Life update (11/24/2022)

I didn’t want to post anything until I finished the current chapter of my novel, which will take a couple of days more or so. However, I’m feeling like shit at the moment. Writing about it is a way of palliating that psychological pain, so here I am.

My current contract at work was supposed to end this Sunday. I was already dreading the end of the week, because I’m always either told on Thursday or even on Friday (if they even “remember” to tell me) whether or not they will prolong my contract. As a thirty-seven year old man, most months I’ve had no clue if the next one I was going to be unemployed, and that has gone on for years. This time it’s even worse: my boss told me that they intend to keep prolonging my contract week by week for the foreseeable future, at least until January of next year.

People are supposed to be happy that someone pays them to work, I’m guessing. Not me: I’m absolutely fed up with my job as an IT guy at a hospital complex. I’ll mention again, for the umpteenth time, that I’m autistic and have OCD. I need, for psychological and neurological reasons, a set, clear schedule, controllable problems to deal with (if I’m forced to deal with any problems), silence, and the least amount of human interactions as possible. Instead I work at an office with an open plan, forced to deal with the moronic interactions of four/five adult men that behave like schoolchildren, with the corresponding noise pollution. In addition, I never know what kind of problem I’ll have to deal with that day, nor the kind of user that I’ll be forced to tolerate.

For example, yesterday I was ordered to switch the printers of PCs at opposite ends of the sterile processing department (the supervisor wanted the fancier printer for herself). Of course, I also had to configure them at their new destinations. I dressed myself like a local employee to enter the sterile environment. When I finished configuring the fancier printer on the supervisor’s PC and told it to print a test page, the printer refused to recognize that its frontal cassette was loaded with paper. I asked the supervisor if the printer worked properly beforehand. “Oh, I don’t know.” I suspect they wanted me to discover the error and fix it. I’m not the kind of IT guy that fixes physical errors in printers. In addition, the specific model of that fancy printer isn’t maintained by the governmental organization that runs these hospitals: the users are supposed to call Ricoh. After I told her this, she answered something like, “why do I need to do that? I’m too busy. You are the one paid to fix machines.”

As a technician employed with this governmental organization, I’m not paid to interact with that kind of printer beyond plugging it into a local PC and making sure it receives the print order. I considered telling her to fuck off and call the company herself as she’s supposed to; I feel like telling people to fuck off very often at my job. But I went through the trouble of calling the company myself. Of course, they told me that “they’ll send someone.” A couple of days. The supervisor considered that unacceptable, because she was supposed to print something in ten or so minutes (although she had ordered us to exchange a working printer for another one that “oh, I don’t know if it works”).

I manage to get the bypass loader working. I didn’t know they had one, because, again, my organization doesn’t maintain those printers. But the printer had the frontal cassette set as the priority source of paper; every time you sent a print order, the display showed an error, and the user had to select the bypass loader manually. The supervisor told me that it was too much of a bother. However, to change it in the options so it considers the bypass loader the priority, I would need admin privileges.

In the end, the supervisor made me responsible for dealing with the printer company and notifying her when they decide to send someone (if they even call me to notify me). I’m not supposed to do any of that, and certainly I’m not paid to do so either. I just gave in because such people are somewhat likely to complain to my bosses for it, and although the bosses know that dealing with those printers’ specific issues isn’t my responsibility, they’ll get annoyed with me if they receive a complaint call.

After that whole incident, I was done for the whole morning; I wanted to shut down and wait out until I left the office. However, it was half past ten in the morning, and I ended up having to deal with plenty more.

Every single day plenty of users demand us to do stuff for them, but often they fail to provide the basic information for solving those issues. “Hey, I need access to the shared folder that my coworkers access.” You end up having to write back to ask for personal information, what computer they are using, the specific path to the folder, etc. Plenty of times they prove themselves hard to reach. Often when they write you back it’s as if they failed to read half of your original message. Sometimes they give you incorrect information, although the correct one was plainly displayed on the screen in front of their fucking eyes. Needless to say, the whole thing is maddening.

When my boss told me they were going to prolong my contract and he saw that I wasn’t ecstatic about it, he said that he knew I intended to take a break to study for an upcoming public examination, which will determine how often they’ll call me back for such contracts. That exam is on the fifteenth of January, and I’ll likely be employed until then. I’m studying at the office, between tasks; I refuse to waste any time doing job-related stuff during my free time, which is devoted mainly to writing. However, I didn’t feel like I could share with anyone I know in person the real reason why I didn’t want to continue: I hate this job, I hate having to be employed, I have waking up at six in the morning to be surrounded with human beings until half past four in the afternoon, and I feel like I’m going crazier every passing day.

After I found out that I’ll likely be employed for the entirety of December (if they cut my current contract short, they’ll still call me to cover other people’s holidays), I’ve felt a cold ache in my chest, added to strange twitches and spasms I’ve felt in there since I received the latest “booster vaccine” about a year ago or so (which caused me atrial fibrillation, a physical issue with my heart). And honestly I just want to hide at one of the rooms that contain the network racks, to either kick a wall or cry for a bit. Perhaps both.

A logical solution to this issue could be to get another job. But by the time I was offered the first contract for this governmental organization, I had “struggled” to find employment as a programmer, for which I was trained. And by struggled I meant that for most of those years I couldn’t get a job, and half of the time that I did get a job, I wasn’t paid for it.

The last time I accepted one of those internships was through an organization that supposedly helps autistic people. The programming company put me working alone at a desk (I was fine with that). I dealt with a single boss who was happy with my performance, but by the end of that internship I was told that they wouldn’t hire me because they didn’t think I would be able to work well in a team. They knew I was autistic. The HR woman wanted me to feel proud that I had wasted six months of my life programming their intranet for free, because now their job was easier. Needless to say, I will never work for free again.

Anyway, my parents, with whom I don’t particularly get along, weren’t too happy about having to pay for most of my stuff during such periods of my life. But they forced me to exist, although they barely tolerated each other. Regarding my current predicament, I have never earned as much money as I do at my current job, although that isn’t saying much, as I barely earned minimum wage as a programmer. However, I’m a single man with no social life, so I’ve managed to build up some savings.

Very often at the office, while I waste another hour of my limited time as a living being, the thought crosses my mind that I should be sitting at home and writing. That’s what I’m meant to do due to the particular combination of nature and nurture that produced my idiotic existence. Some of those times I also think that if I had been born a hot enough girl, someone else could be working their ass off to pay the bills while I sat around at home while diddling myself. I’d have a juicy pair of tits as well, instead of these pituitary-tumor-induced man-boobs. Unfortunately I’m a weird-looking guy who’s only getting older, losing more hair and struggling to lose extra weight, and I wasn’t much better in my prime.

Regarding non-writing-related stuff, Chainsaw Man has been a joy (I was giddy throughout episode 7, knowing what was coming during that work party), and the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress will come out in less than two weeks. Silver linings, I suppose.

Life update (11/02/2022)

I usually write these entries to vent my frustrations, which serves a self-regulatory psychological function. However, I’m currently fine. Although the next cycle of depression will hit any day now (a process that will continue for the rest of my life), these days I can say that I’m perfectly content. In my free time I’m able to do exactly what makes me feel fulfilled; if I didn’t have to keep a full-time job, I’d feel like I’ve won the lottery.

Some years ago I gave up on writing because I’ve never felt comfortable enough working in my native language. As a child, I needed to put my thoughts down on paper for the same self-regulatory reasons as these days, but my mother didn’t believe in privacy nor in boundaries, so the moment I left the house, sometimes even while I was taking a shower, she went through my notebooks. When I complained about it, she told me that she had the right to do so.

I ended up teaching myself English. It became my personal language that gave me the space I needed to grow on my own, space I lacked even physically: I had been forcefully moved into someone else’s bedroom, where I was treated like an unwanted guest. As I aged, most of the stuff I read or watched was in English, most of the authors I admired were either native English speakers or Japanese (I’d gladly learn Japanese if I thought I was capable of becoming fluent at it), and over the years I gave up entirely on reading in my own language. However, I didn’t believe I could become proficient enough in English to write at a professional level. I wrote plenty of stuff in Spanish, but it never felt comfortable, and I found myself having to translate many thoughts into words that wouldn’t have crossed my mind.

A now defunct English writer who moved to Spain in his thirties, after I told him about these issues, shared that he had stopped reading and writing in his own language to adapt. I didn’t want to do that; I don’t feel like I have much in common with the Spanish people (or even the Basque) although I was born here, nor see much merit in most of their cultural productions. After the couple of books I tried to publish in Spanish failed catastrophically, I gave up on writing.

Long story short, I ended up writing my own stuff in English anyway. You can check out all the texts I’ve written in the last few years through my personal page. My English will never stop sounding “odd” to native English speakers, but maybe that gives my texts some freshness. Besides, Nabokov pulled it off, so why can’t I? Some people have told me that they enjoy the stuff I’m writing these days, and that’s as much success as I was ever likely to get.

Anyway, I wanted to mention three things I’ve been interested in lately. Randall Carlson posted through the After Skool channel an interesting talk about the origins of Halloween. He relies on the works of researchers from previous centuries, who had been bothered by the uncanny fact that the Day of the Dead and similarly themed festivities were celebrated pretty much in the same dates in extremely distant locations and by cultures that weren’t in contact with each other. For example, when the ancient Spanish first met the Peruvians, they realized to their astonishment that both shared the 2nd of November as the Day of the Dead. Long-dead researchers, now mostly “cancelled” due to wrongthink but whose research can be accessed at least physically, studied cultures around the world and came to the conclusion that these festivities were based on some unknown event that happened in the distant past. Randall Carlson suggests that the event is the Younger Dryas cataclysm, for which we now have lots of evidence, and the details he brings up about these cultures’ practices and beliefs suggest so. I wasn’t on board with some of his speculation, but you don’t have to agree with everything.

Leire, the deranged protagonist of my ongoing novel We’re Fucked, mentioned ages ago that if she found the drive to do so, she’d love to make a video game that was more or less a modern version of Tarn Adams’ Dwarf Fortress, but likely without all the Tolkienesque fantasy stuff. For those who don’t know, Dwarf Fortress was an artisan project that started back in 2006 by a likely autistic man, and that consisted on an extremely detailed simulation of a fantasy world. The result is hard to explain, but it became the grandfather of a whole genre of games, of which Rimworld may be the most successful modern version. However, I was never entirely on board with Rimworld, because it doesn’t feature height layers; height-based structures, mining, etc. have been so vital to human development that colony builders that don’t feature it don’t feel right to me. The creator of Rimworld argued that it would have been too computationally expensive to implement it in his game, and that whole thing bothered me so much that 3-4 years ago I went through the trouble of programming a 3D-based pathfinding algorithm myself: here’s the link. However, it was written in Python; through the process of developing that I realized how flawed the programming language is, which ended up becoming a rant in my current novel.

Unfortunately, Dwarf Fortress was so graphically unpleasant (based on ASCII characters) and with such an abysmal interface that despite its gloriousness, I hadn’t been able to get back to it in years. However, the Adams brothers have been working to modernize it and release it on Steam, and it’s coming out on the sixth of December.

The last thing I wanted to mention was Chainsaw Man. Its protagonist, Denji, is wild and deranged, and plenty of the visuals and interactions between the characters are strange and absurd. I couldn’t imagine any production company adaptating this story successfully. However, Mappa has been knocking it out of the park.

The latest episode, number four, features the fight between Denji and the Leech Devil, the first one in which we get a real sense of how unhinged and feral our boob-obsessed protagonist is. The cinematography and animation have been consistently incredible. The voice actors are giving their all as well, but that’s to be expected: the Japanese seem to have the most passionate VAs in the world. 10/10, would smell Power’s shit.

Life update (10/27/2022)

This week I’m working afternoons. I’d rather always work in the afternoon; that allows me to spend at least a couple precious hours every morning writing, which is my main preoccupation these days. I’ve already polished about a thousand words of the chapter that will conclude the current sequence.

I was supposed to go to the dentist, but she got covid. My brother and his wife got the virus as well.

These last couple of weeks, my non-writing, non-working hours have been filled with Japanese matters: Ichiko Aoba’s music, manga, and Chainsaw Man. Mappa is doing interesting stuff with the adaptation. The pacing feels a bit weird given how quickly the manga moves, but I’m enjoying revisiting the deranged exploits of our boob-obsessed, mommy-worshipping neglected boy Denji.

The following video is the ending of a single episode of the anime (the third one). I can’t imagine how much money and manpower they spent on this.

As a manga reader who’s currently following the second part of this story, it’s been real nice to see Power again.

Besides all that, I’m doing as fine as someone so mentally unstable could.

Life update (10/18/2022)

Early in the morning, my boss sent me an email that asked if I could come to work in the afternoon this Friday, instead of in the morning as per my schedule. I informed him that, although it was also a surprise for me (because I found out just last week), my contract ends this Thursday, so I wouldn’t come to work on Friday. I guess that the sudden end of my contract is an additional issue for him because I was also supposed to work on Saturday.

A few hours later, the big boss of the office calls me in. I had declined to accept a four months-long contract starting in December that involved a 25-30% pay cut (I only work for money, and for that purpose I sacrifice my time, my energy, my health and my sanity, so I’d rather be unemployed than take on a worse situation, particularly when I have been sinking into depression more often than usual these past months). When I attempted to hear from his lips that my contract ended this Thursday, as registered in the app handled by Human Resources, he said, “no, we have prolonged your contract. Hasn’t the secretary told you?”

So I’ll spend this Friday afternoon in the office until ten at night. When I get home about an hour and a half later, I’ll have to fall asleep as soon as possible, because I wake up at six in the morning to return to the office. The best thing about working on Saturdays was being alone (and getting paid, of course), but unfortunately I’ll have to share the space with someone with whom I’d rather not spend even five minutes.

My broken brain had already built some hills based on the fact that I would find myself unemployed on Friday, which would mean that I would be able to spend hours and hours writing; that would help me finish the current chapter in a couple of days. But this mundane nightmare will continue until at least the 27th of November. After that, I’ll be lucky if I get a two weeks-long break before I’m called back for the Christmas holidays, and I’ll have to waste plenty of that free time studying for an upcoming exam.

Do whatever you have to do: grift, steal, prostitute yourself, build an OnlyFans empire, or date someone who can pay the bills while you lie around at home masturbating. Just don’t become a fucking wage slave.

Life update (10/15/2022)

My current contract at work ends next Thursday. They may prolong it, but they still haven’t figured out if that will be the case, which leaves me in a state of uncertainty. Much worse, though, is that I’ve recently learned that some law changes will imply that I will get offered fewer contracts because I can’t speak Basque. I was born here in the Basque Country, but neither of my parents speak it, and I have lived my entire life in a border town in which you only rarely heard Basque. These days, half of the time I can’t understand a word of whatever language some random person is speaking.

For whatever reason, the big boss of our office wants to keep me around, so he suggested that he’d finagle a contract to make me continue for six months more, under a sort of subsidiary company that works for the regional sanitary organization. I would be doing the same job, but with administrative issues (for example, I’d lose my mailbox and likely be unable to access some admin stuff unless they figure out a back door deal). Much worse yet: I’d get paid 25%-30% less.

If I don’t accept that offer (they still haven’t figured out the details), I may work for about two months of the next six. If I take the offer, I’d work under some shady circumstances, tolerating the same shit at the office, but for 25%-30% less money, which, I admit, would likely be what I would be earning in the private sector as an IT guy.

Let me put it out there: I only work because I need to earn money. Isn’t that the case for most people? They seem to pretend otherwise. And to receive a significant (for me) amount of money at the end of the month, I sacrifice my very limited time, my energy, my health, my sanity. If I don’t accept that contract, I’ll likely find myself with a few weeks of peace at the least, which I would use to study for an upcoming public examination (which I need to pass with a good enough grade), but mainly would allow me to write much more.

I’ve been on phone duty for two weeks. I suppose I should feel bad for mentioning constantly that I’m autistic; in any case, autists are known to need order and predictability, but I work as a firefighter of the computer world: we never know what issue we’ll end up dealing with, problems that can prolong themselves for days or weeks. I’m not one of those people with such social anxiety that they are terrified of phone calls, but talking to people drains my energies and makes my skin crawl, so by the end of the day throughout these last two weeks I’ve been out of it, barely able to do anything productive. I’m not even halfway through the current chapter I’m working on, which should conclude the latest sequence of the novel.

I know damn well that I will never make any significant money writing. I write because I need that magic to remain sane enough, although being me and existing in this world feels near unbearable. I’m too deranged to connect with the vast majority of human beings, in part because my subconscious is a maelström of weird/uncomfortable compulsions. The more that others learn about me, the more they regret knowing me. Only other freaks tend to stick around (and I’m grateful for those few).

In addition, I’m so self-destructive that I’d say fuck off to that six months-long contract (and the about 6,600 euros that it would provide) just because I’d rather be unemployed, not have to wake up at six in the morning, and be able to sit around in my pyjamas and write. I’d leave future me to deal with the consequences.

I don’t know what to do. I have never been sure, because I simply do not care about my well-being to any significant extent. It’s hard to do when I was convinced that I wouldn’t survive long enough to reach adulthood. I have drifted through my life getting used to whatever circumstance I ended up in. Most of the time something goes wrong, and the current example of that pattern is me losing access to as many contracts as I used to get, and likely ending up earning significantly less.

I have felt old for a long time. This afternoon I went out to take a walk and then sit at a coffee shop to listen to music and read for a while. The demographics have changed so much in the last twenty years or so that I feel like a foreigner in another country. I read for a bit at an outside table of my usual coffee shop (which I have visited for years, although I’ve never interacted with the locals except to make my order and say thank you). At one point I closed my eyes and listened to Ichiko Aoba’s gorgeous music for a couple of minutes, until some intellectually disabled woman who was walking by babbled something at me and at a group seated nearby, which broke the spell. I left shortly afterwards. I managed to write very little for the rest of the day.

I lack answers to even my own problems. All I do is work through my psychological issues on a daily basis, whether through writing or more blatantly hedonistic activities, because that makes me feel better. Meanwhile I just grow older and stranger.

Life update (10/11/2022)

This Monday, shortly after I sat at my desk in the office, someone mentioned that the brother of one of our coworkers had died. Two days ago, the aforementioned brother had gone to sleep and never woke up again. We are talking about a twenty-two-year-old kid in peak physical condition. He had gone through the youth program at Donostia’s football team, and he was currently residing in Pamplona. Sudden death, no warning of any kind.

The coworker in question was due to start a new contract on Monday. Nobody expected him to come, but he did. He went straight to our director and told him in person that he was sorry, but he was going to abandon the contract, because his brother had just died. Our boss looked like he was sorry himself that in some way he had forced the guy to come, and assured him that legally he wasn’t in any trouble, because he hadn’t signed anything yet. I got a glimpse of the shock in the kid’s face.

My on-and-off coworker is a guy in his early twenties. Good-looking, whitens his teeth although it’s rare for anyone in this part of the world to do it. He’s someone who instead of fucking around when he didn’t have any task assigned, he put together very professional-looking manuals about everything he had learned. He was always cheerful, which annoyed me at times, particularly when we ended up working some afternoon shifts together; forcing myself to talk and not look as miserable as I usually am takes me a lot of energy.

He had mentioned his brother before, in the kind of way that a proud sibling does it when he’s eager to share the other’s achievements. His brother’s death has ended up in the papers. I don’t feel comfortable sharing the links here, though. This young coworker was also present the couple of times we mentioned casually that the sudden deaths of very young athletes worldwide (or at least in the Western world) had multiplied in the last few years. Of course that’s eerier for me, given that I have a heart condition caused by the measures taken against a certain biological weapon of unspecified origin.

A few hours after the young coworker left, some of my coworkers were already joking around, making cringey comments and having inane discussions; the same garbage that kills my brain cells on a regular basis. That afternoon I got home, finished writing the latest chapter of my ongoing novel, listened to cool music through my expensive headphones, masturbated to the usual filth, and went to bed. Before I fell asleep, I daydreamed of Punpun and Aiko having a good time.

Work has gotten harder. Two of my three bosses are on holiday, one of the pros is down with covid, and two of the other pros won’t come for a couple of days, so I’ll likely end up getting most of the complicated stuff assigned to me. I’m also on phone duty. Everybody is annoyed, everyone wants their stuff solved immediately. “My mouse was moving jerkily earlier, it seems to be working fine now, but you should write in the ticket that they should fix this problem with the utmost urgency. Hur hur hur!”

Human beings are the most bothersome, irritating creatures on Earth apart from mosquitoes. I have no clue how you people stand each other.

Anyway, the first episode of the anime adaptation of Chainsaw Man, a grim, utterly bonkers manga, is already out! Mappa, the company in charge of the adaptation, has done very interesting stuff with it so far, and the CGI is better than I expected. Even if you don’t care about this story, or didn’t like the manga, you should check out the following awesome preview they made of it for the anime:

Life update (10/09/2022)

I had gotten into the groove of working throughout the week on a chapter and then posting it on the weekend, but that won’t happen this time; I wasted three afternoons due to extreme exhaustion, and each of those days I lay in bed for a couple of hours while listening to ASMR or music and pretending to be far away from my worries and responsibilities. The next chapter of my novel requires at least two more days.

This past week I was on phone duty, and I’m also on phone duty throughout the next. Terrible stuff for an autistic guy who’s as “introverted” as they come (I wish I could live alone in an island, but I need the internet and medicine. Also, I can’t afford it). On top of that, the person in charge of assigning tickets made it so tomorrow I’ll have to leave the office at about twelve in the morning and travel to another city, one I’ve never been in, to configure a fixed electrocardiograph machine so it connects to the WiFi. I’m not sure if I will be able to do it in one go.

There’s also the possibility that the person who assigned me the ticket mistook me for a coworker who has the same first and middle names. The person in charge of assigning the tickets might have sent me mistakenly to another city just because she couldn’t be arsed to read the last name of the worker she picked to fulfill the task (although they are very, very well aware of the fact that there are two people with same first and middle names in the office, not that it stops them from calling out in our direction using only our name, which causes us to have to clarify almost every day who they want to reach), but confirming that act of carelessness would anger me so much that it would likely ruin my morning. Still, it would save me from the trip, so I’ll have to ask.

Oh, how I hate my job. I can’t drop it, though. No other job has paid me that much and that regularly, and I’m too old to reinvent myself in that regard. However, I’m going to end up with a full head of white hair, if I don’t throw myself out of a window first.

As I was attempting to relax earlier, I came across another lovely video from a Westerner who spends his days walking around in Japan and recording it in 4K. I’ve watched his stuff for years. Videos such as this one (link), in which the guy strolls at night in a park/museum filled with changing lights, made me wish again that I could spend eternity as a ghost walking around in Japan. With my luck, though, ghosts likely don’t exist, and even if they did, I’d find myself trapped in whatever dingy apartment in which I killed myself (by the way, I wrote a full novel about a bored ghost woman! It’s pretty good, although it likely needs a revision).

Anyway, living in Japan must be pretty cool, at least for rich Japanese people. Check out more of the guy’s videos (here’s the link to his channel); an unsung hero, that one.

It’s ten at night and I’m going to bed because I’ll have to wake up at six in the morning. I’m like eighteen years old at the most in my mind, but my body only gets older. People have called me “sir” unironically for years. It’s no wonder I keep daydreaming of wealthy mommies saving me from this mundane hell.

Life update (10/06/2022)

This work week started with me being disturbed at seven in the morning, as I was trying to lose myself in the music that was playing through my headphones; a homeless-looking middle-aged man had gone out of his way to sit in front of me in a mostly empty train car and then reached over, attempting to touch me. I raised my voice at the prick to say something like, “hey, what the fuck are you doing?”, which attracted the attention of the only woman sitting nearby (who was so young that she may have been a high school student, but I can’t tell these days; many of the nurses I come across at work look like high school students).

The man babbled incoherently while staring at me as if I were about to punch him, which I would have loved to do, as I hate being touched in general, and in particular by random men. To be honest, I’d love to pummel into a paste plenty of people throughout any given week, but I don’t want to get arrested. In the end I just stood up and walked away. I sat at the other end of the train car. The woman must have become the next target of the guy, or she simply wasn’t comfortable, because she followed me and sat nearby. I did feel a bit better knowing that this (hot) young woman considered me a better option to sit next to than a rambling, homeless-looking man.

Ever since I bought these headphones, I’ve had a few cases of people trying to have a conversation with me or wanting to ask me for information while I’m wearing big headphones, often while being surrounded by people who are clearly not wearing headphones. Are people retarded? Do they enjoy going out of their way to inconvenience and bother strangers?

Regarding my current novel, for two days in a row I have sat in front of my notes for the next chapter, but I’ve been unable to write a single word. It’s not due to “writer’s block”, which I don’t believe exists (that supposed problem is about not knowing what to write, usually because of lack of planning or simply because nothing comes to you, which means that you shouldn’t be writing anyway). I’m simply too mentally drained from work.

Getting anything done in the afternoons after work is always a struggle, but these two weeks I’ll be lucky if I do anything productive, because I’m on phone duty. In our office you are only supposed to be on phone duty a week out of several, but they ended up exchanging my original schedule for that of one of my coworkers, because he’ll have to drive around the province to solve thorny issues, and I don’t have a car (nor can/should drive because of my neurological problems).

Our province has announced the next round of “vaccine boosting”. Mostly pensioners are lining up to get jabbed, which will possibly boost their defenses against the biological weapon, and potentially cause them other permanent issues, including death (the latest booster gave me atrial fibrillation, a permanent heart issue). In any case, our hospital complex is the HQ that is supposed to handle the computer problems of way smaller clinics located in a twenty or so kilometer radius. That’s a terrible idea, because every clinic should have at least one or two technicians of their own; the doctors and nurses who work in clinics complain constantly about that, as if we could do anything about it.

Although our bosses had been informed beforehand about which towns were going to open vaccination centers, in order to set up their systems, these past couple of days we’ve received frantic calls from random clinics where the nurses can’t figure out how to organize themselves or use the computers they’ve found in storage to open their vaccination centers, which nobody had informed that were going to be opened. When we told them to talk to their supervisors so they would contact with our bosses (so they would explain, to begin with, why the hell they hadn’t informed that a vaccination center would open in their clinic), a few of those nurses told me that they didn’t know who was in charge.

Do you have any clue how hard/maddeningly absurd it is to have to solve the computer issues of PCs you can’t connect to remotely? Those vaccination centers mostly use laptops, and they call us to figure out how to connect to the WiFi through USB devices. They are usually given written/printed instructions, but they lose them, or simply refuse to read them. Some can’t seem to follow simple instructions.

We also receive calls from nurses and doctors who are trying to work remotely from home; just yesterday I got a call from someone who had been authorized to work from home, but “it doesn’t work”. As I was walking her through the process of entering her username and password, I ended up realizing that she wasn’t reading the couple of sentences that clearly explained that she had to mark the checkbox to accept the terms and conditions, or else it wouldn’t let her into the system. People blatantly refusing to read what’s on the screen even as they are trying to explain to you the problem they have encountered is a common issue; it’s like plenty of people are half-blind but refuse to admit it, or are simply that obscenely idiotic.

Apart from the constant annoyance of dealing with humans who want their problems to be solved right now, the act of interacting with people just squeezes my remaining energy, so I return home utterly drained. These past two days I had no choice but to give up on my attempts at writing. I got in bed, put my fancy headphones on, covered my head with the sheets, and allowed my brain to drift off into daydreams as I listened either to music or to ASMR. Lying in bed half-lost in elaborate hallucinations feels so good that I’m tempted to believe that those people sleep deprived for days in a row risk dying just because the process of existing in this world is unbearable unless you get those (hopefully) eight hours-long breaks in between.

Unfortunately, my regular dreams would likely count as nightmares for most people. I’ve forgotten the details of last night’s dream, but I know it involved walking around some ungraspable setting while trying to solve some problem under duress. I woke up exhausted, which is a wonderful way to start a workday.

Anyway, I’m at work, and I have written this shit between calls. I better get back to writing fiction soon; my psyche is a house of cards, and living vicariously through my fictional characters is the only thing that nowadays keeps it from collapsing.

Life update (09/29/2022)

I’m working afternoons this week. I suppose that people who have a social life, nevermind a family, hate working afternoons, but I’d rather always work such shifts; they allow me to write for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. Once I’ve already put in enough work to calm down whatever otherworldly demon forces me to create stuff, I can waste the rest of my energies and the afternoon at the office (until ten at night) in a sort of generally unproductive daze.

Anyway, somehow the subject came up that these last couple of months I’ve arrived late a few times, and my coworker (a kind woman with children who lives in my city) didn’t know why. I told her about the heart issues I developed (pretty sure I told her back in the day, but I guess she forgot) as well as my current knowledge about it after a visit to the cardiologist and a couple of blood tests: I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and my left ventricle is considerably larger than normal, although without signs of myocarditis or pericarditis. Even my cholesterol levels are healty; I had suspected otherwise due to the amount of pastries I had eaten recently “for research.” The cardiologist believes that my enlarged ventricle is due to me lifting weights on-and-off since I was a teen. Who knows. I’m no athlete.

We talked for a bit about the enraging absurdity of medical professionals getting pissy about the link between these “booster vaccines”, or the original vaccines for that matter, and heart issues. There are articles online from societies of cardiologists worldwide that suggest an about four percent risk of atrial fibrillation with these jabs (among other things). My cardiologist got pissy when I stated the fact that I never experienced heart issues of any kind until the very same day I received the second “booster vaccine”: as I was building up a fever, I experienced palpitations, “heart hiccups,” that have remained to this day. Some of these professionals claim that there’s no data to support the link, then they don’t write down in the episodes the mentioned “circumstantial evidence” of the problems arising immediately after the vaccination. Very sinister shit.

One day a few months ago, as I was going through another one of my depressions (I had wished to die in my sleep that previous night, in a fucked up ritual I’ve gotten used to since I was much, much younger), and as I was wasting my morning at work, my heart went haywire with an arrhythmia that ended up landing me in the ER. They gave me some flecainide, a drug with a “black box warning” that suggests you can suffer heart attacks if you decide to take it regularly (which they suggested I did if I went through other episodes of atrial fibrillation). Fortunately, the medicine, apart from making me break in cold sweat the moment I ceased to be in a horizontal position, stopped my arrhythmia; they would have had to defibrillate me otherwise, which didn’t sound palatable.

That stuff may not sound like much to some people, but it was the worst health-related episode in my whole life so far (not counting self-destructive episodes). I’ve been paranoid about my heart failing ever since, because you are far more likely to suffer a stroke during an arrhythmia among other things, and I’ve changed how I approach stuff in my day to day: I no longer hurry to solve an issue at work, I’m far more careful when moving equipment, and I don’t want to get involved with the kind of coworkers that feed off conflict (which has made me stop talking to one of those people entirely).

The point of this entry, though, is that I ended up admitting to my coworker that I’m autistic; I was diagnosed with it in my mid-twenties, after a few other diagnoses. I have the now defunct variant of Asperger’s Syndrome (these days it’s simply considered high-functioning autism). I can’t think of any time that I haven’t regretted in one way or another admitting this autism of mine to people (online doesn’t matter, though, as for all I know, you people are imaginary); however, my life is a series of “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

My coworker reacted nonchalantly. I suspect she already knew. My brother happens to work in the same office, so maybe years ago he mentioned that his brother was autistic. I’m uncomfortable with the notion that people with whom I interact in person may treat me in strange ways because they know I’m autistic; my own parents, who are quite idiotic in general, ever since they found out that I was autistic, find it impossible to imagine that I would be able to figure out how to arrive at a destination by myself. Even after I send them a screenshot of the route and the image of the location from Google Maps, they still attempt to explain to me step by step how to get there. Again, idiots.

In any case, shortly after the chat with my coworker, a technician from a company that provides barcode scanners showed up, because some nurse had dropped the scanner to the floor of its operating room (happens relatively often), and something had ceased to work internally. I could open the machine and try to connect the cables properly (I did it once in the past), but these technicians get paid for it, so why would I bother?

Well, the reason why I would bother to deal with the barcode scanner’s internal cables myself is because otherwise I have to talk to a complete stranger, which involves me playing a role, behaving like a person completely unlike myself. After the person leaves, my skin crawls, and I feel disgusted for the basic dishonesty and degradation of having to pretend to be a complete stranger just to talk to another human being in person.

And why wouldn’t I act instinctually with humans? Because my natural reaction is to remain silent and stare blankly, and by that I mean literally uttering not a single word. I’ve had plenty of instances in the past in which someone caused trouble for me merely for the fact that I couldn’t figure out what words to come up with, usually because I was exhausted or in a bad mood. In other cases I refused to acknowledge those people, and they looked at me as if I was a ghost or Death itself. I have to walk through my decaying city at half past six in the morning five days a week, so I’ve had a few people try to get my attention. I just walk faster. Some guy working for the town hall attempted to stop me for some sort of quiz (judging by his clipboard), but I walked past without even looking at him. Behind me, the guy went, “hey, hey! Hello? Hello?! Hello!” Random people aren’t entitled to my attention.

But apart from random people and potential muggers, I recall an instance during the last time I considered that attending a writing course was a good idea: a refined-seeming woman in her early thirties, who was seated in front of me, turned around and asked me something. I don’t remember what. I merely stared at her blankly, and as my brain was working to string together a few words, the woman looked disturbed and said, “Sorry for bothering you, I didn’t mean anything by it.” Bitch, I’m retarded. Give me a fucking break. Anyway, she avoided me for the rest of the course, not that I wanted to interact with her or the other attendees anyway.

What l learned from writing courses is that most aspiring writers want to be Authors and Famous. They seek the status. They want the glitz of being present in writing-themed events. Or at least they want to meet new people. Most of them hadn’t even finished a short story in years. Many wanted to be convinced to write.

In the end I was even accused, or so I heard through the grapevine, of causing the stroke of an elderly “writing instructor” with plenty of books published. His course was fraudulent: every class was a guilt trip to get us to buy his books, and he admitted that he hadn’t read fiction in decades. To fill time, he told us to bring our own texts. It seems that my stuff disturbed him tremendously; for the last class of his I attended, he even refused to let me present more material. The texts I used to write back then were far milder than my current nonsense. Anyway, after that class, I simply quit, not only that course but the couple of others I was attending. I don’t think I’ll ever get together with writers again. They can keep sucking and licking each others’ dicks and vaginas.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, the notion of starting an interaction with another human being just doesn’t cross my mind. I’m receptive to others contacting me if they are interesting, but I simply lack the instinct for including people in my routines. I was the kind of child that walked around like a monk while holding a notebook, scribbling stuff, sometimes muttering to himself (I act out the scenes I write, at the very least with my facial expressions, and I rarely notice myself doing it, so I can’t write in public).

I never, ever went out of my way to make friends. Because teachers seem to be do-gooders with very little common sense, particularly those that tend to children, a few of them pushed me towards other kids, and even convinced them to call me so I would hang out with them after school. My mother’s whole intention was for me to “act normal and eventually it will become second nature” (fuck you, mom), so I was also pushed by them to hang out with randos.

That way I ended up meeting a malignant narcissist who attempted to ruin my life literally until he died in a car crash, a jock for whom bullying came naturally and innocently (he ended up becoming a soldier), coke addicts, a cat torturer, a run-of-the-mill sociopath, a pyromaniac who was also a compulsive thief (he wasn’t that bad of a guy, he just couldn’t help himself; he ended up OD-ing or killing himself), girls who wanted to feel like good people for helping a special needs kid but who were otherwise like “ew,” etc. Probably plenty of other people that I have forgotten.

I never felt like I belonged in any of those groups, because I didn’t. I was told a couple of times (in two different groups) that I was considered a sort of “corner plant.” I was there but I wasn’t. I spoke if others addressed me, but I didn’t contribute much of anything. I doubt most of them wanted me there. I recall an instance in which they passed me the controller to play GTA (the third one), and the people around me were amazed that I was able to play it properly. Of course I tried to date, mostly because I wanted to have sex, and it was a disaster. I also nearly got raped by some guy when I was fourteen, because I couldn’t tell that he only approached me for predatory purposes. Thankfully I knew the city, and he didn’t (it happened during some local festivities).

My longest romantic relationship only happened because I pushed myself to want and be something I didn’t and wasn’t. I’m not built to be anyone’s romantic partner. Paying attention to the other person felt like a chore. I recall that when we started dating, she was confused because I only wanted to meet like once a week, and it came as a shock to me that we were supposed not only to try to see each other almost every day, but keep texting each other or call each other throughout the day. Don’t other people have hobbies, interests, or even their own internal dialogues to tend to?

Regarding sex these days, VR porn is fantastic.

At times I’ve thought that if people were interesting enough, I’d care, but virtually nobody I have ever met seems as interesting as the stuff I can play out in my mind. As that Modest Mouse song put it, “I eat my own blood and get filled up.” It’s unfair for me to seek human relationships, because I’d only end up hurting those people. Spreading misery has always been one of my talents. In my circumstances, I would only consider getting a romantic partner because there’s no other reasonable way of having children, but I don’t want children in the first place (sorry, Ice Age spawns). But what kind of person who suffers from depression and autism (and OCD, etc.) would want to produce a new human being who would likely also be exposed to such torture? To me that seems like extreme cruelty.

My brain must be a mess of recursive wiring, given the amount of random nonsense that pops in and the daydreams into which it traps me. Those two fuel my writing, so that’s alright (although I shouldn’t handle heavy machinery, nor drive, nor hold babies for that matter). What isn’t fine is the daily bobbing in the maelström of thoughts and memories, usually the same ones, that force me to justify my existence, as well as face memories such as, “hey, remember that one time when you were eight years old and you wore mismatched sneakers, so other kids came to point at them and laugh?” (and that’s by far one of the mildest ones), a process that I can’t control in any way. Knowing that every new experience will end up processed into its more painful parts (usually getting rid of any good ones) with which my brain will bother me for the rest of my life has made me a let’s say cautious person.

Anyway, it’s half past seven in the afternoon and I feel as good as someone at work and who suffers from severe anxiety and a bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome can feel. The next chapter of my current novel is going just fine, my recent period of depression has ended, and my heart hasn’t exploded yet. See ya, fuckers.

Life update (09/20/2022)

Yesterday I started a new work week, a Monday that I knew would involve preparing eight PCs and setting them up to fill a room for doctors and nurses. At a quarter past eight I left the office and walked to the bathroom to take my first shit of the morning (of about twelve on average; I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome), but as soon as I touched my belt, it came apart in my hands. Some metallic piece broke, and I couldn’t fix the belt.

From that moment onwards and until I got back home, my day involved stopping every couple of minutes to pull my pants back up. Other days I would have sat at the office and connected remotely to the users’ machines, but today I had to visit the local server room to physically load the eight PCs into one of those big shopping carts, then cart the PCs through the hospital complex to the workshop. Once I configured them so they would work properly at their new destination, I had to cart them to the fifth floor of a different building. Along the way I was forced to gesture for a couple of patients/visitors to get the fuck out of the way, because they were blocking some narrow path by standing there looking down at their phones. Also, for whatever reason three people considered that the unfriendly-looking big guy pushing a cart full of PCs was the person to stop for directions.

I didn’t mind the peace and quiet I got at the workshop, working alone to configure the eight PCs. I took the opportunity to continue reading David Wong’s/Jason Pargin’s John Dies at the End, a story that I actually started reading in its web format back in 2001, because I frequented the guy’s forums (Pointless Waste of Time back in the day). Entertaining book that has captured my attention, although I have some issues with it.

In any case, I carted the eight computers in groups of four. It turned out that no elevator goes to the fifth of that building for whatever reason (a fact I knew in advance but that I had forgotten). I had to unload each PC at the bottom landing of the fourth floor, then walk all the way to the fifth and to the room where I had to connect the PCs. At one point I ended up holding a PC in my left hand, a couple of keyboards, a mouse and an ethernet cable in my right, while my pants were bunched around my ankles. Thankfully there was no one around. I suspect that my other coworkers would have asked for help, but the presence of other human beings as I tried to get through yesterday’s nightmare would have only damaged my mental health further.

As I was on my knees to connect the power plug, as well as the corresponding RJ45 cable, of one of the computers, I started feeling a tingling sensation in my chest. These days I always fear that any exertion will trigger another episode of atrial fibrillation (a physical issue with my heart that the latest booster vaccine caused), but fortunately I survived the task without my heart betraying me.

I finished the task thirty minutes before I had to leave for the day. Although there was network flow in the switch after I plugged in a RJ45 for each computer, when I returned to the office I couldn’t get the computers to ping back, so now I’m going to interrupt the act of writing this entry to walk to the fifth of that building and push an ipconfig /release on all eight PCs.

I just walked back from the other end of the hospital complex. They were using the room for a meeting, so except for exercise, I wasted the trip there. I’ll try again in an hour. Anyway, when I got home yesterday I considered that I could have avoided the belt issue if I had cut a network cable and used it as a belt by tying it up in a knot. Stupid-looking, but it would have worked.

I haven’t felt young in many years, and my body no longer tolerates physical exertion gracefully. Exhausted, I had to take a nap that ruined half of my afternoon, and afterwards I was only able to order my notes for the upcoming chapter 74 of my novel.

Currently I have all the symptoms of a major depression (feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness; angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters; loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports; sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much; tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort; reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain; slowed thinking, speaking or body movements; feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame; trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things; etc.). In addition, it seems that the current episode has grown into the psychotic variety of depression: whenever someone’s conversation (mainly at the office) annoys me, I feel like they are doing it to fuck with me, and I regularly feel that others, even strangers, are glancing at me looking for an opening to bother me in ways that will waste my time and energies. Until this passes, I’ll reduce my interactions with humans to the bare minimum.

Last night I went to bed at ten, but I woke up spontaneously at two in the morning. When I finally managed to fall asleep again, I had vivid dreams of the unpleasant variety. The first one was mostly weird: my dream self was watching a porn video in which eight or so people were about to have an orgy. Most of the video was setup to get to know the actors and actresses. I don’t know why I would be watching such a video; my preferred pornos only involve two people. In any case, turns out that one of the actors in the video was my teenage self. I ended up sandwiched in uncomfortable ways.

Afterwards the video showed the involved actors and actresses walking around in the late evening, wearing autumn clothes. The dream switched to me hanging out with extended family members that I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. We were walking around a strange city when a dread started building up in my stomach. We came across people who were hurling Molotov cocktails. As we were fleeing from the disturbances, I ended up getting involved, along with my parents, with the breakdown of modern society: the banks blocked transactions, the power companies shut off service to people’s homes but not to business centers, and gangs immediately went out with guns to shoot each other and bystanders up. I remember flashes of my dream self running among screaming people.

My phone’s alarm extracted me from the dream/nightmare at six in the morning, so I could prepare my physical body to endure a different, more mundane nightmare, one from which I still haven’t woken up (don’t ever work for a living, kids). I hope that when I return home this afternoon, I’ll get to write at least four or five hundred words of my next chapter, which is the only reason I keep going these days.

Anyway, nice talking to you. Until next time.