I thought the problem was my computer. Or my smartphone. But it’s clearly not them. They are not to blame. Google is to blame. Google’s Gmail is refusing to accept some messages sent to me, yet Google notifies no one of its refusal. Messages simply vaporize. For weeks, I’ve been cursing my phone for failing to allow me to forward photos to my email account. Yesterday, messages that were either forwarded or that included content or attachments that Google apparently and inexplicably deems inappropriate were “eaten” by the internet, AKA Google. All of this by way of notification: if you forwarded a message to me or sent a message with an attachment, it’s quite possible it never reached me. You would not know it. I do not know it. Only by happenstance would either of us be aware of the fact that Google Gmail is refusing to deliver mail to me. Damn it! I wish I knew how to fix the problem.


For a couple of weeks, I have been allowing some of my extremely sparse facial hair to grow, unshaven. A few days ago, I suggested I was about ready to give up; it’s just too thin to have any hope of ever looking even remotely “attractive.” But I was persuaded to give it a couple of more weeks, just to see if it fills it. I agreed. But it won’t. I was born with a light beard; lighter than any other male in my family. My brothers have grown beards, though none of them have (to my recollection) been especially full and worthy of shaping into attractive trichological expressions. It’s a genetic thing. And, as the last of a string of offspring, the DNA controlling my trichology began its follicular life at a distinct disadvantage.  At any rate, for a while longer I will look like an elderly prepubescent teen, attempting to assert my masculinity through uncooperative facial hair. I’m in favor of every man bathing in Nair, thereby removing the distinction between hairy and hairless.


Once again, even though I continue to attempt to use humor and anger as tools in the battle against it, I cannot seem to shake this sense of anxiety or depression or whatever it is; a general feeling of being at a low ebb. I think it’s grief; perpetual, unending, insurmountable grief. I know better than to try to overcome it. Nothing can. People just have to learn to live with it; to accept the guilt and emptiness that comes with it. But I am not its only victim. Anyone who must deal with me has to cope with it, as well. And I realize that is patently unfair. Yet trying to mask it has fallen flat. I’m not even sure it’s really grief. It may be my mind coming to grips with my own mortality. A friend advised me to look more outward than inward as a means of dealing with grief. While that may be good advice, I am not sure how to alter my perspective on the world. Some days I just want to draw into myself and withdraw from engaging with the world. That’s probably the wrong direction, but it seems to be the one that makes the most sense. I’ll figure it out. Thus far, I’ve been able to spring back from these deep bouts of grief-infused ennui. And I suppose I always will. But it gets so damn tiresome, bouncing up and down from day to day. I just wish everything would stop for a while.


Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.

   ~ Emil Cioran ~


I stopped by the house yesterday to check on progress. The flooring has all been laid; what’s left for the flooring installers are the quarter-rounds, some replacement baseboards, and a few other odds and ends. And, then, cleaning. And more painting. And touch-up. And fixing the doors. And moving. And on and on and on. I am not certain I have the strength or willpower or discipline to finish it. My ADD (assuming that’s what has kept me company all these years) keeps arguing with me to just abandon the effort and simply start jamming furniture into the unfinished house with the idea that it will be finished eventually. Ugh. I have to brighten up so I can fulfill my obligations as a human being. Those requisites for life will not go away.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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