1) Thanks to everyone who has offered up kindly comments lately. They actually are very much appreciated. However...
2) ...what is the obsession with happiness? I've found myself at odds with this for a long time, but it's becoming a more oppressive force, it seems. The world seems ever more offended by my unhappiness. It's not as if I whine and ask for sympathy. I most emphatically do not. It's not as if I'm out there proselytizing in the name of Misery. No. I am merely who I am. And who I am is the product of forty-eight years during which the rule – the lesson – has been that, in my case, life is pain, both physical and psychological. The older I get, the truer this becomes. This is more of an experiential matter than it is a subjective one. I am the product of my experiences, and the product of my ideological bias against denying the truth of things in order to maintain an illusion of happiness. That ideology, of course, must also, somehow, be the product of my experiences (including the data in my genotype, of course, which shaped my phenotypic brain, whose function is my mind/personality, and so forth). But I've strayed from the point. I see people genuinely offended (many will later recant and say, "Why, I never!") by my unhappiness. Which baffles me. Not like they have to share how I feel. Not like I wish to feel this way. And, more importantly, it's not as if my happiness (or lack thereof) is anyone's business but my own. There exists no social contract obligating me to conform to a prescribed degree of happiness, in order to avoid broadcasting unsightly anti-social vibes.
3) So, we've begun a movie binge, leading up to the list I'll make at the end of the year. Yesterday, we saw Sacha Gervasi's absolutely brilliant Hitchcock, the 2:15 (3:15 p.m. CaST) matinée at the Avon. I went in knowing only that it was a biopic starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Which, I think, was fortunate, as it's not the film I'd have expected it to be, if I'd have been able to form expectations. Audience expectations too often work against an artist. They are almost evil things, expectations. Anyway, yes, a wonderful – and unexpectedly funny – film. High on the list. Bravo. Also, a very good late breakfast yesterday, just before the film, at Classic Café. I had a blueberry pancake. Huge one. Oh, shortly afterwards, the brunt of Draco struck Providence. Torrential rain and winds that rocked our van. But it only lasted about forty-five minutes.
4) Day before yesterday, we wandered about Providence, me not working, vacationing. We visited Paper Nautilus Books (née Mypoic Books; same owner) at Wayland Square. I love that place. We had muffins and coffee at Cafe Zog. There's quite a lot to Providence, when you allow yourself to leave the house. Anyway...
So, we're having coffee, and two kids sit down in the booth behind us. College kids. And they proceed to talk. Very loudly. TALK. It's not a large cafe. It's sort of small and cozy. The sort of place where inside voices are in order. But I'm not sure these two had inside voices. Also, every third word was "like." These kids proceeded to yammer, and to do so, as I have said, very loudly. Every single syllable of every single word must have been perfectly audible from one end of Wickenden Street to the other. Spooky and I ate our muffins, drank our coffee, and tried to be more amused than annoyed. But then the male – who registered a 9.87 on my all-but-infallible gaydar; but whatever – proceeded to howl this yarn about how he and his girlfriend had sex on a plane flight to Dubai. On the plane. Only, he didn't have condoms. And she wasn't on birth control. And they were astounded to reach Dubai and discover they couldn't procure morning-after pills. "I was so happy when she got her period!!!" he exclaimed. Maybe I ought say, "he ejaculated."
"I was so happy when she got her period!!!" he ejaculated.
There comes a point, such a spectacle can no longer pass itself off as even grotesquely amusing. I looked at them over the top of the booth. The girl had her back to me. The guy stared at me. "Will you please shut up?" I asked. Politely. "What?" he asked. "Will you shut the hell up about fucking your girlfriend on a plane flight to Dubai?" I said. His face managed to turn pale and flush at the same time. I have absolutely no idea how he managed that. Finally, a few seconds later, he sputtered out an indignant, "That's none of your business!"
"Then you probably shouldn't be shouting it like you are."
"I can say whatever I want!"
"Me, too. So, shut the fuck up."
To be fair, the girl with him looked mortified. I think his whole "mile-high club" nonsense had worn on her nerves as much as it had on mine and Spooky's. Right about here, I glanced towards the counter, expecting to see that someone who worked there was calling the cops. Instead, the girl behind the counter gave me a thumbs up. I sat back down and finished my coffee. The Loud Talkers stalked out. I win. Better than therapy and/or drugs. I fear this confrontation was an expression of the New Me, born of a most hellish year.
4) A very amusing Xmas card from my agent this morning. "If you're reading this, the world did not end."
Okay. Ran longer than I meant. I shall say more on another day (including thoughts on the sick idiocy of the NRA). Tonight, readingthedark is paying us a visit, the first time I'll have socialized in...well, since his last visit, which must have been at least two months ago.
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