Life update (03/18/2023)

I have barely written anything this week; my old pal darkness itself has paid me a visit. When I wake up I want to go back to sleep. After I drag myself out of bed, I lack the energy and mental focus to do anything but vegetate around. Although I force myself to go outside for a walk and to read in some coffee shop, every sensation feels grating. I try to avoid landing my gaze on any human being. Both the present and future seem hopeless. I think often of how lovely it would be if I hadn’t been born. So in general, the usual stuff that goes on when I end up depressed again. The only thing that has made me feel better is lying on a massage mat with my eyes closed while listening to ASMR through my noise-cancelling headphones.

I’m sure that the lack of a new chapter of my ongoing novel will be a tragedy for the five people or so that follow it, probably for sick reasons. I’m writing the stuff that I need to write; it just happens that I may be the only person who actually wants to read such a story.

I have been unemployed since January, and living on unemployment benefits that will last for eight more months. Honestly, I hope I don’t get a job until then. For the last few years I have been working as an IT guy at a hospital. I hated that job, but I thought I could tolerate it, until I developed heart problems that get triggered by the stress I endure at the job. I have gone through two episodes of serious arrhythmia so far, and both landed me in the ER. Going back to work, possibly to any job, will initiate a countdown until the next time that my heart fails me again. I only work to earn money, of course; if I could get away with it, I would write for a living. In addition, having a job from now on not only will steal my time, my energy and my mental health, but it could also cause a stroke, an aneurysm or who knows what other nasty shit due to my heart issues.

On top of that, I was working regularly in that health organization because I was ranked first in the list of people to call when regular workers get sick or go on holiday. However, some political bullshit has given further importance to being able to speak Basque, the regional language, to the extent that I’m now ranked the eight. If I don’t get called for the upcoming holidays in a couple of weeks, I’m unlikely to get any contract at all for the foreseeable future. Very few people who aren’t native speakers of that horrid language (that was cobbled together artificially in the seventies, because different regions of the Basque Country could barely understand each other) can get the certification, and their horror stories involve ceasing to read or watch any movie/show in their spare time except in Basque. The instructors that teach the language in publically funded courses seem to always be political activists for whom the language is inextricably linked to fighting for the independence of this region, as well as communism.

In my case, reading and writing the stuff that I need to read and write is the only thing that has kept me alive so far; I didn’t see myself living past eighteen years old, and I would have spared myself tons of horrors if I hadn’t. In addition, I loathe that fucking language, Basque; as if I didn’t find it ugly and useless to begin with, I have many bad memories of random adults related to the school reprimanding me for speaking in Spanish during recess, or even when I was walking around town in my free time. Joke’s on them, though: about half of the time you hear anyone speak on the streets these days, you hear neither Spanish nor Basque. Well, joke’s on all of us for that.

In summary, I may need to figure out what to do to earn money. I doubt I can go back to programming; I haven’t learned any programming of note in years, and I’m far too old already (I’ll turn thirty-eight in a couple of weeks) for an industry that recycles young programmers because they accept terrible wages.

Other than that, I’m loving the manga series Dungeon Meshi, about a group of D&D-like folks delving into a dungeon partly to eat every monster they come across. Well-realized and flawed characters, the way seemingly only the Japanese know how to do it anymore. Here’s a video review by someone who does good job extolling the virtues of that story.

Anyway, back to the winter prediction: it’s going to be cold, it’s going to be grey, and it’s going to last you for the rest of your life.

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