Life update (01/14/2023)

It’s a quarter to midnight over here and today I’ve gone through a surreal nightmare. Granted, most experiences feel like surreal nightmares when your neurological makeup is as screwed up as mine.

I woke up at seven to get on a taxi to get on a train straight to Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Álava, a neighboring province, because I had to take a bullshit public exam that would determine if in three years or so, for a period of about eight months, they would keep calling me to work as an IT guy at some hospital (usually the main hospital at Donostia).

Whenever I travel somewhere new or that I don’t visit often, I love the sights on the way. There’s a curious mountain somewhere between my city and Vitoria-Gasteiz that looks like hundreds of meters of gray bones sticking out of the ground. The surroundings are flat, and the couple of neighboring towns look quiet and peaceful. I wonder how it would be like to live in such places.

There’s a sequence in my beloved previous novel, “My Own Desert Places”, when the main guy/girl and his/her love interest take a trip to Asturias. I wrote that sequence in a single Sunday (I have no clue how I managed to write so quickly back then; I wrote the novel in a couple of months). Along the way, the protagonist slowly loses her mind, with hilarious slash disturbing results. I felt pretty much the same on the way back home today, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I reached Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is a pretty cool city. At least the architecture is intriguing, but my experience, as usual, went something like this: “What a nice and spacious avenue. But why is that retard blasting the morning news so loudly?” “What a picturesque little shop that sells antiques. Oh, that man just hacked up a phlegm and spat it onto the pavement.” “Look at that lovely, centuries-old plaza. But why do these people have to speak so loud?” In short, human beings are the worst part of every single fucking experience. Just imagine how lovely a sudden lack of human beings would be. Or at least if they had learned to keep quiet and reproduce responsibly along the way.

I ate a greasy combo plate at some restaurant that turned out to serve huge portions, but whose patrons were, expectedly, obnoxiously loud. I was seated next to a woman in maybe her mid to late thirties whose husband looked like he was in his late forties or early fifties. They had three young boys who wouldn’t stop annoying each other. The mother looked exasperated. At one point she leaned towards one of her boys and said something like, “do not snatch the toy out of my hand like that. Do you understand me? If you want it ask for it. Say, ‘can you please give me the toy?’ Do not forcefully grab it from my hand,” in a voice that sounded like she resented the kid. A bit later, the youngest of her crotch goblins started bawling. The mother went, “I wish I had come alone, that I had left you three at home so I could have a good time for a change,” or something to that effect. The husband wasn’t around to witness these interactions.

I will never become pregnant no matter what kind viscous experiment I may partake in, but if I were a woman, I think that one of my worst fears would be to have children only to years later resent having to spend my precious time dealing with them. I’ve been near a few women when they gave off that impression (another one I remember was a tired-looking woman in her thirties who was writing on a notebook at a coffee shop only for her son to topple her cup, then wander away non-chalantly as the mother was berating him. The woman then started crying softly), and it made me sad. I wanted to stand up and tell those women to shoot their kids in the face and then ride into the sunset with me. I would become their new son if they so pleased. I tend to fantasize about having sex with virtually every moderately attractive woman I come across.

I was dealing with acid reflux and lots of gas when five in the afternoon came around. I joined a few dozen people at some local college to subject myself to the harrowing experience of having to pass some bullshit exam. Turns out that whoever was in charge of choosing the questions for this exam was an idiot, incompetent, or both: about forty percent of the questions were only tangentially related to anything we do at work as IT guys for hospitals. For example, they asked shit like “what is the Spanish authority that provides guidelines to audit the security of information systems?” Bitch, we have nothing to do with network security nor audits. Those are engineers at a completely different job. I don’t recall even reading about most of that stuff in the books they told us to buy for this exam.

As if the infuriatingly ridiculous questions weren’t enough, the dickhead they put in charge of my classroom only informed us of the remaining time when there were only fifteen minutes left. I didn’t even have time to reread all the questions I had left unanswered. In all the other exams, the examiners started informing us of the remaining time with forty-five minutes left. This, along with the questions they chose for the exam, is the kind of shit that happens when both the jury and the examiners are chosen by lottery.

When I got out of that campus, it was dark outside. I was sure that I had flunked the exam. Seated at a coffee table in the mostly deserted train station, because I had to wait an hour until my train back home arrived, I felt utterly miserable. It’s not the kind of miserable that someone as broken as me felt back in the day; I’m fully aware that I’m not built for this world, that most of the sensory information it provides on a daily basis feels like nails on a chalkboard, and that I will never feel comfortable among human beings. I have long ceased to fight against any of that. I was just exhausted, defeated, and wanted to go home.

The ride was a blur of pitch-blackness outside, me wanting to have sex with the stylish fake blonde that was seated in front of me, and me wondering how such sexual encounter would work, given that I had spent the last hour and a half holding my farts.

When I got home at about eleven at night, I found out that I actually passed the exam. Barely. So instead of writing an utterly miserable entry, I’ve written this crap because I feel a bit better. Tomorrow I’ll go back to focusing on writing my novel, which is the only thing that truly matters in this world as far as I’m concerned, at least until I finish it and move on to the next thing.

Life update (01/10/2023)

Today I have travelled to the hills of Donostia for a cardiology appointment. I had sought a second opinion because the first doctor that treated me had performed an echocardiogram then failed to share the results (he was already ending the visit when I reminded him), had gotten annoyed at me when I told him the objective fact that I had never experienced heart issues until the very same day I received the latest “booster vaccine” (he told me, “[manufactured virus of unspecified origin] vaccines have nothing to do with heart issues, erase that from your mind”), and in general behaved like a prick.

This second doctor looked close to retirement, and was cold and abrasive. He simultaneously seemed to believe that patients shouldn’t research their symptoms on their own (“because Google mostly lies”) and that details about cardiological afflictions and their treatments should be common knowledge.

He told me that acid reflux likely triggered my latest episode of arrhythmia, that I possibly have some esophageal hernia too close to the left ventricle of my heart. It may be the reason why I felt like some pressure was coming up my esophagus, only to “inflate” in the general area of my heart, and then break out into an arrhythmia the moment the pressure deflated. However, he told me that I shouldn’t bother to get my esophagus looked at, because the treatment would be the same. Or some shit like that, I’m not sure on that point.

He clarified that I can lift weights, but not heavily (low weights, high repetitions), and that I should focus on cardio instead (I hate cardio). I also shouldn’t consume alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages or even too cold stuff (like ice cream) preferably ever again. I can’t think of anything that has kept me running as much as caffeine has for the last couple of decades, so I don’t know how I’ll handle that.

What infuriated me was the following (paraphrased) exchange:

Doctor: “When was the first time you experienced such issues with your heart?”
Jon: “Well, the last doctor who wanted an answer to that question got pissed at me when I told him, but here it goes: my heart was healthy until the day I received the latest “booster vaccine,” as I was burning up a fever, and I have experienced palpitations ever since.”
Doctor: “[Manufactured virus of unspecified origin] is known to damage the electrical functions of the heart, and therefore the vaccine does as well.”
Jon: “The other doctor told me that these vaccines are unrelated to heart issues.”
The doctor leaned forward.
Doctor: “That’s what they are saying because they don’t want to discourage people from getting it. But of course the vaccine can cause permanent heart damage, because the virus itself is known to attack such tissues. I have treated, for example, many young women that come from other doctors because they are experiencing what is called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS); other doctors have told them that it was anxiety related, but these women could tell that the only factor that changed in their lives was getting jabbed.”

I would like to put the following text in all caps, but it would look ugly as hell, so I’ll use italics instead:

Even though these vaccines don’t prevent contagion, don’t prevent transmission, don’t prevent mutation, that at the most (supposedly) they make the symptoms less severe, even groups that aren’t at risk (such as young people) have been mandated to receive them, despite the fact that a sizeable percentage of them will develop permanent health issues as a consequence, issues that could cause their deaths. In addition, some doctors, by lying about the dangers, are deliberately stealing their patients’ right to make an informed decision regarding whether or not they should get jabbed.

In case you didn’t know, Musk divulged emails from some big shot at Pfizer that used government channels to push for censorship of other doctors that stated that the index of mortality regarding this virus in young people was less than zero percent, and that therefore they shouldn’t get vaccinated. So many people’s heads should roll, but I’ll be extremely surprised if any of them end up defending themselves in a courtroom.

Anyway, my doctor emphasized that I should never get a [manufactured virus of unspecified origin] vaccine again. I suspect that the next time some people order us all into lockdown with whatever excuse, I’d need some signed exemption, or else I would likely lose my job.

This doctor prescribed me three different drugs: one to handle my acid reflux (that I should take every day before dinner), a beta blocker that is supposed to reduce blood pressure (and that could make me seriously dizzy on top of how out of it I generally am, partly thanks to the drug I take for my pituitary tumor), and flecainide in case I find myself out in the wild when the next arrhythmia hits. If my heart rhythm doesn’t revert in four hours after taking flecainide, I should visit the ER.

In the end, this new doctor was a bit of a prick, but an honest prick, and that’s the best kind. In addition, he didn’t fucking charge me for the visit.

I’m unemployed as of last Friday, and I have nothing going on until this Saturday, when I’ll have to travel to Vitoria-Gasteiz and pass some bullshit exam. Hopefully in the meantime I’ll manage to make enough progress with my novel.

Life update (01/07/2023)

My latest job contract has ended, so I’m currently unemployed. I always used to feel relief whenever I found myself jobless, because that meant spending far more time away from people, and conserving my energy to write. However, in three days I have a check up scheduled with a cardiologist (a new one, because I wanted a second opinion), and next saturday I will travel to Vitoria-Gasteiz on train for a public exam that I have been preparing (and dreading) for months, although in the end it will only determine for less than a year (whenever the results come into effect in this weird system they have set up) whether or not they will call me to work at some hospital as an IT guy.

Ten days from now I’ll have to visit my previous cardiologist for another check up; when I first met him, he got pissy when I told him the objective fact that I had never experienced heart issues until the very day I got the latest “booster vaccine” (I have experienced palpitations and weird electrical sensations since, which progressed into two episodes of atrial fibrillation that landed me in the ER). The guy told me that the [manufactured virus of unspecified origen] vaccines are unrelated to heart issues, even though journals of colleges of cardiology say otherwise. After he performed an echocardiogram on me, he was already ending the visit when I had to remind him that he hadn’t told me about the results. He said that my left ventricle was too big, and that I should never ever drink alcohol again (I don’t drink). I don’t trust the prick.

Yesterday I woke up exhausted and with a headache. By four in the afternoon I wanted to go to sleep, so I took a nap. I woke up at half past six. I wasted the rest of the day visiting shady websites to watch grim videos of pedestrians getting hit by vehicles (mostly in Russia, because they have cameras in their cars, and also because they’re nuts), and of other ghastly occurrences such as people getting electrocuted or getting involved in deadly firefights. Sometimes I become entranced by such moments in which, for example, a woman is absentmindedly crossing the train tracks, only to lift her gaze toward her impending death in the form of a rushing hunk of machinery: someone was living their normal life only to suddenly switch and become something else entirely, whether that means dead or crippled in some way for the rest of their lives.

I also watched a few videos of a paraplegic woman from Ontario who has to stimulate her sphincter digitally to poo, and who was so horrified by that propect that she convinced her mother to do it for her from her paralysis at thirteen years old until she moved out.

I have been using VR porn for a few years. Regarding masturbation, nothing so far has beat being able to choose the environment, the “doll,” what she’s wearing, how she sounds like, the pose, and the rhythm, etc. It tricks my mind so well that I have consistenly had better orgasms through VR porn than those I remember from having actual sex, with the added bonus that I don’t have to deal with a flesh-and-bone person. Last time, I loaded a room with a Christmas tree and jingles playing, to make it festive, and as the woman I chose a slim, doll-faced blonde who moaned in French. She mounted my avatar in cowgirl. After I came down from the blissful break from reality and I took my headset off carefully to avoid staining it with cum, I got reminded of the most recent reason why I chose that look for the doll.

Back in summer I visited Hendaye, a French commune within walking distance (I live in the border). It was the first time in my life that I walked around in that town, even though my parents used to drive through it every year to go to the beach. The experience was haunting, partly because it felt like I was traversing through memories, and because the layout of the town itself feels ancient and the town in general uninhabited.

Anyway, as I was approaching their local train station, I lifted my gaze and found myself staring back at a woman in her thirties, perhaps late thirties. She was blonde and slim, and wearing a modest summer dress. Beautiful pale gray eyes. She gave me the impression some women give off: as if yesterday they were in their late tens, only to blink and find themselves aged and not knowing how that happened. But what impacted me the most was that she looked sad, with the kind of haunted resignation that often yearns for an easy way out. The poor woman was likely wary of me, a 6’15 tall, bearded, broad, crazy-looking guy.

I’ll likely never see that woman again, not that it would particularly matter if I did. But the thing is: although VR porn takes care wonderfully of a man’s sexual urges, I still find myself going to sleep and having to run some elaborate scenario in my mind, complete with settings and clothing and dialogue, of me or an avatar getting to know some woman and ending up cuddling in bed with her. You can’t recreate hugs and cuddles through VR, I’m afraid. And it must be important to me, given that I regularly rely on such simulations just to fall asleep, and the protagonist of my current novel, Leire, got infatuated with her lover, Jacqueline (who’s also French, but that’s likely a coincidence), because the latter hugged and comforted the protagonist after she was found crying.

I was born with a very similar mind to that of writer Patricia Highsmith; after I read a single one of her books (I don’t recall which), it became obvious to me that she was autistic and likely had OCD as well. I went straight to reading a biography of hers (Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith, by an author who was clearly infatuated with her), which solidified my certainty. Patricia died before doctors were detecting most cases of autism, but a friend of hers diagnosed Patricia post-mortem as having had Asperger’s.

Famously, Patricia worked at a retail store for maybe a few weeks. One of her clients was a beautiful blonde with a regal demeanour. I doubt that Patricia talked to this woman more than once, but it was love (or more accurately, obsession) at first sight. She figured out where this lady lived, and without this woman’s knowledge, Patricia observed her from a distance. The woman was married and had kids. Years later, Patricia mentioned this woman as the love of her life, and even became the subject of her novel and later movie The Price of Salt (also named Carol). Autistic people, even more when they also have OCD as comorbidity, can build up in their minds such elaborate fantasies that they overwhelm reality to the extent that the person no longer sees any point in interacting with anyone or anything else.

I also have a savior complex of some kind. It’s part of why my mind tortures me with memories of girls I knew growing up and whose troubles I didn’t manage to fix (of a couple, I wonder if they are even alive), why my favorite manga is Asano’s Oyasumi Punpun, maybe also partly why I sometimes go down the rabbit hole of watching pedestrians getting obliterated by vehicles, and why the moment last night when I rested my head on a pillow and closed my eyes, I pictured myself walking around in Hendaye and coming across a softly crying blond, slim woman who told me about her woes and who then later sobbed in my arms, before inviting me to her apartment to give each other warmth under a blanket throughout the night.

Too bad I’m an old, crazy, dead-eyed loon.

Life update (12/27/2022)

I haven’t been doing well recently. My writing is progressing at a glacial pace because I’m having a hard time focusing on anything. I haven’t recovered psychologically, and perhaps even physically, from my latest episode of arrhythmia; psychologically I’m dispirited, burned out, unable and unwilling to look at people in the eye, getting annoyed by everything and everyone, and generally paranoid towards humans. Physically I’m getting weird electrical/stabbing pains in my upper torso, pains that sometimes reach my hands, and that cause involuntary muscle contractions. I feel like I can’t breathe as freely as earlier, but I don’t know to what extent I’m just paranoid about the possible damage to my body that the arrhythmia may have caused. I’m struggling with a brain fog that may be due to the medication I take for a pituitary tumor, as well as due to stress, anxiety, and depression. All that is on top of the random palpitations I’ve gotten almost daily since I received a certain “boost” last year.

In general I feel like my heart is going to fail me at any moment, and that I have no justification to spend my time in any way other than writing (the only stuff that provides meaning to my life), because my life expectancy has been shortened (quick google: atrial fibrillation raises your risk for problems like a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure). Instead of that, I’m writing this entry from the office, partly to avoid facing my responsibilities.

This afternoon (I’m on that shift until ten at night) I sat down at my workstation and read an e-mail from my boss: someone important from general management had complained that a spare PDA involved in blood transfusion safety has broken. Our company no longer works with those suppliers, so my boss told me to bring them a 10-inch tablet instead. He left me the tablet, but turns out it hasn’t been configured. I have never been in charge of configuring these devices; I likely lack the credentials to register them in whatever internal system they had set up for that purpose. Hell, I don’t even have a spare USB-C charger to give them along with the tablet, because I have no clue how that inventory is handled. The person who usually does this shit is on holiday. I’m never on holiday because I haven’t had a stable job in my thirty-seven years of living, partly because I’m fifty-two percent disabled according to our government, partly because I can’t give a shit about anything other than my obsessions.

So as someone who is locked almost daily (and for years) in the mental state that Albert Camus summarized perfectly as, “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”, I have to go through the absurd, let’s say Sisyphean, task of trying to configure this tablet from zero just to figure out if I can, then email my boss to ask if I should even bring general management the tablet when we can’t provide them a USB-C charger for it. In my current psychological state, I can barely handle buying groceries.

On top of that, I have to study for a public exam that takes place on the 14th of next month. Today I found out that some bullshit political stuff going on has resulted in them setting up a second exam for next year.

I’m exhausted of everyone and everything. I want to quit it all and move somewhere where I could spend days, weeks, or even months without being forced to stare at a human face, let alone interact with any member of the species. Instead of that, the moment I post this entry, I’ll have to figure out how to do someone else’s job just because he’s on holiday.

Let’s pretend that this entry ends with an infinite chain solely consisting of the word “fuck.”

Life update (12/21/2022)

I have returned to work after it took me a week and a half to recover from my latest episode of atrial fibrillation, which somehow made it difficult for me to breathe. I’m writing this at the office. I’m not well: I remain very tired, I’m dealing with a pretty overwhelming mind-fog, and I feel that at any moment, as if as switch had been flipped, I’ll suffer heart problems again. It’s just a matter of when. I’m probably in shock to whatever extent.

I have yet to start ordering my notes for the next chapter of my novel. The notes alone are 3,100 words long, which is bad enough: it’s taking me a week and a half to write two thousand words-long chapters due to the obsessively fastidious way I work. I haven’t touched the notes at all in the last couple of days, and I’m already feeling the psychological effects of wandering away from writing for about 48 hours; writing for me is psychological masturbation, necessary to release the build-up of tension and general insanity due to the way my fucked up neurological make-up works, and if I don’t release that tension daily to a certain extent, I feel like I’m rolling down the slope of despair towards obliteration. I’m an unhinged human being, barely able to keep it together on a day-to-day basis, unable to hold down any kind of complex relationship with any person, because I can barely deal with myself.

I spent plenty of hours yesterday, to distract myself from the general panic of knowing that I had to return to work today, playing Morrowind, a twenty-year-old game that remains the best Bethesda-y game (I don’t know what else to call the MorrowindSkyrim and Bethesda’s Fallout games’ genre) that has been made. The video game industry is in decline in general because of the same reasons that the movie industry is: they have become dominated by morons that are more interested in cult behavior than in creating good things. We can’t expect the next GTA to be good (the people responsible for those great titles, as well as Red Dead Redemption 2, have left the company), and Bethesda itself has a lot to prove with Starfield after their disastrous Fallout 76.

Anyway, an amazing team of modders have been working hard these last few years developing an engine from scratch that runs Morrowind using Bethesda’s assets. It’s called OpenMW. They have improved the original game in many ways, supporting “modern” capabilities such as normal mapping, shaders, etc., not to mention that the game is far more stable now. And fortunately they are now working in a way of de-hardcoding the original sound effects so modders can replace them with sensible ones. Here’s a video of the current state of their project:

I gathered about 400 mods for the game, following a Total Overhaul guide, and two days ago I started playing the game from zero. I used to love the game as a teen, although I understood little of it (I understood very little of anything as a teen, as I existed in a semi-constant state of psychosis); I only remembered hanging out in Seyda Neen, walking around Balmora, and getting pestered by cliff racers.

For one, cliff racers no longer assault you as if they were suffering from late-stage rabies; the mods have made it so that animals are trying to survive instead of attacking you for no reason. Through the experiences I had in the game during the hours I played these last couple of days, I got reminded of how much fun it can be to escape reality through one of these all-encompassing RPGs.

I played as Leire, the protagonist of my current novel; I pictured her getting sent to a fantasy world through some sort of isekai situation. Made her a mage with reality-altering abilities through Mysticism and Alteration, and enough skill to bonk people over the head with staves (a huge deal in Morrowind; your chance of hitting enemies in that game depends on your skill and how fatigued you are. It doesn’t matter if the 3D model of your weapon is passing through your enemy).

Anyway, the most interesting chain of events so far was exploring the outskirts of Seyda Neen and coming across a shipyard, where a shady Dunmer called me out from his hiding place and tried to convince me to drive the shipyard’s guard away so the Dunmer could threaten the owner of the place into selling it to a pawn of House Hlaalu. Typical Dunmer anti-occupation stuff; plenty of them are very rabid against Imperials. The Dunmer gave me a couple of scrolls that would make the guard invisible, silent, and pliable enough that he would follow me out of his post.

I was playing as a Breton, I’m generally on the Imperials’ side, and I dislike gray-skinned people, so instead of obeying the Dunmer, I talked with the owner, who hired me to guard the place. I told the other guard that I had seen a shady individual on the other side of the shipyard. When we walked over there, the Dunmer killed the guard, and I found myself having to flee from the guy while he kept calling me a racial slur. Fortunately I had come across a ring that shoots lightning; after about ten minutes of taking potshots at the Dunmer, he finally fell dead. I looted a nice glass dagger from him, and then I disposed of his body. The owner of the shipyard fired me because he no longer needed a guard.

My travels led me to Balmora. After I met a bare-chested skooma addict who enlisted me into his organization, I visited the nearby Imperial fort because some guy there was looking for me. Turns out they were having trouble rooting out corruption in the city because a local gang, called the Camonna Tong, were bribing the local governor to pardon all kinds of crimes. I visited the hangout of this gang to talk to them and figure out if they were that bad; they were very open about the fact that they intended to murder every foreigner in their sleep the moment the local Imperial governance seemed weak enough.

The Imperial officer wanted me to murder five of these gang members. A very tough job for an early-level character, made more difficult because those gang members never leave their hideout. But turns out that the Dunmer from the aforementioned shipyard-related misadventure never took back his scrolls. I used them to render a couple of those gang members silent, invisible and pliable. One by one, I drove them to the outskirts of Balmora, and on the deserted stretch of road between the city and Fort Moonmoth, a conjured ancestor ghost and I fought the two gang members to their demise. Don’t know how I’ll deal with the remaining three, though, now that I’m out of date-rape scrolls. I’ll probably have to figure out who can teach me the Command spell, then I’ll visit the local Mages Guild quarter to create three semi-equivalent scrolls.

Anyway, this afternoon after work I’ll focus on writing. It’s better to use unproductive stuff such as gaming as a reward for hard work, which is what I’ll do tonight for an hour and a half or so.

Life update (12/14/2022)

I’m on medical leave due to an episode of arrhythmia I endured last Friday. Here are the two entries I wrote on the subject: first onesecond one. After my first episode of atrial fibrillation, that happened back in June, I recovered in about three or four days. Today is my fifth, and I feel much more diminished than after the first episode: I have a throbbing headache, my neck hurts, the whole left side of my upper torso aches (I have intermittent chest pains since a certain injection gave me heart issues, but after the latest arrhythmia, it has spread to my back).

I stayed at home for four days to rest and recover. Yesterday I called our secretary at work to give her an update, and she pointed out that I was having trouble breathing. Because I hadn’t been talking before, I hadn’t noticed it, but yes, I kept having to stop mid-sentence to inhale enough air to continue.

My worry now is that I may have suffered a heart attack in addition to the arrhythmia, or that the arrhythmia may have been a result of the heart attack. I keep thinking back to that moment when I felt a pressure inflating in the left side of my chest, only to trigger an arrhythmia the moment the pressure lessened. I’m supposed to wait for my cardiologist to contact me (I didn’t like nor trust the guy, and I’m not confident that he may call me) to write down the details of this episode and figure out if he’ll need to prescribe me some chronic medication. Apparently a riskier treatment involves opening an artery in my thigh, travelling all the way up to my heart with some tube-like apparatus and burning the inner surface of my ventricle. I’d rather leave that as a last resort.

An hour an a half ago I went outside to take a walk and figure out if my body can take that (I don’t have a car, and merely getting to work involves walking up through the center of my city to the train station, then from the train station in Donostia to a bus station, then through the hospital complex until I reach my office). I took the opportunity to read more of Cormac McCarthy’s Stella Maris, the much lazier companion to his latest (probably last) novel The Passenger .

Anyway, I could hardly handle a thirty minutes long walk: my head throbbed harder, my lungs didn’t want to cooperate, the back pain spread to my right side, and my body in general felt heavier and sluggish. Not only I’m unlikely to return to work until next week (I don’t know if they’ll want to prolong my contract another week; that’s a different matter), but my body doesn’t seem willing to heal at the moment.

Thankfully, the only thing that truly matters to me besides distractions and passing joys, writing, has continued, despite much slower. If I end up in a wheelchair due to this bullshit, I’ll be fine as long as my brain and my fingers work. If I suffer a stroke during one of these episodes of atrial fibrillation, though, that would likely end up as a very different matter.

As a summary: I don’t have to go to work, which is great, but I’m fucked otherwise, which is bad.

In completely different news, who else has been looking forward to a new episode of Chainsaw Man every week? Apparently making paint versions of the opening has become a new internet activity. Here’s a meme-filled entry. Also, why not, here’s the clip of last week’s glorious massacre (warning: gory and possibly spoilers). EDIT: they deleted the video. Just watch the ninth episode.

Life update (12/10/2022)

Yesterday I went through a second episode of atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia) due to a physical issue with my heart. Here’s the post I wrote about it. I’m still drugged from flecainide; I feel like I weigh two times as much, my entire body is sluggish, I’m having trouble coordinating my fingers to type, and there’s a wall in my mind that plenty of thoughts can’t get through. I intended to start writing the current scene of my novel today, but I haven’t been able to even finish organizing the notes for it.

I think I’m going to take a medical leave from work. I’ve had coworkers take a leave for sillier things than a heart issue; one of them was absent for a month and a half because she injured a finger. The more I think about my experience from yesterday, the darker it seems to me. I recall that feeling of a bubble-like pressure building up in my chest, then getting relieved as if letting the air out, and immediatly suffering an arrhythmia. I went through a 200 heart rate. That sounds like there’s some clog in my arteries or something, but I already had an echocardiogram done. Apart from that, I still feel an echo of the fact that yesterday I was fine with the notion that I may not survive to see another day. The world doesn’t feel the same for a few days; I’m sort of a veteran of that kind of bullshit.

Today I went to bed after lunch without any plan of when I was going to wake up. I woke up at about half past four, then fell asleep again. Woke up at a quarter past six.

I’ve been looking up nostalgic Japanese songs from the 90s, only because the song “Sobakasu” by Judy & Mary, a group from the 90s, started playing in my brain for no apparent reason. I doubt I had thought about that song even once in the last fifteen years. Here’s the energetic, 90s song. Those were such brighter times. I feel so bad for people who have only experienced this world from the 2000s onwards.

I wondered what other Japanese music from back then I could get into, and I learned about the pop singer Izumi Sakai, a beauty whose voice must have sounded everywhere in the 90s (and I recognized it although I have no idea from where).

Like some other Japanese artists, she attempted to separate herself from her works, and didn’t even go on tour until the end of her career, in the early 2000s. A couple of years later she got diagnosed with uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts and endometriosis. She went through chemo holed up in some hospital for about eleven months. A month after she was told that her cancer had spread to her lungs, they found her dead from a fall involving an emergency staircase. Here’s a Japan Times article about it.

I’m going end this day by playing some Dwarf Fortress. Good game.

Ended up in the hospital (as a patient), Pt. 2

At half past two in the afternoon of today, Friday, half an hour before my weekend started, I finished configuring a laptop to solve an issue at the warehouse of the operating rooms (I work at a hospital). As I was walking back to the office from the warehouse, I felt a hot snake crawling up my guts; a sensation different from the Irritable Bowel Syndrome that is one of the banes of my existence. When I sat at my desk, I felt a pressure in my chest like the beginning of a burp, or a bubble expanding. When the sensation of pressure subsided, my heart suddenly went haywire with the worst case of arrhythmia I’ve ever had, which I guess isn’t saying much because this is the second time my heart has betrayed me.

Back in June I posted an entry about the first time such a thing happened to me. I got diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, caused by a physical issue in my personal engine. Here’s the link to that entry. I bought a portable Wellue ECG Monitor, which allowed me to assuage my paranoia regarding how my heart was behaving on any given day. Today, as I realized that I was coming down with another arrhythmia, I relied on the ECG monitor, which showed me that I had a heart rate of about 200.

A kind coworker of mine, a woman who unfortunately shares her name with an ex of mine, accompanied me to the ER. They wheeled me to the Observation Unit, where I undressed, lay on a bed and allowed a bunch of nurses and a doctor to hook me up to a couple of monitors. The male nurse kept rubbing his crotch along my right arm; he may be partial to bearded, disheveled men who seem unhinged even before they open their mouths. Because the arrhythmia refused to let me be, they gave me a couple of pills of flecainide, 100 mgs less than what a different doctor prescribed the last time; the current doctor considered the previous dose too high. Flecainide is a drug with a black box label; apparently if you rely on it for chronic arrhythmia, it may give you a heart attack or possibly worse.

Here’s the photographic proof of this whole regrettable incident:

I have already forgotten plenty of details of this afternoon; I’m exhausted. However, as I was lying there waiting for the flecainide to take effect (when I closed my eyes, the light that slipped through my eyelids swirled from red to green to blue to pink and back to red), I thought to myself that maybe this was it: my heart is going to fail me worse and worse until one day I simply drop dead. Then again, so what? What I fear of dying is the agony. If this affliction killed me, what would I miss that truly matters? The only thing that has fulfilled me enough in the last few years has been writing, the single activity that has worked for me to cope with the general nightmare of existing as this creature I’m forced to be: a bundle of high-functioning autism, OCD, neglect, a body permanently wrecked by a pituitary tumor that didn’t get discovered until my mid-twenties, IBS, and so on. If I were dead, I wouldn’t need to cope with anything.

When my heart rate decreased, they wheeled me to the so-called Results Unit, where I was supposed to wait for the consequences of the drug they gave me. I waited there for about three hours. As I was monitoring my heart rate, which refused to calm itself, a guy in his mid-twenties kept infuriating the nurses by constantly muttering to himself, trying to get down from the bed although he couldn’t stand straight, and demanding to be guided to the bathroom, where the nurses would be forced to hold his dick as he pissed. The nurses wheeled him into the bathroom four times, and although they spent minutes with him inside, presumably holding his dick, he didn’t piss a single drop, a fact that they readily shared with the rest of the room. I personally would have loved to strangle that guy, if only because he was worsening my heart rate. He was clearly crazy, though; he seemed to be stuck in a mental loop.

What are the odds that just this morning (at the office) I wrote a review for McCarthy’s The Passenger (here’s the review, by the way), a story through which McCarthy contemplated his mortality, and that focused on a schizophrenic character, only to end up wasting my afternoon contemplating my own mortality and being forced to tolerate an insane guy who kept muttering to nobody? Who came up with this cosmic joke of a life? Because I ain’t laughing.

Anyway, four hours had passed but my arrhythmia persevered. The doctor seemed a bit worried. She decided that I would spend the night in the Observation Unit, and if my heart hadn’t returned to normal in the morning, they would consider nastier treatments. They shoved a stick down each of my nostrils to figure out if I’m also infected with covid, then they wheeled me back to the Results Unit. As I was waiting there, my heart returned to sinus rhythm as if a switch had been flipped. Who the fuck knows. My doctor told me to fuck off and go home, in nicer words.

So now I’m at home in my underwear, sitting at my desk and writing these words. The left side of my chest feels as if someone had punched me repeatedly. I don’t know what else to say in that regard.

I can’t properly explain the feeling I’ve been stuck with since last June, when my heart, an engine that is supposed to work tirelessly for the rest of my life, proved unreliable. At work, I no longer pursue any user when they don’t pick up the phone or answer the e-mails. When they fail to include necessary details in the tickets, which happens every day, instead of calling them, I write them an e-mail and shelve that task until they themselves show that they care enough about their own problems. I also avoid dealing with coworkers if they are the kind to annoy me or cause conflict to any extent, which has already resulted in a few ceasing to interact with me (it has been a blessing). In my spare time few things have changed, because I don’t have a social life and I haven’t lifted weights since spring. However, sometimes during masturbation, as my heart was going nuts with excitement, I wondered if I should take it easy. I’m unlikely to do so, though; I have very few things left that affect me positively.

Now what? Tomorrow, when I wake up at around ten in the morning, I’ll try to progress on the current chapter of my novel. In the afternoon I’ll go out and take a walk unless it rains too much. All I can do is hope that whenever I come down with the next episode of atrial fibrillation, it won’t catch me on the train, or sleeping (just in case I wake up to find out I have suffered a stroke due to an untreated arrhythmia). I’ll try to finish my current story before anything even worse happens.

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.