Ash

Different Opportunities

Given that I don't know many people, and am a total loss for how to grow that small circle, I sometimes read through places like the Reddit R4R. Most of the time, these posts are either people looking for quick sex or they sound fake. A common pattern I notice there is that most of the accounts in use, are only used _for_ that sub, specifically, or are just throw-away accounts.

In any case, from time to time, something which sounds a bit more broad in appeal (not looking for a person to fill a role but looking for a person who more generally gets along) or believable in presentation appears there. I always wonder if I should contact these people in a desperate attempt to feel more connected to the space. Of course, if I were to do this, I would do it openly and honestly: no hiding behind a fake account, I would use my normal one to provide a basis for my real nature.

Still, for some reason I never do. I am not sure if I feel that it is too much effort to take an interest in talking to someone, only to be ignored (an assumption I learned in the OKCupid days). Maybe it is a fear of a connection to my real identity: "contacting people in personals, how scandalous!" But I am not someone normally vulnerable to those sorts of childish politics, nor would I easily bow to that kind of mob intimidation.

In general, I think that it is probably a combination of "the internet isn't real, so don't expend real time or emotions there" and "I have no intrinsic value and can be trivially replaced by any other human of my loose physical description so I would be ignored".

On the other hand, things aren't going well and I can't see them improving, based on the current trajectory. Something needs to happen, needs to change, and it is starting to not matter what that something is.

...Nights
Ash

Warm Night Walking

Met up with a friend for dinner and sitting in Trinity-Bellwoods, which was a nice outing.

On my way home, I walked past Nocturne and saw a bunch of what appeared to be ravers followed by a pub with a bunch of people in bright outfits sitting together.

Not sure if all ages rave... or fan expo cross-over

I wonder if these 2 things are related,
...Nights
Ash

Been somewhat quiet, useless, and private, of late

It seems like I spend less time updating this and other avenues than I should, opting instead for reading or watching meaningless things. For me, the internet has become what TV was, back in the 90s: just a way to emulate being not alive. I always hated that "idleness". Either find an active leisure activity, go to sleep, or get to work. Doing something unproductive which gives you happiness or relaxation is a good thing. Sitting around doing nothing, on the other hand, is a bad thing.

I have, to a certain degree, started keeping an offline journal, in a physical notebook. I don't update it often but it gives me a way to think through some thoughts, in complete privacy, while trying to spend more time out in the summer air, in the park.

The main elements of note, from the past month or so, were my visit to "Unnecessary Surgery Land" (old Simpsons reference) and the deployment of that Raspberry Pi monitoring station I have been building.

In terms of the surgery, what should have been a few short days of "taking it easy" recovery has turned into what will be several months of waiting for the "complications" to fully resolve. Of course, by this point (or about 3 weeks after the surgery, at least) I am back to all my usual activities, so it isn't that big a deal.

I dropped of the Raspberry Pi in Hamilton, a few weeks ago. It is now up at the cottage, near Pembroke, being tested for positioning, etc. If everything works out for the next week, it will be left alone to monitor the state of the place and water levels, etc. I already managed to send software updates to it so things seem to be working well. I do wonder how long that servo motor will last as that is the only real "moving part".

Today seems like a nice day (as much as I am not a big fan of direct sunlight) but I can't think of a reason to go outside. I just got in from my most recent excuse (visit Dairy Queen and then sit in the park to eat ice cream) but there was nothing to keep me out there so I came back in.

...Nights
Ash

Pride, Envy, and Insomnia

Went to the Pride parade, this afternoon, with Dave. None of the other people who had shown some sort of interest in appearing managed to make it out. It was a cold and rainy afternoon but those involved in the parade seemed enthusiastic and unphased.

It got me thinking, though: why am I not permitted to exist as an entity with a sexual identity? Being a straight male makes me a born criminal, apparently (I have been told this more than once - in public contexts where nobody seemed to be taken aback by the statement). This means that I cannot share in this notion of "pride in identity and expression" and I merely exist to be tolerated until I finally die and leave the world uttering "good riddance".

Of course, I have come to largely suppress who I might have been, so at least I am only hated because I am "one of them", and not because of anything I might actually do (I am more of a "hypothetical enemy"). Not that the distinction between action and existence matters to anyone.

I was thinking about what this suppression means, while at the parade. I figure that the best way to describe it is to constantly hear someone sobbing in the distance, yet you cannot find them to help or console them. It is something you are constantly aware of, upset by, but can do nothing to resolve. I know that who I should actually be is in here somewhere, after all.

Still, I am happy that the parade exists. It makes me smile that others can have fun, be who they are, and not be hated for it. I envy that freedom and I love how those who have it so recently acquired it that they are still fully aware of how precious it is. Not only can they be who they are but they don't yet take the meaning of the expression for granted. It means that the expression can be personally gratifying but also an expression of victory and, in itself, a cause for celebration.

While I do think that this "right to identity and expression" should be a universal human right, I know that we will never see this. Prejudice and hatred are too easily accepted as reasonable by far too many people that I assume it must be the natural human condition. Based on how angry people become when I explain how I don't understand why these things make sense, I have come to accept that I am the odd one out.

So, to those of you uncertain if you can/should express who you are: please do. Seeing one of my fellow human beings experiencing happiness is the closest some of us will get. Therefore, do it often and without reservation: I need the dreams you live.

Now, if only I could get to sleep. I feel tired but lying down does nothing.
...Nights
Ash

The Fire Shard in the Blizzard

Trudging through the snow of this blizzard, my eyes finally fixate on something which doesn't cause them to snap shut. I approach the strange object, a red piece of glass which glows with an odd light, and look at it for a moment.

It definitely appears to be warm as it is sitting on stone, having melted all the snow near it. My fingers freezing, I reach out to warm myself with it...

*shock* *pain* *burning*

I drop the shard and let my mind collect itself from the shock of such sudden and brilliant pain. Where my fingers touched the shard, there is now a clear mark of a burn. It turns out that it is warm but actually much more than that.

The wind picks up and whips around me, my body still crouched over the shard to contemplate it. Feeling a deep chill in my bones, I reach out again.

*shock* *pain* *burning*

Again, it drops back to the stone as I recoil.

Frustrated, I stand to walk away, only to be faced by the endless deluge of the cold before me.

...

I hesitate...


...Nights
Ash

Where is the fire?

I stop my meditations on a sudden thought, and open my eyes.

The old sage, sitting across from the incense lantern smiles, "so, do you have a solution to my puzzle?"

He rights his posture and tents his fingers beneath his chin before he speaks again, "where is the fire?"

I grin back with that feeling of joy which can only come through revelation or understanding. I look down at my open left hand before looking back to meet his gaze, "the fire is in my hand."

His smile widens to show his slightly uneven teeth before he lightly claps his hands, "you have solved the puzzle effectively, my student. There is still much to learn or relearn, as it may be, about what this means and how to apply the knowledge but this is the first big step."

Nodding without doffing my visible satisfaction, I slowly stand and leave the chamber to return to my study. While pleased with the result, I am disturbed by the possibility that I am forgetting something. I fear that, although this was the first question I answered, it wasn't the first that was asked.

I will have to chase this thought in my private meditations,
...Nights
Ash

The Starfall Distraction

I have noticed, for at least a few months, that I have developed a strange mental reflex when in situations which should otherwise arouse feelings of wanting to connect with people and get to know them. When I find the people in my midst starting to populate my mental image of my surroundings, it seems as though a star falls from the sky, explodes on contact with the ground, and resets the image into something empty.

I notice this most obviously when on the dance floor when at The Cage or The Round. The cycle is continuous and repeats probably every 1-3 minutes while in those places.

I think it is some reflex I have developed in order to be satisfied with the isolation I normally feel. Beyond that, it also stops me from talking to people, which is probably a worse things than I had originally thought.

It seems as though I need to somehow give myself "permission" to act human, again. Otherwise, it does feel like a waste.

...Nights
Ash

The energy of the area

One of the things I really love about this area, which I too easily forget, is just how soothing the area is.

No matter how down I feel, walking a few blocks along Queen West lifts my spirits. It is that feeling of not being alone or completely disconnected when you can see people walking the streets, all invested in their respective purposes, or hear the music playing through the patio doors of a restaurant, enhancing the mood of their patrons.

Everything is better with the knowledge that other people exist and seem to be surviving and thriving within their respective worlds.

It makes the possibilities seem within reach and the truth of that implicit connection seem believable,
...Nights
Ash

Rationalizing the concerns

While walking around outside, today, I was thinking about how I have become deeply compromised and incomplete due to some combination of social isolation (which isn't really the case, any more) and deeply toxic thoughts being pressed into me. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to return to being a complete person. After all, if I am consuming the resources of a full person, I might as well act like one (otherwise, it is purely waste as I am no use to anyone).

I think that the core requirement is to develop some kind of reasonable confidence in oneself as an implicit statement and proceed from that position of deluded power. Assume all people are assertive and will correct me if I am wrong. All I need to do is behave in a confident, yet respectful and tactful, way and proceed with the assumption that I am permitted to act within the world.

Easier said than done and I am sure I have been here, before, but that doesn't make the realization any less correct.

Of course, correct me if I am wrong,
...Nights