Feb. 29th, 2016

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It seems that over the weekend someone creamed the fence that surrounds the factory where I work. The yard guys worked on Sunday and had to deal with the circumstances & details which are still somewhat hazy. It seems a truck took the nearby railroad tracks at too great a speed and lost control (not the first time this has happened here, there was a fatal wreck a few years back the smell of which I commented on here). They recorded the details of the destroyed truck & had the police on hand to document and seize the destroyed truck. Today there's just a wrecked fence to greet me.

Now, we speculate about it - did it happen Saturday night late? I propose it might have happened Friday at 6 PM. That's the lawless nature of the area where I work. Now on that subject:

Friday Balthasar - my old housemate invites me to go with him to the Comic Con. I end up agreeing and since he works for Uber as his job he drives to my work to get me and we go. I'm poor at directions - driving directions - because I go on the bus and so tend to follow the bus routes rather than other, possibly superior paths. So I guide him to Kinsman and have him take it downtown. Now... I like it here. Balthasar is becoming suburbanized, he thinks this is a Bad Place & really, he's probably right - there's not a good reason to live in this area - it's both intensely shitty and kind of expensive. Home is home though - people settle where they settle & stay. I don't know if it's A Bad Place but I like it. Sometimes I go walking around and I have a certain, I don't know - Roussauian admiration for the return to the wild. The ruined houses with trees growing out - the half-burned residences where people still live, the wrecked cars abandoned in the middle of roads. There's a very recognizable post-apocalyptic aspect to this place - and not by accident do I always call it the Waste-Land. Dirtbike riding youths pulling mile long wheelies down roads that are more gravel than asphalt only really cement the view.

But I like this - the ruins. I have sophisticated & elaborate opinions about it actually. Principally I contend that the place is only tenuously divorced from nature in the first place- that the presence of civilization here has only ever been (so far) a barely substantial veneer over a place that is uniquely poised between being liveable & being profoundly undesirable. The ruined houses, they were only ever temporary anyhow - they're ill constructed and were abandoned instead of being repaired - that's the thing. It's not worth battling nature here, it's better to let it overcome and continue on - departing to build anew. There's more, a lot more, naturally - but suffice to say - there's a goodness to this that I enjoy - far more than an intact shopping center or a highway I prefer the degraded roads & wrecked houses with trees bursting through roofs.

Comic Con is pretty alright. We went last year and made it a kind of event. Ruinous expense aside, we had a pleasant time & saw interesting things. This year I hadn't any special interest in even attending - but a free ticket is a free ticket, and I'm always glad to spend time with Balthasar. We make a circuit and he sees what can be seen - I buy a bunch of omnibus editions for cheap (the best reason to go). I point out that the purpose of the Con, as far as our purposes go, is to buy things and see cosplay people. You may have seen the internet - and so you'll be forgiven for not really understanding why you'd spend quite so much money & brave downtown traffic to buy things and see cosplayers. At the boardgame library we look for something to play and settle on the D&D beginner's box - we get some help from strangers and I run the Lost Mine of Phandelver for the 6th time. Kind of fun and it's gratifying to draw strangers into the game - my missionary enthusiasm does is not easily abated. It's some kind of catharsis for Balthasar though - who I know can only clandestinely engage in the hobby - having been forbidden by his wife from pursuing interests that she deems insufficiently masculine. It's a little bit of cheating for him and a lot of silly improvising for me. I am glad we see each other and sad that we don't very often.

We split up at Public Square and I take the health line home. After a while another friend comes over and we go out in search of some light rampaging - it doesn't go very far as she's in too goofy a mood to really focus on the project of rampaging & as well the place nearby to dance has deployed it's own worst version - it's crowded with non-dancing people while the DJ plays undanceable screamo. Eh, friday night.

We have beers at my house in the end. Which is, all agree, the best of all places to linger & chill.

On Saturday I have places to go but no special impulse to do so. Eventually I get hungry enough that I decide to reach out and make some plans with another friend who's been after me to hang out. She's got a lot on her mind & is excessively generous - we meet in Public Square and wander downtown, having fancy dinners at fancy places and special artisinal drinks - really too many drinks. It's time to end the night so we head to the bar at the Ritz for a final round where the Bartender recognizing her offers us the last two rounds for free. I think I ended up skating out on something like $200 worth of food & drinks all told. She gets too drunk and engages somewhat embarrassingly with strangers better left uncontacted. We stand smoking under the Terminal Tower (which cannot be seen from Mall C, making Mall C just okay and not ideal) I consult my phone and tell her - Your train is here and mine is coming you should go home now. But she wants to engage with strangers some more, insists that I shouldn't be concerned. I catch the train home and call it a night when I make it back.
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Sunday the weather is suddenly delightful and beautiful. The night before we'd posted up on Mall C to see the Lake & the city - a neat juxtaposition. She's never traveled far and is one of those inveterate boosters of CLV. I don't dislike the impulse but I am compelled to dismiss it. This is a terrible place. I tell her and mean it. There's more cloud cover than any other city in the US. It's dark & doomed and we all feel it, the sky, heavy & bearing down. So it's a pleasant turn on that early spring day when the sky opens, when the colors actually shine through & the whole town isn't just a moody smudged twilight. I end up walking around for a while in the neighborhood & run into my Neighbors taking their babies out for a walk. We walk a ways and talk, it's smiles under the warm sun and I get a sandwich and go home and sit with the window open and read a book & while away the day - 'forgetting' that I may have made plans to see the neighbors, to visit them & have hangouts.
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See. In the end there was a lot of social interaction a lot of people who like to see me and who I like to see and in the end?
What does it mean if you don't long for companionship, if seeing people & spending time with them makes you less interested in repeating, if you don't want to meet people or do things with them? We argue - she argues with me and says - maybe you're depressed but I don't think I am. She insists that I must get lonely and I have to object that I really never do. What does it mean? I don't really even care because it's senseless to dwell on.

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