A clerk today said

I was talking to a clerk at a store where I buy things. I said I had worked on Friday, but I took Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. She knows I work at Court Square Tavern.

"It's a good thing you didn't have to work there on Christmas Eve," she said. "It would be so sad and depressing to be with all of those people who don't have families."

I laughed, felt sad for a second because I chose not to be with my family and I won't be with my American children until Wednesday. 

Christmas is the hardest time to be alone, but that's how I was. And I put the time to good use. So, what she said didn't bother me, nor did I take it personally. Nor did I tell any of my story to her. There's no need! I had a great time, and look forward to the opportunity to be with my family again in the future. 

I write these things out to help process them. To keep some sort of a record. After all, this is my spot for mundane thoughts in a dastardly world! 


This is the time of year when it could be either AM or PM when the clock strikes 6:54. I know, though, that the eastern sky will begin to turn a dark light blue to begin a mild winter's day in Virginia. 

I've already run two miles. I woke up at 3:30, read for a while, and then couldn't get back to sleep. So, at 5:30, I decided to get up and walk to the gym. It was pleasant to be there with four or five other people. I hope to see them again.

This is the time at which I have to do right by myself and carve out a new habit. I remember what it felt like five years ago when my life had begun again and I was alive! I was a year out of my separation and everything was going great! The fall of February 2010 had not yet happened, with the long slow climb towards where I am now. 

I am happier than I have been for a while. You might not get that, given the context of recent posts. I was at the tavern on Friday and it was awful, but Saturday and Sunday were spent in near-solitude with me endlessly cleaning and organizing and preparing for 2015. This is going to the be the most important year yet, and I want to be ready. I want to question all of the things I assume about the way my life is set up and how it operates. I don't want to wallow anymore in this hole. I want to fashion ladders and skyhooks and new lighting fixtures. I want to make all of this count for something. 

So, yes. This is the reset. It's already happened. 


Boxing Day at Court Square Tavern

It's a Friday night at Court Square Tavern and here I am behind the bar for the first time in a long while. I didn't go out of town so I could work this shift, but maybe that was just an excuse to justify staying at home by myself for Christmas.

I don't know. I'm trying not to be negative, but it's hard to avoid feeling like the wind hasn't blown my way for a while. And being here feels like another confirmation.

I want things to be better. I want to do things differently. The new year is coming, but why put off change until then?

I don't know. I really don't. I just know that this may be the last time I'm behind the bar here, and I'm completely okay with that. Sure, I have visions of buying this place, but I'm not sure that will ever come to fruition. I don't know if it would be a very good idea, though it still appeals to me.

Who knows? I don't. I've been here for an hour and there's only been one party. I don't want to get depressed, but...


Mind your F's and R's

I feel sorry for anyone who has to be in the same room as me when I'm working. Anytime I have to type an R or an F I have to slam my fingers into the keyboard contact, as the physical keys disappeared a long time ago. So, I have this strange beat I have to keep in order to keep my mind working on a narrative. 

I'm working as I type this, listening to a meeting from two weeks ago. I don't want to be writing this, and it's very boring, and it is my Christmas present to myself to say this. I will get no satisfaction from publishing a story that I predict ten people will read. I wish I could write something different, but I'm getting paid to do this, and I'm going to be happy when it's done.

And I have to watch what I say. What if I got fired simply for expressing myself? My entire life would change, and I can't  have that happen. I have to mind every single keystroke, every single thing I say, because I can't have anything change at this time. 

And here we are in the time when families are all together and I'm counting the hours until I see my children again. That's less than 200 hours away now as I type this. I'm so excited about seeing them again and being with them. They are my everything. 


Two hours later and I'm good. I'm happy to be working. Happy to do what I do.  Happy to wait for my children to come home. And I will continue to hit my R and F with pride. 


Important questions

Who are you? Are you an individual, or part of a system? How did you get here? What do you hope to do with your time on earth? Do you believe everything you hear? Are  you happy? Do you think the thoughts in your head are your own, or did they come from somewhere else?

What is the purpose of your dreams? Can you control them? Do you remember them? Have you ever had the same one more than once?

Have you imagined that entire worlds live on in the dust we breathe, living on a timescale much faster than ours? Have you ever thought that life might live at other dimensions we cannot comprehend? 

Do you like to challenge yourself, or do you just like to relax? Do you like to learn new things?

How often do you question the basic assumptions that govern the things you do in your life?

Do you know what your reset button would be?

Does hopelessness ever creep into your soul and you lose all sense that anything can ever get better? Does every failure carve a new line into your skin? Do you ever give in to despair? What do you use to stand up the negativity inside of yourself? 

Do you think you have the right to be angry without limit? Have you ever hit anyone? Have you ever wanted to? Have you ever cried because you were angry that you were angry?

Have you ever had to make a decision you knew would hurt you, but you knew you would be better off in the long run? Do you regret things? 

What appeals to you? What makes you get out of the bed in the morning? When did you lose your innocence? Do you believe you ever had such a thing? 

Do you have hope? Do you hide it from people? Do you fear there are other people who want nothing more than to use your hope against you? Can you document it? Would it be worth it to do so? 

Have you ever given up? Have you ever just decided it wasn't worth it anymore?

Do you feel any joy at all in sadness? 

Did you know life that's nothing like anything else thrives at the bottom of the ocean where magma rises through vents in the earth's crust?  How does that make you feel? 

Did you even read this?

Is there a point?

How sharp?

Can I borrow it? 


Devo Song of the Day: Worried Man

This is Devo's take on a traditional tune makes me feel connected to both them and the old-time material on which we are all building our lives upon. I offer with no comment because I am far too worried.

Making therapy

I spent 30 minutes before work today building the plastic city I'd begun making with my son at the weekend. I had a vision of how I could connect a new platform, and so I took the time to implement it. 

I then took a random scoop of Legos to work and spent part of the day building a vehicle for an Emperor who takes the form of a parrot. He just got stuck in that form, and that's what he does. He also has a little car that can take him to diplomatic ports of call. 

These things have made me happy and I am looking forward to more of it in the next 28 hours. 


A renumbering

I have changed the name of this blog to reflect where I think I might be in the grand scheme of things, population wise, given that I'm now older and closer to being the oldest person on Earth. I don't think it's an entirely accurate number, but it's a lower number.

I want to post more here, like I have done today, because I want to say something publicly about the things that trouble me. I can't be as specific as I would like for reasons that are evident to me but likely not to others. I want to be able to take my time and turn it into words that may give insights to others in the future. 

I live in a shadowy mind that doesn't always reveal what it's thinking. I am more than just one me. I live in a world with more than 7 billion others, that number always counting up as our species continues to grow, aided by technology and a general sense of progress.

But there is a disquiet in so many of our souls. Each of us has had our hard times, and I'm more interested in hearing about the stories where that density was softened over time. 

What I may begin to do is begin to just capture any and all thoughts I have, maybe fictionalizing many of them. I am more than just myself, and I want to speak to more than just me. 

As I type this, I am listening to a Charlottesville Planning Commission meeting, and I'm not going to write about the deliberations, but I will file them away for the future. I'm listening to a voice that I know in two different ways. Thirty minutes ago I have this person a totem my youngest child made for her and for me and his mother.

I want peace. But getting there sometimes takes conflict. I have learned to disengage but have I gone too far?

As I get older, do I have more of a responsibility to speak out? At some point, should I be in a position where I can take an opinion public? 

I don't know. But I need a public space where I can be myself, and this is about the best vehicle I can think about. I am no stranger here. People know who I am, but my name does not easily lead here. 

My shadowy mind wants to be a little more predictable. I also want to be more connected to the rest of you. If you are reading this, you are someone I want to know. 

What I didn't do

If the legs don't move swiftly and the body's temperature doesn't rise as a result, things that should not anger me do so. Right now I feel uncomfortable in my own skin because I choose poorly, chose not to get myself out there. 

So as a result, my mind fights itself and the demons are all around me. Except, they are not demons. They are just my thoughts and I'm not well-equipped to name them by some other name on these days when I give myself over to laziness. 

In other words, it's up to me to overcome this, to overcome this feeling that I know hits every year. I would have thought by now that certain memories would have lost their teeth, but that has not been the case. The reverse may be true. With time they only grow sharper and more easily find their targets.

So, will I move the legs tomorrow, knowing this may be the only way to advance without retreating? 

The grayed out sky

The water pours in, endlessly, bathing me in a sea of regret. The holiday approaches and I can't seem to escape the feeling of isolation that's on its way. One solid day of solitude, coming right up!

I had hoped this would be a better December than the others, but no matter what something seems to always go south and I'm stuck with myself, barreling closer and closer into a lifetime that seems to be stuck in isolation. 

It won't always be this way. But how does it stop? How do I get out of this well and into the next orbital? Why can I not store up the energy? Why won't lightning strike?

Seems these days like the colors have faded from the sky, from the landscape, from the air. I know why this, and know how I could change things... but the remedy would be worse than the daily reality. It's not that I am not courageous. It's that I am no longer reckless.

So, I shall withstand this time. It's the dark time, the holidays. I shall withstand the regrets, the negativity, the siren songs. I shall resist the temptation to fall deeply into the hole. 

The writer's impulse vanquished

At least once a day, I get this firm sense that I need to string words together in order to capture a feeling in my brain, an opinion, a thought, a fault line. I begin to type to organize my thoughts, and I begin to feel the rhythm pulsing throughout me. I am on my way to saying something!

And then, the gravity of reality asserts itself again and I pull back and the thoughts collapse into a string of doubts and I remember all the reasons I need to stay quiet. And I'm left as an island of light in a sea of impenetrable darkness.

This won't always be the case. 


Head above water

I am taking in air. I have a steady view of the horizon. I wait and watch for activity.

I didn't expect adulthood to be so lonely. I didn't expect to be spending this much time by myself waiting for something to happen. I don't have much hope there will be anything else but this gray fog of purpose from now until the end. I either made all the wrong choices or I am predisposed to sabotage everything that does happen. 

But I am taking in air. I have a horizontal view of a world that is steadier than it seems. I activate my waiting and watching sensors. 

I am in this for the long haul.