The last day of January. How many days, how many sols, until the 6th of May 2050?
Doesn’t seem that far away anymore, now that I’m older, perhaps wiser, at least more informed (although my active store of knowledge varies according to bodily stimuli/stressors).
This afternoon, the ambient temperature gives insects a warmth of about 70 ℉ (maybe 20 ℃) to seek out breeding mates in their brief lives.
Imagine only 24 hours to live your whole adult life, compared to ours of about 50 to 100 years.
You hatch from a larval stage, sprout wings, fly around looking for the most compatible partner, which may or may not exhibit traits you find attractive, and then mate. You pass on your genetic material and then you die.
You never meet your offspring.
You don’t attend birth classes, watch your children grow through larval stages while not getting eaten, or flooded or burned.
You don’t share words of wisdom.
You don’t attend family reunions.
You don’t end up in an old folks’ home.
You don’t know about planetary warming trends.
Your siblings and offspring merely react to the local environmental changes, whether they include more warm days, more hurricane force winds and/or more floods or drought.
As the author of this blog, I sit here and hear on my right side the effects of a slight breeze blowing a wooden clapper against wind chimes that I bought from Hobby Lobby and hung in the treehouse a few days ago.
I also hear the throbbing whooshes and the high-pitched whistles of tinnitus that has almost completely blocked off the detection of external sounds by my left ear sound interpretation system.
I am getting older, more than 55 years having passed since my miraculous conception.
The Sun is about 30 minutes away from disappearing behind the hill on the west side of our property, its path more southerly this time of year, sneaking between deciduous tree trunks and branches devoid of green leaves, except for a few evergreen vine leaves and cedar needles here and there in the forest. Green moss stands out against the grays and browns of trunks and rocks. Yellow lichen looks like old paint splotches, faded adverts of more prosperous times turned to dust, or hieroglyphs of forgotten civilisations.
I am a minimalist who thrives on the merest hint of recognition from those I deem myself unworthy of their attention, let alone their friendship — it is why I became a writer, choosing to keep my overebullient joy of being seen and remembered to myself, lest I seem too much like the overeager puppy begging for attention 24/7.
A friend once sent me a card which simply said “hello,” and from that simple one-word note a whole book was written by me.
Today I received a text from a friend I have missed dearly, so much so that I have stayed away from social media, uninstalling the Facebook messenger app so I could avoid her.
That last sentence makes no sense to me and I’m the one who wrote it.
Over a year ago, I realised I had moved past the point of falling in love with a friend and had moved her essence into that which we once called a soul, of which I call the set of states of energy that I am and with which I have chosen to synchronise to my friend’s self or set of states of energy.
In that moment of realisation, I understood I could never lose her for if I did I would lose myself forever, just as I lost myself after Renée Dobbs died when we were in fifth grade together and had to create a new self without Renée actively living with me anymore.
In that moment, I suffered what I either can call a stroke, a mental breakdown, a broken heart or some sudden fear which I wish on no one.
I immediately lost hearing in my left ear, was unable to write my name, suffered dizzy spells, had to parse sentences in my head before speaking or my speech came out as gibberish.
No friend such as this one has ever caused an effect on me in this magnitude.
After I had, in 1985, fallen in love with and made love to a married woman for the first time, breaking all the training and understanding of unstated vows/debts to society associated with my upbringing, I realised I could never get back my innocence and symbolically tried to kill myself rather than shrugging off my childhood training (that directly prohibited coveting thy neighbour’s wife) as only a guideline rather than a life-or-death decision.
A day hardly goes by that I don’t think of my friend even if we haven’t seen each other in I don’t know how long.
It is from her influence that I built this treehouse.
It is for her that I am sitting here writing this long blog entry because she sent me a text today.
It is because of her that I am planning to build a cottage/writer’s studio in the backyard, a place of sanctuary like this third story where I can sit, watch the insects fly around but have walls, windows and screen material protecting me from mosquitoes during the warmer months and have an infrared heater to keep my warm in colder months; and write the epic tales that wander through my thoughts daily.
My friend, how is it that you ended up in my life and still want to know how I’m doing?
Do you know the effect you have on me?