don’t expect any rest, but cessation seems enticing.  After all, zero is greater than any negative number, and my overall state is definitely in the negative, and has been so for a long time.  The area under my curve is really the area over my curve, and the integral result just keeps getting to be a larger negative number with every passing moment, for both the experiencing self and the remembering self.

Anyway, the bus will be here soon.  Better go 

Above the lake, after the flood

It’s Friday again, but that fact in and of itself is no particular cause for celebration for me, because I work tomorrow.  Still, I’m up and at the bus stop today, unlike yesterday, which should imply that at least my back and legs are not as painful as they were yesterday.

I spent pretty much my entire yesterday lying down, just trying to rest and relax the muscles and joints in my back, my hips, my ankles, and my knees, all of which were hurting.  Of course, I availed myself of OTC analgesics, but I always use those, so it’s hard to make much difference using them without permanently disabling my kidneys and/or liver, which I am probably already doing based on the amount that I use every day.

It’s a bit frustrating finally to have sorted out most of the issues with my new bicycle and gotten it into a situation in which I can ride it comfortably and usefully only to have a week-long stretch of nearly constant rain.  I can’t even imagine how I would have gotten back to the house Wednesday night if I’d tried to ride the bike.

Just to give you some idea:  there is a small park area right near the train station in Hollywood (Florida), and a main feature of that is a river/lake that I suspect is artificial.  It runs under the main road as well as under some foot bridges.  Normally, the nearest foot bridge is the sort of thing you could imagine people rowing or canoeing or kayaking under easily, without needing to duck their heads.  Well, on Wednesday evening, the water in that lake was up to the bottom of the bridge, several feet above its baseline.  The water in the main road and the bus stop and the nearby fields was flowing—clearly, obviously, and powerfully—toward that lake, such that it looked as if soon the lake would swell its banks and the water level would engulf the sidewalks and the bus stop and the main road.

Of course, much of the road was underwater, anyway.  Particularly at the intersections and cross-walks, and along the edges where the bike lanes are, there were vast pools of water.  Even during the walk from my final bus stop to the house, which is just a bit under a mile, there were places I could not pass without stepping more than ankle deep in water.  And, of course, when trying to minimize the degree to which I had to do that, I skirted around edges of sidewalks and berms and roads, and met some very unsteady ground.  I’m sure it was more unsteady than usual.  So my back and knees and hips and ankles were subject to unusual stresses and strains that probably contributed to yesterday’s problem.

My Timberland boots would have been entirely useless for avoiding the soakers I had in both feet before I got even close to the house.  If I had worn my “motorcycle” boots, those would have kept my feet dry in anything much less than knee-high water—they’re pretty great for that.  However, they are not great for walking if you want to avoid blisters or ankle problems, because they don’t exactly grip the feet firmly, and they have elevated heels.  They look good, and they would be good for wading, up to a point, but they wouldn’t be good for any significant walking, and you certainly wouldn’t want to run in them.

Once again, here I go, writing about the weather, of all things.  It’s a reflection of the sorry state of my life that this really is the only interesting* stuff that’s going on with me.  Weather, commuting, depression, pain—these are the things I have about which to communicate.  At least, they are the things that come to my mind.  I’m not really learning anything new—not by my standards, anyway.  I still haven’t really written anything at length about sugar or whatnot, and I haven’t done any audio posts or “podcasts” or whatever you want to call that stuff.  I just don’t have the will to do it, any more than I have the will to write any new fiction.

It is an interesting fact that, most days, more people look at my blog than have bought, let alone read, all of my books put together.  I’m not counting the stupid purchases I made of my own books, which I then signed and gave to the people at the office.  As far as I know, only two of those people have actually read any of my books, and one of them subsequently died of a drug overdose; he was the closest thing to a real friend that I’d made in well over ten years.

That’s frustrating, to say the least.

I’m not sure what to do.  I don’t expect any epiphany or any other kind of spiritual or psychological breakthrough; I’ve been trying to explore the nature of reality and, to some extent, my own mind for most of my life, as far as I can remember.  I’ve read lots of science books, of course, but I’ve also read many self-help books and spiritual books and so on.  I’ve meditated and did self-hypnosis throughout my teenage years.  I’ve read religious works of various stripes; some of them were interesting and engaging and even profound in places.  But none of them were very impressive overall.  Shakespeare was better.  As was Milton.

I don’t know what I’m getting at.  When do I ever, right?  I know where I’m going in the long run, at least, which is the same place we’re all going in the long run.  If there’s something else waiting, I’ve never encountered anything close to good evidence or argument for it.  I have looked, but I’ve tried to do so without self-deception.

Maybe that’s my problem.  Maybe the only escape from dreariness and depression entails or requires some form of delusion or another.  Maybe Shirley Jackson was right, and no live organism really can continue to exist “sanely” under conditions of absolute reality.

But, of course, we never really exist under conditions of “absolute reality” in any serious sense.  We don’t have access to all levels of reality using just our ordinary, unaided senses, not even close to it.  But that (in principle, surmountable) limitation is one thing, while inventing stories about the “meaning” of life and reality out of wisps of desperation, fear, loneliness, loss, and pain is another thing entirely.  I have no intention or desire to do that.  It’s like trying to weave a sweater out of yarn spun from cotton candy.  It would be an interesting novelty, but at any real test—including just sweating while wearing it—it would melt and dissolve and draw swarms of flies and ants and just be disgusting.

That’s a weird metaphor, I know.  Sorry.  I’m not being particularly coherent here.  Which I guess is reason enough to call this post to a close.  I hope you all have a good weekend, and spend it relaxing with people you love and who love you.  What else is there?  A lot, I guess, but none of it is quite as pleasant, and it’s not more important.  Not that anything is important; or rather, on a cosmic scale, either everything is important or nothing is important.

On the scale of an individual life, though, things can be quite different, and in an entirely reasonable sense.  So, if you can, enjoy your weekend.


*I use that term hesitantly.  Perhaps I should have written that it is the closest thing to being something interesting that’s happened to me.

Half sunk a shattered visage lies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

end-of-evangelion


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

**Trogglers, if you will.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rainybikebandw


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

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

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

Here we go again, still.

It’s Monday morning, and I’m on the train as I write this, though I had meant to miss the train that I rode on Friday and start writing while sitting at the train station, because that somehow feels better to me.  I’m not sure why it feels better.  Maybe it’s because, for a long time, when I got to the train station early, it was where I started writing my fiction on a given day.  I don’t know.

Anyway, I dilly-dallied at the house for a bit, doing some minor chores that I don’t normally do in the morning, before leaving a little later than usual.  But it turns out that the train was, as the automated announcement said, “fifteen, twenty minutes late”.

I don’t know why it’s not programmed to say, “fifteen to twenty minutes late”.  The way the announcement comes across, one might be excused for thinking that the train was going to be one thousand five hundred twenty minutes late.  That’s 25 hours and 20 minutes.  One might as well take an extra day off today and come back tomorrow!

So, I got on the train I had tried to miss by a bit, after waiting…well, about fifteen or twenty minutes.  And now I’m writing this blog post, for which I have no particular topic, on the train.

I don’t understand why even a relatively well-run system like the Tri-rail in south Florida is so often behind schedule or has trains cancelled and so on.  This is not the norm in many other parts of the world*.  In some parts of the world, they don’t even have to punish people who screw up and make a train system late, thus inconveniencing thousands to sometimes tens of thousands of people and more.  The people running it would be ashamed and humiliated to allow the trains to run late on their watch, and if something unavoidable were to happen, such people would scramble and struggle to correct it as fast as humanly possible, and not rest until it was fixed.

I’m not, in general, a fan of the emotion of shame, but a little bit of shame in the right place can be a good thing.  It exists because it can serve a purpose in social animals, and humans are social animals.  A person should be embarrassed and even ashamed if, through laziness or carelessness or inattention they cause problems that affect the lives of a large number of people.  If that seems like too minor a thing about which to worry, remember, statistically speaking, if one causes delays for enough people, often enough, there will be consequent serious suffering and even premature deaths—deaths that would not have happened if one had done one’s job**.

Speaking of deaths:  honestly, I didn’t really expect to be alive, myself, at this point.  Or, at least, I didn’t mean to be continuing to muddle through on my usual daily so-called life.  But I’m still here just standing on the ledge or the balcony, or the bridge-side, or whatever, looking down, trying to decide what to do.  It’s scary to jump—for good, sound, biological reasons over which I have very little control—and so I hesitate.

But I don’t have a strong desire to turn around and walk away from the edge, either.  I guess, at some level, some part of me is wondering if someone can give me a good, motivating, convincing reason to step away from the edge.  Not a request, not a cajolement, not an emotional appeal, not a pep talk—none of these things are means by which I want to be easily influenced.  I’ve looked at most of them already, and in any case, they don’t really solve the problem, they just push it back a little.  I don’t want to believe, I want to be convinced by evidence and reasoning, or by something that doesn’t rely on the exhortation just to keep buggering on because that’s what you’re supposed to do.

I’ve been buggering on against dysthymia and depression for almost forty years, certainly since my early teens, and against chronic pain for about twenty.  I don’t seem to have gained much ground, if any.

If I were still in medical practice and were treating a patient like me who came in, I might well recommend hospitalization.  I’m certainly a danger to myself—I hate myself, I consider myself my enemy.  But I cannot afford some kind of voluntary psychiatric hospitalization, certainly not in any kind of very good facility, and I don’t have any insurance.  And, of course, I’m not in medical practice anymore.

I don’t know what to do.  But my train stop is coming up next, and since I have to pause my writing at least for a while when I get there, I might as well stop this post now.  I hope you had a good weekend and that you have a good week.

no belief


*Though, admittedly, there are also parts of the world in which this is much better than the norm.  But the US is the world’s largest economy; we like to think of ourselves as advanced and innovative and productive and “great”, but—to reference a cliché that wasn’t even true about the person about whom it was often said—we can’t even seem to keep the trains running on time.  It’s embarrassing.  Or at least, it ought to be embarrassing.  If we are not embarrassed by it, that fact should be embarrassing, too.

**It’s possible, of course, that there are deaths that will happen when the trains run on time that would not have happened if they had been late, but people don’t tend to see as morally culpable on the people keeping things running on time when there are benevolent reasons for doing so.  Running things on time was the intent of the system, it was part of the stated goal from the start, and it was thus because it was potentially useful for many people.  It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.  But when it fails in its promised service, and because of that failure someone dies (or suffers) unnecessarily, it seems reasonable to consider it a morally culpable situation.

I had rather than forty shillings I had such a blog

Hello and good morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TTFN

Passover mosaic with words


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

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