quiet professor: now quieter than ever

Last fall, my state of mind was along the lines of, “I don’t think I want to leave the house anymore.”

I made a few efforts to get out of my cozy bubble now and then.

And now…

Well, recent developments have confirmed what I’ve known all my life, which is that the outside world sucks and is best avoided as much as possible.

Mr P and I have been home for almost three weeks, only leaving once to have non-perishable grocery items (especially mental well-being items, such as chips and cake) loaded in the trunk of the car—I’d ordered what we needed on the supermarket’s website.

We didn’t even go in the store and I was anxious. I couldn’t wait to get back home and shut the door.

When I first heard low buzzing sounds about this virus back in February, I thought the whole thing was being blown out of proportion. But by the end of February… my PTSD alarms started blaring, and I began my emergency preparations on the 28th, about two weeks before the shit really hit the fan.

I remember feeling like something of an idiot then as I loaded my cart with necessities; I’d been going around the house, making lists. At the end of February, there was plenty of toilet paper in the stores, and I got roughly three months’ worth. Not a mountain, but not a mere four roll pack either.

I got canned potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, soup, diced tomatoes, and so on… Bags of rice and pasta and frozen chicken and frozen meatballs and frozen vegetables. Toiletries, medication, batteries, Lysol, and all the cat food Potion would need, among other things. Water, beverages. A high stack of mini chocolate bar packs.

I could feel something major was imminent. When you spend your childhood sharpening your sense of danger, you can see it coming well before most other people do.

Mr P was blown away by the efficiency, speed, and meticulousness of my preparations, and applauded what I was doing. Mental illness is a double-edged sword, amirite? I thought of everything. Even so, my stress levels were off the charts and I had trouble breathing due to PTSD-related vocal cord dysfunction, which can mimic asthma (and how fucking perfect is that).

Then, news hit that our Prime Minister’s wife had contracted the virus, and both she and the Prime Minister were in self-isolation.

Suddenly, mayhem broke out in earnest and the stores were swamped. I only briefly went in one of these (and it wasn’t nearly as packed as other places were, because I live in a place that’s more like a town than a city); I ran back out minutes later. People clogging aisles, massive lines, the sounds of laughter… I felt a mixture of acute anxiety and rage because of the clueless obliviousness that encompassed me on all sides.

But I no longer felt like an idiot for having done most of my preparations quite some time before the batshit erupted (if I’d had to deal with the chaos that was going on in stores by mid-March, I would have completely lost my mind). I got a few more items at a smaller, much quieter local store. A few days later, Ontario declared a state of emergency, and to my tremendous relief, Mr P would be home with me until further notice. It’s quite likely he’s going to be here until the middle of May.

I put an indefinite total moratorium on news of any kind, and for the first time in weeks, my chest loosened and I began breathing more easily.

My Leaky Orlando plans are out the window. Not going to happen. I tried, right? Travel is already hard enough on me when things are going well… My desire to travel ever again is pretty much nil at this point.

My life plans are more along the following lines:

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I’ve been writing many updates and sharing thoughts on Patreon. I have very limited amounts of energy these days, and my members are getting it. Every now and then, I post a happy image on Instagram. I haven’t been following Twitter at all, because even when using lists, it’s almost impossible to avoid news.

I’ve been getting tiny snippets of information from select loved ones, and I do know that right now, people aren’t allowed to cross the Ottawa/Outaouais border unless they have a good reason.

Related: extroverts are more of a mystery to me than ever.

Mr P and I are exceedingly happy right here in our home. We have everything we need. We have no interest in socializing. We have our books, music, movies, toys, pastimes. Seclusion.

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As a result of all that’s been happening, I’m having a number of salutary epiphanies.

Such as, I’m sick as fuck of promoting what I write (or attempting to at any rate), of publishing… Masterful has gotten a few great reviews, but getting one’s work out there, especially when said work is unusual, is like speaking during a hurricane—and I have a soft, raspy voice.

It’s like The Smiths sang: “Well if I was you I wouldn’t bother.”

I’m through with repeating myself and gesticulating… When (if) I release a book, I’ll say so here, and those who enjoy what I do will know.

I do have a novel brewing in me, something I haven’t discussed yet. My Patreon members will know about it first, should it materialize.

When it comes out, I’ll just say, here it is. Those who are drawn to the kind of work I do will find it, one way or another.

These are the two books I’ve written so far that are the most important to me. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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I’ve started drawing again.

It’s relaxing and gratifying and enjoyable.

I’m creating surreal, extremely colorful worlds… 70s-esque dream worlds. Here’s a piece that’s still in progress, featuring Hoppy Bun:

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I’ll be doing a lot more of this type of thing. I’ll have prints and postcards for my Patreon members.

When I was a kid, I spent most of my time by myself, drawing or writing.

I had the right idea.

LOGOS

Levitical Prohibition & Jimmy crack corn

moving in perfect peace and harmony towards Elvisness

Kind readers,

after a few weeks of glorious warmth, we’re back to crap weather in my neck of the woods. My fingers are not quite like ice again, but it’s close. I’m using the sleeves of my sweater to cover my hands up to the first knuckles. It’s supposed to warm up again by the middle of next week…

Ah, well. I’ll be writing all the more this weekend.

Speaking of writing, I’m halfway through Atheist Tiki Hour. It’s going well—I think! Anyway, I’m happy writing it.

In other news, the terrific comic strip artist The Atheist Pig loves There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard. That made me smile from ear to ear. He’s sent me a copy of his book and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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I’ve found out that there’s a Tiki bar in Toronto, The Shameful Tiki Room (what a name!). I have got to get my ass over there.

Then there’s this:

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Yesterday evening, I created a t-shirt with my face on it—why the fuck not—and added the words “Levitical Prohibition” beneath. Because that’s what I am. Tattooed, dressed in masculine clothes, non-binary, apostate, unbeliever, secular, and I really don’t give a shit about Bronze Age admonitions from volcano god worshipers.

The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

Like I said, the volcano god.

Click on the photo if you want a shirt! I’ll be adding more fun t-shirts to my shop this week.

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I have a meeting with the event organizer at the Ramada Ottawa in a couple of weeks. I’ll be booking the Quietus 2016 room, signing the papers, giving the down payment…

The moment I’ve finished writing Atheist Tiki Hour, I’ll start Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. It would be fantastic if I had that book done in time for Quietus. I have a lot to say; there are many things I want to write about in Art of Being Human.

I’m feeling more and more detached from Livejournal. It makes me blue, especially on days when I’m tired… I have joyful times on Twitter, interact with people there, and increasingly on Instagram as well. I blog here. That’s good. Livejournal feels like it’s gone, and I find myself thinking, you know what, I’m done. I read other people’s entries—there aren’t that many these days—and I don’t know if I want to update mine anymore. I feel like the Dude; I’m lying on my rug and listening to bowling balls strike pins, and Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.

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The other day, I got “Sodas & Shakes” scented Crayola markers, because they’re just so darn happy.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released thirty years ago today. Let my Cameron go.

All right! It’s writing time.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor