They have to happen

Been pondering yesterday’s weirdness.

I feel better now. I should get that out of the way right off the top. I am back to whatever passes for normal for me, apart from a faint residue of shakiness, and so the whole ting is water under the bridge for me now.

So there’s that.

But what I have been pondering is the question of whyh my brilliant subconscious mind orchestrates this emotion experiences for me, and the only logical answer is that I need them. I need them because I am so freaking emotionally repressed that the feeling accumulate like water pressure building behind a dam until the damn thing breaks.

Clearly, it would be better if there were a healthier way for the pressure to be relieved. But I suppose I am not “there” yet.

Heck, I’m barely “here” yet!

So I suppose that yesterday’s emotional clusterfuck was cathartic, but not in the ultimately pleasant way of the past where something brings out the tears in me and while crying is not fun, I feel a whole lot better afterwards.

Followed, usually, by a post about the whole incident where I wonder why I don’t do this more often and link to a certain Peter Gabriel song.


That songs speaks to me on such a deep level that it’s almost religion.

Drink up, dreamers. You’re running dry.

Anyhow, the question of why I don’t do “it” more often has an obvious answer : because I am so emotionally repressed. Sure, it would be good if that damn dam of mine had a good enough sluice gate to let the emotions out at a rate that at least matches the rate wat which they come in, but that’s not happening any time soon.

Not unless I write for every waking hour of the day. And even then, I doubt I would ever really catch up on the backlog. I have 40 years of repressed feelings inside of me and while I am learning to put more of them into every word when I write, I sometimes doubt I will ever truly be free of them.

Oh well. It’s what has turned me into a writer in the first place. Normal people express themselves in other ways. It’s repressed neurotic verbal types like me who have to go about things the hard way and put it all in words.

And not just any words. They have to be the right words, expressed in a way that is not only comprehensible to others but actually worth reading.

It’s a heck of a complicated way to get shit done, but it’s the only tool I have.

And as much as people like to talk about when the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world starts to look like a nail. they never mention that you might get really goddamned good with that hammer.

In fact, if you are lucky, you might just get good enough with it to hammer stuff for a living, and thus profit from your problem.

Which, of course, brings a whole new level of problems with it.

But then again, so does everything.

Life is a puzzle game.

I have also returned to my thoughts about my being of a nocturnal breed lately. When I find myself sleeping through a lot of the day, what other conclusion can I draw?

And there is this tension that builds up in me during the night and suddenly releases when the sun comes up. It gives me a feeling like I have finally finished my shift and now I am off duty and can finally relax.

That would fit my “they who tend the fire by night” theory of why some of us are night owls. In primitive times, when humanity was barely making it as a species as hunter-gatherers on the Serengeti, and fire was this new thing everyone was talking about, there had to be members of the tribe who would stay awake all night to make sure the fire that was their own defense against a sea of nocturnal predators did not go out.

And those night guardians had to be substantially different than their fellow tribesmen in ordfer to survive being out of sync with them. They had to need a lot less social and physical stimulation and be content to sit and watch the fire when the rest of the tribe was sleeping safe and sound.

Thoughtful loners, in other words.

I assume that they formed a sort of sub-tribe of their own. Smaller, but closer. After all, even us twitchy weirdoes need some kind of company.

I like to imagine these night guardians talking to one another through the night in order to stay awake, and that leading to them being deep and philosophical people who have quite literally looked into the darkness for so long that it’s become a part of them.

Of course, the opposite could be true, and they largely spent the night fucking.

That would also please me.

So broadly, the idea is that the tribes that had these night guardnians did a whole lot better than the ones that had idiots who fell asleep and let the fire go out and ended up getting eaten like some kind of carnivorous buffet by the hyenas, jackals, lions, vultures, and particularly ambitious hamsters of the Serengeti.

Thus, we can see how the evolution of a social species is far more complex than the old narrowly misconstrued Darwinian model of the selfish gene. How does one quantify the potential of the human genome to be expressed as various personality and/or temperament types? The individual may or may not directly profit individually from this potential, but they definitely profit from being part of a tribe of such individuals.

And here’s what will really bake your noodle : they profit even more from being part of a tribe that has some deep pheremonal method for making sure there are always some of each needed role in the tribe.

Right down to kinds of inborn personality traits new babies develop.

I will talk to you nice poeople again tomorrow.


I should not play puzzle games

Even I find myself to be worryingly weird sometimes.

Case in point, the events of this afternoon, which started something fairly innocuous and ended with my stressed out, shaking, and miserable.

It all started when my good buddy and feline head adornment Maelkoth pointed me to a particular game company called Rusty Lake and, in particular, their game Rusty Lake : Seasons, which is an escape puzzle type game in the horror genre.

The game is superb, and to think it was the company’s first. It has an amazingly spooky atmosphere, genuine scares, deeply disturbing imagery, puzzles that are extremely clever without being absurdly difficult (and that takes real skill), and a fascinating plot involving murder, insanity, time travel, and a cockatiel named Harvey.

So feel free to try it yourself. Be warned, though, it’s scary as heck. And it might well suck five hours of your life away like it did with me.

But nothing I am about to relate about my day should be taken as a reflection on Rusty Lake or their game. I am in awe of their skill and knowledge.

it should instead be read as a reflection of my fragile mental state that is the result of forty years of accumulated layers of neuroses piled on top of one another like some kind of mentally deranged baklava.

That said, let our tale begin.

I started playing it, and immediately got hooked[1], which should have been my first warning sign. But I had frgotten the harsh lessons of my relationship to certain kinds of game from the past and so I plunged on enthusiastically.

And for most of the time. I was having fun, and so I didn’t notice my dangerously escalating mental stimulation level until the end, where things got real bad real fast.

I guess that’s the way it is with stimulus rushes, whether they are chemical or natural. You don’t notice how fast you are going until you are way out of control.

Oh, and speaking of chemicals, I had a fair bit of Diet Coke in me when all this went down, and I am sure that was a big factor in how far it went.

Anyhoew, I enjoyed myself for most of the afternoon, but eventually I ran out of gas. The unusually high level of agitation burned through all my blood sugar and sent that spiraling downward while at the same time, the high speed formance demands on my brain wore my nerves down to their raw little stubs.

And so I went into a pretty dark mental state where I was miserable and in multiple forms of pain but could not stop because I was going way too fast and had nowhere healthy to put all that energy should I try to slam on the brakes, and so the only way out was to finish the fucking thing.

My physical state wasn'[t much better. I was trembling, my heart was racing, my head hurt, and I was freaking out like someone who just woke up at the controls of a crashing 747 and has never even flown a Cessna.

And that’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder what the fuck is wrong with you. I mean, this was a video game, not the Indy 500. I was twitching like a speed freak and feeling like a coked up race car driver who just heard something go CLUNK.

And then seen their right rear tire roll past them, leaving a trail of fire behind it.

And I’m back. Decided to lay down for a bit to give myself time to cool down from all the game induced insanity.

And it worked. I feel a lot better now. Still pretty raw, but better.

So what happened? Why is it that this partciular knd of game does such prfoundly messed up things to my head? I mean like… WTF, dude?

It definitelt has something to do with the mental stimulation of puzzle solving. Other sortgs of video games do not tax my mental CPU nearly as much as one of these puzzle based games.

That’s because the puzzle genre requires multifaceted multi-threaded problem solving that involves examining things from many different angles all at once and I think that really wears my poor overclocked brain out.

And the escape subgenre in particular packs these kinds of tricky puzzles together so densely that it is no wonder that I end up in a strange mental state if I don’t make sure that I take them in via small, managable chunks.

And even then, maybe I should just skip the whole thing. I am old, fat, and diabetic, with a lot of blood circulation issues, and I should probably avoid things that bring me to a high state of agitation while sitting down.

That’s how fat guys die.

To add to it all, this all happened in a period where my body is re-adjusting to my diabetes medications, and so who knows what the hell is going on with my blood sugar.

Plus, I had a light lunch today because part of that re-adjustment is low appetite, and no matter how much I tell myself that I ave to treat food like medicine during those times, that shit is still very hard to negotiate with when the chips are down.

So yeah. Typical personal clusterfudge. Somehow, event conspire in a way that seems downright choreographed to produce a huge emotional moment for me, and afterward I am left wondering just how brilliant I must be in order for my subconscious mind to be so goddamned clever.

I suppose it has to be if it is to fool my oh so clever conscious mind.

That train of thought does not go anyplace good.

So here I am, with full knowledge that I went through manic Hell today because I chose to play the wrong kind of video game.

God it sucks to be me.

But I guess someone’s got to do it.

Otherwise I wouldn’t exist!

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.




Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. I first typoed that as “hooker”, and wouldn’t THAT be one heck of a game.