A Lack of Vision With Programmable Matter

Something I haven’t talked much about is the fact that I am a transhumanist.  I believe that humanity is quickly coming to the point where we can get past our biological limitations with technology.  And I am all for that.  There are a whole bunch of reasons why.  So when I see articles about this new concept that is coming up in the world of DARPA research, it gets my mouth watering.  Programmable matter!  The ideas that come to mind are endless.  The article in the link above said that the truth is that the limits of this technology are only where the human imagination can go, after it gets developed further.  A statement like that makes my mouth water.  So then, when I see their list of practical applications, I am kind of shocked at how limited their vision is.

For me, there is one thing that comes to mind – biological engineering applications.  After all, biology is matter, right?  The physical body is just biological materials that are set into a certain patterns based on the DNA of the individual.  Clusters of specialized cells that are arranged just so to accomplish the tasks of living as a human being.  That’s what the human body is.  So, with that in mind, what is stopping the biological from becoming programmable matter?

I realize that what I am talking about is tens, maybe dozens of years ahead of where we are now.  But given the speed at which technology grows, is it really that far-fetched?  Because I can see even further!  The “soul” as people call it is just chemicals and processes of the brain.  Whose to say that this couldn’t be moved from one body to the next?  Just think about it!  A cancer victim who is dying, what if a body could be fabricated via programmable biological matter to move their brain into?  The man who gets crushed by a car could be saved, purely by putting their brain’s chemistry into another mind.  If the limits are just our imaginations, then perhaps my imagination is further along.

We are already learning how to fabricate organs via 3D printing.  I’m talking about taking this technology to the next level.  Fuck the ethical implications!  Sorry.  Maybe I’m getting a little wrapped up in it.  But I think we are letting ourselves be slowed down.  Now is the time for us to go big!  This technology is in its infancy still.  We’re still making basic shapes and other basic forms.  I know there are great things ahead.  We can’t afford to let ourselves be stopped now.

My body is rotting away.  My feet are dead, and one day they are going to rot off.  It’s why I exercise the way I do.  Diabetes runs in the family, and if I ever contracted that, I would be so fucked.  My heart doesn’t work right.  I am going to require major open-heart surgery to solve the problem.  After my head injury I am one back knock on the head away from death.  My neck can’t move.  I can’t feel where I’m walking.  I just keep it going through muscle memory.  It is EXHAUSTING to live the way I do, and I am quite frankly tired of it.  I know something better is out there.  This kind of technology could save me from total degradation.  As my friend Kathryn says, trust and believe, if there was an opportunity for me to become a test subject for the kind of research I am talking about, then I would be there without a second thought.  Fuck the consequences!  I get one chance to live, and I am tired of wasting it in a body that doesn’t work right.

But more than that, just think of the implications!  Creating bodies on the cheap.  Imagine if you could move minds from one body to the next!  It sounds like science fiction, but if everything in the mind really is just chemistry, then whose to say that it couldn’t be done?  We have technology right now to visualize ones thoughts.  It’s kind of Orwellian, but at the same time kind of cool.  I see the possibilities.  To take humanity to the next level.  To make it so that disease and things like that are no longer a death sentence.  We already have a new untreatable strain of gonorrhea that is spreading rapidly.  The reality is that the day is coming when having to get surgery is a death sentence due to untreatable bacteria.  It’s not something that is a ways off and we can worry about it when it happens.  It’s happening now!  Hospitals all over the country are becoming infested with these diseases.  Diseases we made.  That’s right, our over-prescribing of drugs is the reason that these pathogens exist.  Nice work, humanity.  The hypochondriacs who need drugs for every sniffle are the reason our species is fucked.  Well done.  However, we can get ahead of this.  If finding better immunizations is impossible, and more hardcore drugs won’t work, then we have to find another way around this.  I think my idea might work.

So I’m not just wanting this for my own sake.  I want it to help this species overcome our own shortcomings.  But maybe it’s all just science fiction.  If anyone has an alternative, let me know.

Until next time, a quote,

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Checkov

Peace out,

Maverick

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The High Price of Failure

A dear friend of mine recently graduated from basic with the US Navy.  I was proud to see her in dress whites.  Girl’s outfit was crisp, pressed, and the shoes were so shined that you could light a room with them if you had a window available for light refraction.  Now she is off to another base to study.  She’s going into Naval Intelligence.  Listening to her describe training, the dedication and the effort she put in, it’s humbling.  I hate to say it, but more than anything, the biggest emotion I feel about all of this is jealousy.

I haven’t accomplished anything with my life.  Not really.  I got a BA that isn’t even worth the 120 credits it took to get it.  Unless you have a Master’s, nobody even cares.  It just goes on a resume and that’s it.  My resume is absolute shit.  I work for the state I live in, and I am desperately trying to get ahead in my employment.  But it’s a waste of time.  I know what’s holding me back – my shit resume.  I have one job that I’ve held on to for more than a year.  One.  The rest aren’t even past six months.  It makes me look flaky.  It makes me look undependable.  Had a ton of interviews, but I haven’t even had any that have hit up my references.  That is bad.  I work at a fucking call center.  My life is helping people that I want to murder with a hammer out with their fucking problems.  It’s awful.  And at every fucking interview I have to say that it has been a learning experience or an exciting challenge or some other piece of bullshit PR nonsense.  I can’t say that this job is sucking the life out of me.  I can’t say that I am secretly wishing that I had some kind of addiction or other problem, so then at least I could say my life is unique in some way.

But it doesn’t end there.  In fact, that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is my entirely worthless life.  I am a miserable, depressing person who has depression so severe that I don’t remember what feeling joy is like.  It makes NOBODY want to talk to me.  I got one friend who talks to me on the regular.  Well, two, now that my girly-mate is out of basic and at A-School with the Navy.  So, because I am depressing as fuck, my friend life is basically gone.  With fewer and fewer people who can even stomach talking to me, I feel more and more alone in this town.  After all, Eeyore only works as a character in fiction.  Everyone in the 100 Acre Wood wants to be his friend.  Because even though he isn’t always the most cheerful, he still gets in on the fun with everyone else.  Yeah, it works in fiction.  And nowhere else.

Then there is my absolute train-wreck known simply as my love life.  That’s so pathetic that I recently decided to hit up a girl I used to work with at the Library who I had never really liked, but had always found to be appealing on a sexual level.  Because hey, why the fuck not?!  Yeah, I know I’ll never even get a response from that stellar waste of time.  That didn’t at all make me look pathetic.  Nope, not even a little.  Had a friend who said it’s good that I took the initiative.  Not for one second do I buy that.  Haven’t had a relationship in three years.  Haven’t had sex in three years.  Statistically speaking, the longer a person is single, the higher the chance that they will remain that way.  There is no hope for me.

So when my friend, the Seaman Apprentice, tells me about her life down there and all the work she has put in, I am both humbled and unimaginably jealous.  Her life is going places!  She’s married!  She’s got a whole life waiting for her when she gets home!  What do I have?  I got out of college literally on the skin of my teeth.  I got D’s my last semester.  Straight D’s.  But D’s get degrees now.  Gotta love America’s pathetic education system.  I was so burned out that I didn’t even get my degree printed on paper to let my parents hang on their wall.  You gotta pay for that shit now, and I am NOT giving that fucking worthless institution one more fucking dime!  Fuck them!  Fuck all of them!

Where does that leave me?  No-goddamn-where, that’s where.  I am chubby, pathetic failure who currently has a nasty cold in the middle of summer that is fucking pissing me off.  I took today off work, when I don’t even have the time to take off.  You know what my leave time is?!  Not that!  But if I had gone in today I would have felt like shit and been cracking on the phone.  That’s life.  I get to go to a job that I hate in order to help fucking imbeciles get their fucking child support.  That’s right, I work for child support.  The most hated entity in the fucking state, after the cops.

I feel so fucking pathetic.  I have accomplished nothing.  I will continue to accomplish nothing.  I am trying to finish a novel, but I have so many unfinished novels that I know will go absolutely nowhere.  All I have to even be remembered for once I am gone is this website, and after a while that would disappear too.  If I vanished tomorrow, how many fucking people would even notice I’m gone?!  Not many.  All the people who have left me behind.

And it’s too fucking late.  I can’t fix any of the friendships that are gone.  My resume ain’t getting any better.  My love/sex life has a plot at the local cemetery.  The price of failure.  All I am is a failed boyfriend.  A failed fiance.  A failed best friend.  A failed medical records technician.  A failed student.  All I have is failure.  I wish I knew what to do.  I keep trying.  I bust my ass at that worthless fucking job and I have no friends.  Only friends I have had there have left.  I would give anything to have one chance to go back in time and change things.  I’d give anything.  Just once.  But life doesn’t work that way.

Well, that’s enough wallowing in self-pity.  Think I’ll finish this here and cry like a little bitch because I can’t even do the normal thing and suck down a bottle of Jack Daniels to drown away my pain.  I don’t even have the will power for a fucking addiction.

Until next time, a quote,

Maybe I’m too young to know what the world is supposed to be. But it’s not supposed to be this. Can’t be this.” – Huey Freeman

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: Anime Needs More Sex (the intimate kind, not porn)

You know what I hate about anime – modern anime.  There is so much shit.  I don’t even keep track of what comes out anymore because 99% of it is pure crap.  I can hear all the sad otaku now.  “You’re just one of those hipster anime fans who say they only like old stuff!”  “Lemme guess, you only like artsy anime?”  Please.  I’m looking at one of the most thematically uncomfortable anime on the planet right now – Koi Kaze.  Am I a hipster?  I guess.  I long for the days when anime was made by fantastic people and was willing to take some risks.  I miss the days of mecha anime.  No shit, what happened to that?  I haven’t heard about an interesting mecha series in forever.  I hear they are making a third season to Code Geass, and I’m like – why?  The plot was wrapped up pretty nicely.  There wasn’t a single loose end.  Brittania was destroyed.  Lelouch united the world in hating him.  He canonized Zero as a hero of the people.  The truth about Geass was now gone and everyone who had heard it was dead or had been forcibly put under Zero’s control.  Where does the plot go from here?  Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, right, anime needs more sex too.  I’m not talking about porn.  I’m talking about intimacy.  I’m talking about intimate relationships between characters that has them doing the deed and making it not gratuitous but instead a look at the strength of their connection.  I am so tired of anime that treats any form of romantic expression as if it’s the most daring and insane thing ever.  Maybe it’s because almost all anime have a protagonist whose balls haven’t dropped yet.  At least not that you could tell.  So many relationships in so many anime could have been made better if we got to see some romantic expression in the form of intimacy between characters.

I can already hear the counterargument – “but Lucien, it’s about the thematic elements!  You can feel the connection but it doesn’t need to be shoved in your face!”  Sometimes, sure.  I mean, FLCL had a romantic connection between the main protagonist and his roommate.  He was romantically interested in her.  There even is an episode where him and her do the metaphorical deed.  You don’t see anything, but the theme at play with two people coming together and doing it is right there.  It works especially there because the protagonists is underage.  Seeing him actually pursuining his roomie romantically would have been weird.  But other series could use more of it.

Here’s the thing, I absolutely hated the Rahxephon movie, save for one truly stand-out part – where Kamina is absolutely losing it and Haruka decides to comfort him.  There is a moment of genuine intimacy where he decides that he can’t hold back, and so he actually does it with her.  They even have a conversation after having sex and you really feel the two bonding.  I love that.  How I wish that more anime was able to just have two characters lounging around after fucking and musing about whatever.  Sharing a sexual moment and bonding afterwards.  How many of us have actually been there?  Some of the best conversations I have had were with someone I was in bed with.  Or in the back of a girl’s car.  Wherever.

It’s becoming such an overused trope where every time a boy sees a girl in an anime that he is interested in or even dating in their underwear it is treated like the most scandalous thing.  Why?  I mean, if it’s some girl you aren’t dating, that makes some sense.  But when I see it done with characters who are couples, that drives me up on the wall.  What if she wants him to see her in her underwear?  Why do all the women in these series act like being seen in their fun clothes as such an insult?  If the guy is being a perv, absolutely.  If the dude just happened up on it, though, how is that on him?  I see all these beta males getting fucked up by the females all for seeing something completely on accident, often with them making apologies for their actions because they do feel ashamed for it.

I’m not saying that every series need to have characters fucking.  Since so much of anime is about teenagers, that is kinda weird.  But when I was watching the first (and only good) season of Darker Than Black, I got to thinking – wouldn’t it make more sense for these two characters actually liking each other if they were hooking up?  I mean, she’s a police officer, he’s a college student.  It would make sense if they went out and hooked up and maybe got to talking.  We are supposed to buy a relationship between them out of them going out and playing in the batting cages?  I don’t think so.  Call it my American sensibilities, but are we really going to say the Japanese don’t have any kind of casual sex culture?  Well, given that the population is starting to drop there and how the males of that culture are terrified of females, maybe.  Shit.  That’s grim.

Or like in Stein’s Gate, where you have Okarin and his companion making out.  It’s a great scene (aside from the TERRIBLE music in it.  It honestly would have been better without it), but I kinda would have liked to see maybe the two having a heart-to-heart after getting physical.  There was a running line up ’til then about both of them being virgins.  How touching would it have been if they lost their virginity to one-another, right before Okarin has to sacrifice her to save his best friend?  I can see them just laying in bed, with that witty dialogue between the two about the cruel nature of life and how they have this one chance to bridge the gap between them and must savor it forever.  There is some subtle implication that that is what happened between the scene with them making out and later that evening as she is leaving, but I don’t know.  Kinda wanna know what those two talk about post-sex.  Bet it would be fascinating.

My point is can we have some more mature relationships, and get to see some of that be expressed?  I don’t want it to be obscene.  Unless that is being used to make a point.  Like a couple who has a very untethered and violent relationship.  Kind of the Joker and Harley sort of deal.  That could be interesting.  But can we not treat every kiss or seeing of a female in underwear like it is the end of the world?  I cannot wait to see the comments I get about how I am insulting Japanese culture or some dumb thing.

Until next time, a quote,

“Intimacy brings understanding.  And passion is nice wherever you can find it.” – Yeoman Kelly Chambers, Mass Effect 2

Peace out,

Maverick

The Merits of Years of Cooking

I haven’t posted very much lately.  There isn’t much that I have wanted to talk about.  Politics has sucked the life out of everyone.  Social justice just isn’t that interesting anymore.  What more can be said?  Hell, now it is turning on itself.  I like to do reviews.  So close to the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Though, I get the feeling that that review will come out a long time later, because I am going to play as much of that game as I can before I put out my review.  I want you all to know if it’s good or not.  All the reviews i am seeing thus far are giving me lots of hope.  However, something recently came to my attention today.  Something that worked the cockles of my little black heart.

My cousin believes that men and women can’t be friends.  He’s stupid like that.  The proof came from nowhere else than having a girly-mate over to my old place for one last good meal there before I leave it to its folly.  In my new apartment, and it is fantastic.  This girly-mate of mine is married, quite happily.  We worked together at my job at the college library.  There is absolutely no sexual tension between us.  We make each other laugh, and have fun just talking and enjoying one-another’s company.  Since it was the send-off to my shitty old place and the shitty “kitchen” that I had, I wanted to go big.  Decided to make something really special.

On Facebook, I follow a TON of the pages that have the little cooking videos from an overhead angle.  I love that shit.  Since I love to cook, it appeals to me.  And now I FINALLY have a kitchen to do it!  You all have no idea how happy this makes me.  Already got a ton of ideas.  And since I am now interviewing for a job that is a step up from where I am now, my hope is to get ahead.  Needless to say, things are pretty alright.  My new place doesn’t have a microwave.  That is a problem.  One I will solve on Craigslist, eventually.  Along with a mixer and other things.  And a slow cooker.  Definitely that.

Back to my story, I had this friend over, and I made something really unique – Tuscan chicken in angel hair pasta.  Here is a pic I took of it.

tuscan-chickenIt was a giant pain the ass.  It took a lot of patience and being willing to test myself.  I didn’t measure things out specifically.  I winged a lot of it, and you know what – it was worth it.  The final product was one of the finest things I have ever made.  It was a fantastic night.  The two of us were stuffed to the point that we couldn’t even have the fantastic dessert I had planned.  No complaints.  Was awesome.  However, I am going somewhere with this.

The thing I have learned after years of making food is that nothing makes a social gathering come together more than homemade food with good conversation and laughter from people.  Just getting to talk about the process of making and sharing in the meal that I made with another person was some of the most fun I have had in years.  With a proper kitchen, I truly want to see if I can make something fantastic with as many people as I can.

Over the years, I have watched my cooking talents go from strength to strength.  Sure, there have been mistakes along the way.  Some truly amazing fuck-ups that blow my freaking mind.  But in the midst of all of those have come experiments in taste that blow my mind.  The first time I made bagels from scratch.  Laborious, time-consuming, but getting to bit into the final product made that all worth it.  Every holiday I make a new kind of cheesecake.  Last year it was pumpkin cheesecake.  Okay, but not great.  I am planning on doing stromboli, one of these months.  As I sit in my new place, and eat a fresh naval orange, I am inspired to see what I can come up with next.  Experimenting with fruit salad, the kind of salad I actually like.  Making pan-fried potatoes for a guest, something that I am so fucking good at.  Just ask my old man.  He likes my kind of pan-fried better than my mother’s, and that’s saying something.

Good food is a gift.  One that I want to share with as many people as I can before my death wish comes for me.  And for all you guys out there, if you’re single, there is no excuse.  Learn to fucking cook!  Women will swoon if you can make their taste buds ring.  Then you might be able to get their pussy to follow suit.  I got a cousin to prove wrong, and all the time in the world to do it.  What are you all’s thoughts?  Let me know down in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Much like traveling, meals eaten alone are dull and without flavor.” – The Count, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Peace out,

Maverick

In Memory, In Ink

I have a friend named Quinn.  Ever since she was ten years old, she lost the ability to speak.  She got incredibly sick.  It was a disease that caused massive inflammation all over her body.  She nearly died.  A fever of 104, death nearly came for her but she came back from it.  Now she no longer has the ability to speak.  It’s been a very hard life for her.  You don’t really think about the value that the ability to speak has until you lose it.  So much of her life was hurt, and she has been trying to come back from it for as long as she could.

Through all of that, there was her incredibly supportive mother.  Even when she found out that her daughter was gay, and her father kicked her out of the house, her mother did everything she could to help her.  To the point that they ended up getting a nasty divorce because the mother hated the father for how he treated their daughter, which in turn translated into how well he treated her sister because she was the child he had always wanted.  Meanwhile, Quinn had her mother.  When she was really little, as I understand it, Quinn was a very talkative little kid.  Her mother called her “Chatty Monkey.”  It was with this in mind that when she died, Quinn had an idea for a tat.  But since she has no artistic talent, it just stayed as an idea, until now.  With the help of my dear friend Kathryn, it has finally come to fruition.  As it will when it is immortalized on Quinn’s skin forever.  One of three tats, all of which have great significance for her.

16901932_10155070158909111_1716337255_nThe monkey is to stand for the nickname that her mother had for her all her life.  The gun is because her mother was a crack-shot, most specifically with a revolver.  The smoke is because, the unfortunate truth is that her mother was a chimney.  You can extrapolate how she died based on that.  Woman went through a pack a day.  I try not to judge how people live, but as her coughing got worse, even Quinn felt terrible.  The woman left our state to go be in a warmer climate, and it did help.  But it only went so far.

A wonderful woman has passed away.  She left a legacy of a connection between mother and daughter that is unmatched, from a girl who life has been horribly unkind to.  How people keep their memories close.  Quinn is putting this memory on her hip.  So when you see this image, keep in mind the connection it symbolizes.  Let me know the connections that you have with people who have left your life and how you keep that alive in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

Peace out,

Maverick

Holding Hands

She asked us out for a drink
After work
Long day
Sounded like a great idea

Perfect evening
Restaurant is fun
We only have a couple
Gotta drive home

She gets white girl wasted
So much fun
No fucks to give
All the barriers are down

Decides to stop
Good girl
But what now?
Can’t go home this buzzed

Family there
Doubles as landlords
Asks me to drive around
We can shoot the shit until it wears off

As we drive, she has idea
Takes phone out and starts shooting video
So much fun
Narrating the drive and being ridiculous

Such a fun night
Don’t want it to end
She’s so much fun!
A crazy idea, I have

A dare – livestream this!
She does it!
This night is so insane!
Might be bad, but who cares?

Then, gets more serious
We start talking about other things
And that’s when it happens
She holds my hand

Her fingers lock with mine
It’s a lover’s grip
She leans against my arm
What’s going on here?

Asking more serious questions
Asks if I love her
What can I say?
What can I possibly say?

This is wrong
She’s involved
She’s loyal
What is happening here?

We hold hands, talk into the phone camera
Goes on for hours
Why don’t I want this to end?
Feels so good

It can’t go on
When the buzz wears off, the loyalty returns
She realizes the truth
What’s happening here is wrong

We get to her home
Ask her what it meant
Holds our clutched hand to her face
Says she doesn’t know

Doesn’t know?
We’ve been holding each other like lovers for hours!
Why doesn’t she have some idea?
So damn confused

Next day, tries to avoid it
Don’t want to tell the truth
What happened between us
Who is helped by the truth

Truth comes out
She tells us the truth
Was using us
Used our loneliness to get what she wanted

It hurts, but it doesn’t
In fact, it’s still just confusing
I still loved that night
Would do it all over again in a heartbeat

However, the damage is done
She is ashamed of herself
Become awkward and distant
What has happened to us?

She’s putting distance between us
No!
Not now!
Not after what has just been shared!

That night, and her gentle clutching hand
Will stay with me forever
But here’s the worrying part
Will I stay with her that long?

I held her hand
She held mine
She held it to her face
It was like a kiss

I don’t know what this means
Nor does she
Get the feeling everything hinges on us figuring the answer out
The question she wanted to ask

Was afraid to
Might not like the answer
Wanted to know anyway – do I love her
Answer is, maybe

She held my hand
I held hers
It was enough
For two hours, it was enough

Peace out,

Maverick

2016 Year in Review

Back when I was in college, I used to do Academic Year in Review posts.  It was a nice little way to wrap up the year.  With this year at an end, and me being all high as fuck (it’s legal in my state now, blow me), I thought that I would restart the tradition.  Only this time, it won’t be the Academic Year in Review, it will just be the Year in Review.  This year sure seemed to fly by.  That is, after I found my new job.  Once I was back to work, time has absolutely blazed by.  It’s been a crazy ride, but you know what, a lot has happened.  There’s a ton to talk about, so let’s get down to it.  Consider this my post for New Year’s.  By the time I get finished typing this out, it should be New Year’s Eve, anyway.

The year started on a terrible note.  I had just gone through the worst experience of my professional life.  I have already told the story of the crazy bitch and the PR company she worked for.  I haven’t heard a single thing from that company, so I guess they forgot about me.  Maybe that, or me pwning her into oblivion in her unfathomably immature texting flame war was enough so she didn’t want to deal with me again.  The way she copped out was just pathetic.  Coming off the heels of that, I was in a desperate financial situation.  I had no money.  My parents were basically having to pay my rent.  A fact that hurt me to no end.  Now back to the job market.  I was not doing well, mentally.

Months dragged by.  However, hope arrived!  I got an interview at a real estate company.  I was literally hired on the spot.  The power of my damn snappy suit, I tell you what.  For the first time in a long time, I felt pretty good.  Sure, the job had no benefits, and the pay wasn’t great, but it was work.  And I could look for a better job while there.  It’s always easier to find work when already employed.  It just looks better on a resume.  Anyway, two days in, and I saw something that immediately made my blood run cold.  It was a box at the office with the name of the PR company that I had just been through that fiasco with.  Immediately, I knew that this was bad.  I asked, and it seems they rented some office space there.  This was bad.  Say that crazy bitch dropped in?  Say she talk to them about me?  She’s as vindictive as Hillary Clinton, and will abuse her power whenever possible.

Sure enough, my worries were confirmed.  I get told by the same woman that hired me, at the end of my second day, that I am “not the right fit for the position.”  I was pissed.  No wonder this job had such a high turnover rate.  Did I not mention that?  Seems that the job did.  I was told as much.  Given the absurd things I had to do every fucking day there, I genuinely am not surprised.  Oh well.  To be honest, given where I am now, I don’t see losing that job as a huge loss.  Though it will be weird giving a W-2 to my aunt, who does the family taxes, for a job that I only held for two days.

More months passed.  I was so miserable.  The worst thing about not working, that they don’t tell you, is how you lose track of what day is what.  See, something else happened.  My special lawyer girly-mate left.  She and I had been thick as thieves.  I knew that it was coming, but still, driving her to the airport was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  The last time I did it, we shared an amazing kiss.  That girl’s lips were among the softest I have ever gotten the chance to kiss.  This time, it was just heart-breaking.  Last time, I had some reassurance that she would be back.  This time, there was none.  This time, she was leaving with a person that she had been dating to come back to.  This time, I could feel that she wasn’t going to be coming back.  Something inside just told me it was so.  That fact, more than any other, hurt me.  How many people have I watched walk away from me, knowing that I will likely never see them again?  I don’t know.  I doubt I ever will.

The next major event came up.  A neurology clinic that I had applied to got back to me!  It was an interview, and I kicked ass!  Hell, I impressed the person I was interviewing with so much, that they wanted me to meet with the manager of the office too.  I took them up on that, and it was a damn good call.  Two interviews for the price of one.  By the time I got back to my place, I could tell that good things were coming.  Sure enough, about a week later, I got a call asking if I would come back in, this time for something call a “working interview.”  A totally new concept to me, it’s when you come in and basically sit in and do parts of the job for a day, to show what you are made of and how quickly you can adapt.  I don’t deny, walking in to that office, looking ready to work, I felt so good.  It was a little nerve-wracking, but I very quickly got the hang of stuff.  Plus, the women in the office were great.  I was the only guy.  The only one.  They were all fun people, and I felt like I was fitting in just nicely.  By the end of the day, walking out, I felt on top of the world.  Got paid for my work (they have to pay you for a working interview), and they told me that they would be in touch within a week or so.  I decided to wait a few days, and then “check in.”  Show how eager I am to get to work for them.  It seemed smart.  Was told that the woman who was doing the hiring was out.  Okay.  That’s cool.  I’ll call back on Friday.  End of the week, exactly a week from the working interview.  Will find out then.  Had good feelings.

I call back, told that she is busy, but would call me back.  They took down my name and number.  I figured that they were people of their word, so nothing to worry about, right?  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  In a way, I’m still waiting.  In what was one of the most unprofessional displays I have ever seen, they never got back to me.  To this day, I still haven’t heard a thing.  How unprofessional is that?  If you put in a day with a company, and really try your best, don’t you at least deserve to hear back from them?  I was so pissed.  What’s more, it was such a good opportunity.  A job I can walk to!  That’s what it was.  I could commute to work in five minutes, on foot.  Ten minutes in winter.  They didn’t even have the guts to tell me that I didn’t get the job.  So pissed, I was.

After that failure, my depression was doing a real number on me.  It had been getting steadily worse, but this was almost past the tipping point.  It was past a year since I had started working at the neurology clinic I was at.  A year since the best opportunity I had had slipped through my fingers, all because I was sick and angry.  What an idiot, I was.  But the real blow was coming.  My parents could no longer keep helping me with my rent.  The old man wanted to retire, so they couldn’t handle the lacking income.  By this point, I was beyond desperate.  However, hope came!  In my darkest hour, hope came.  I got an interview for a state job.  It was the ugliest state job one can ask for.  The most thankless state job one could ask for.  A job that involves money and children.  You can probably extrapolate from there.  Just the day before, I had had a golden idea to hit up an old boss of mine on Facebook and ask if I could use her for a reference.  She was more than happy to oblige.  And it was just in time, as this place called me back and asked me for some references.  My old boss told me she gave me the best reference ever when they called.  I was so happy.  Two days later, I got the call.  I was hired.  In that instant, relief flooded into my veins.

My new job starts, and it was in the first day where I met someone who has become so important to my life in such a short amount of time.  We were hired at the same time, and both of us were there at the same orientation.  It was all awkward and quiet, so I decided to break the ice.  What an awesome decision, that was.  We got each other’s name, and thus began a friendship that is giving me so much to look forward to.

The job is so fucking complicated.  Even now, I feel so stupid when I look at things and I don’t know what any of it means.  Plus, our office is so underfunded that we use fucking DOS.  I shit you not.  We use DOS to run our entire agency.  The level of unreal in that blows my fucking mind.  So much to learn, and I am in the Customer Service section of our Division.  Meaning that I get to deal with people’s hate directly.  Groj, so unpleasant.  But more than that, I was having a bit of an identity crisis for a while.  Being called by my given name, it felt so surreal.  Like someone else was in that office.  For a brief while, I couldn’t tell who was who.  Then, one day, I saw some stupid SJW shit posted online, and I reconnected with Lucien all over again.

As is want to happen, whenever I make a friend of the opposite sex, and things are going splendidly, something goes wrong.  It is my life, after all.  Her significant other has jealousy issues.  Those of you who have followed me for many years can maybe see where this is going.  The jealousy issues peaked when she hung out at my place and we had some drinks and were just chilling.  It was awesome.  It was everything I could have asked for.  For so long, all I have wanted is to have friends over to my place.  We could watch movies, make good food, play games.  It’s all I have wanted for years.  That night will go down in history as one of the best nights of my life, which then translated into one of the worst the next day, when our friendship was falling apart due to the love of her life taking umbrage with me.  I’ll give this guy some credit, he’s actually met me.  I could tell when we did meet that he was sizing me up.  And I don’t know if he liked what he saw or not.  I outsmarted him and his friends in a game that we were playing.  Felt good.  My poker face destroyed him.  I then decided to just fuck with all of them in the next round because I could.  We learned something about each other that night.  I learned that he wanted to stake his claim to his girl in front of me.  He learned that I am hard to read when I want to be.  I thought that the guy doesn’t like me.  At the very least he sees me as something of a threat.  But the way I see it, any beliefs about me being a threat should go due to recent events.  If there is anything that has cemented me as nothing approaching a threat ever, it’s what’s happened.

When things fell apart after the night at my place, I basically had to concede everything that I have ever wanted in a friendship for so long.  She listened to my heartfelt and nearly tearful statement about how much this hurt, and there was nothing.  Not a single emotion that registered.  She said that she can’t please everyone, and has to do what’s best for her relationship.  I get that.  I know that I will always come in second place.  Hell, I don’t even rank third.  I’m a new friend.  I rank in fifth or sixth place on the totem pole.  That’s how it goes.  I have no illusions about where I am on the pecking order.

For those who think that this is following the Emily path, that’s my biggest fear.  However, I will say this much – I don’t think so.  For starters, Emily and I were infinitely closer than Kathryn and I are.  Maybe that’s a point in this situation’s favor.  Plus, there is the reality that I don’t know what this significant other who at least has seen me as something of a threat thinks.  I’ve gotten conflicting pieces of information.  I may eventually choose to see this person again, see if there is something more to be achieved from interaction.  Who knows, right?  However, all the signs are there that this story will follow the track that Emily and I’s did.  If so, it will break my heart in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine.

However, there is peace on the land of our new friendship, for now.  We hang out as often as we can, but the understanding is that she will never be able to chill at my place again.  Ever.  That means that movie nights are out.  Making good food is out.  I’ve already talk about how much I wanted that.  It’s a huge sacrifice, and part of me still wonders what she gave up in return, but I’m done fighting a battle that I know I can’t win.  I’ve done enough negotiations in these situations to know when I have no bargaining position.  And it’s not to say that we haven’t had fun since then.

Just recently, however, things took another turn.  Her and I have been carpooling to work together.  There is a lot of ugly history with her sister, her sister’s husband, and the nieces that she now has no ability to see.  Some truly horrible things.  But one day, the sister puts out an olive branch.  Because I have this belief that a person should strike while the iron’s hot, when the sister invited her down to the states as a way to make amends and bring the family back together again, I told her to take the risk.  It’s a gamble, but how often does good fortune come a person’s way?  So she did it.  Used up all her leave time at work, spending almost everything she will have saved, all to go down to North Carolina to see her family.  Maybe she’s spending too much time with me.  Lady Luck saw fit to strike.

The same day, she is sent a message from her sister basically taking that olive branch she put out and burning it down in front of her.  The girl was in pain.  Horrible, aching pain.  Years of unaddressed agony bubbling up and exploding.  In the hall at work, she fell to the floor and sobbed.  All I could do is sit next to her and hold her.  I had no words, nothing to say.  All I could do is hold her and listen to her cry.  I felt next to useless in that moment.  Like I was the person putting a band-aid on an ax wound.  The boss came over, and in an amazing moment, she became a complete mom and was able to remedy the situation.  Had her go home.  Since we carpooled together, I took her home.  That was such a hard day, for me.

Ever since then, things have been weird.  She denies it, but I’m smart enough to see that something has changed.  I can’t put my finger on it, but things have gotten awkward between us.  I am sensing a growing distance.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  However, there has been a real change in things between us after that day, and not for the better.  Maybe that’s how it separates from the Emily story.  After I wiped the tears off Emily’s face in the Periodicals Room, the two of us were closer than ever.  Now I feel like I have lost a TON of ground.  Not a fan of that.  Wondering what I did wrong.  Probably overthinking this.  Unsure.

So that’s where we are now.  My job is sucking the life out of me.  The reality is that once Kathryn leaves to go to basic for the Navy (proud of her for that.  Was pushing her to reapply to get back in to the Navy), I am out of there.  It’s nothing against the department.  I just can’t do a job where I am getting treated like shit by people that I am having less and less sympathy for every day.  There’s no way I can do this long term.  Planning on staying with the state for at least five years.  Then I’m vested and have guarantee retirement.  Since state jobs like to hire with people already in the state, I feel comfortable when I go looking for a new port to call my own.

Looking ahead, I have been given hints that my lawyer girl may be coming back, if only for a little bit.  That gives me hope.  A brief glimmer of hope to latch on to.  It hasn’t been the hardest year, but a decent amount of stuff has happened.  Leading up to when I found this new job, it was months of time where, if I didn’t have this watch, I couldn’t tell one day from the next.  I have a job, already one review that looks good, and will have another come February.  A new friendship that, while it is currently on not the most stable ground, has a ton of potential.  Guess we’ll see what happens.

Until next time, a quote,

This may not make much sense to you now, a young man at the beginning of his career, but one of the things you learn as you move up the ranks and get a little older is that you wish you had more time in your youth to really absorb the things that happened to you. It goes by so fast. It’s so easy to become jaded. To treat the extraordinary like just another day at the office. But sometimes, there are experiences that transcend all that.” -Capt. Katherine Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Peace out,

Maverick