duermemucho's diary

duermemucho's Diaryland Diary


murphy's law

I live in a shallow intermontane basin with a near-desert climate. Rain is infrequent and light, and the only vegetation that can survive here (unless it's on a floodplain or in someone's yard) is sagebrush and scraggly dry grass. We haven't had any measurable rain in two solid months. The soil is a very fine, sandy powder. So you can imagine how dusty it is here. Each weekend I sweep a little mound of fine brown dust from my deck, and pound clouds of dust from my shoes. My car, for which I have no covered parking and which spends eight hours a day parked in a vast lot in a wide-open area north of town, is caked with dust and dirt. A little stream of hardened dust trickled down from the edge of the rear window where I had attempted to squeegee it off; some local kids appear to have been drawing in it all over my doors and hatchback, making little stick figures and dogs with their fingers. While I'm not one for car vanity, seeing all the childish drawings in the dirt on my bumper made me decide that enough is enough, the dust and dryness have gone on long enough. Yesterday afternoon I had my car washed squeky-clean.

This morning it rained.


I've generally viewed my tendency toward introspection as an asset, but that too may have finally gone on long enough. I've been in my current location for over three months now, have worked day and night in my new lab and trotted back and forth to the lunchroom to get myself my morning cup of green tea or "whitey guilt blend" fair-trade coffee, and yet I have no friends here (besides Lark). My apartment complex is a series of disconnected, house-like buildings arranged randomly arround a parking lot, so there is no common entryway, no brushing past neighbors while carrying my groceries up the stairs. My laboratory space is spread out over three rooms, and my cube is on an entirely different floor of the building. These geographical factors are not conducive to social interaction. Moreover, my coworkers are generally reserved and cold. I can't complain about them as people--I would love to--because for all I know they may not be people; they could be cyborgs, the result of a decades-long project to populate the world's research institutions with quasi-human machines, so we organic beings would be in plentiful supply to staff Wal-mart. Back at XU I could have written scripts for a surreal ensemble soap opera using all the bizarre personalities I dealt with daily. Now, I can barely remember what people look like, let alone their names and what they do. I know my boss, and the gorgeous readhead who always looks angry, and the M-->F transgendered lady, and the always-silent Russian guy whose cubicle abuts mine, and that's about it. The only memorably interesting people are the married couple I'll call Bushtit and Puffin, who arrive at group meetings flawlessly and stylishly dressed (despite the ten-mile bike ride to work), with matching cups of espresso on designer saucers the same milk-white color as their laser-straight teeth. They have a 5-year-old son who's taking Suzuki violin lessons, I recently discovered. Nice.

I mention all of this because I'm the kind of person who has to be forced to interact with others if I'm to form any kind of meaningful acquaintance. And I'm now beyond the phase of life in which being forced to interact with others is a natural part of day to day business. I'm now at the point where I could actually be a hermit if I wanted to. That's bad, because for someone like me, being a hermit would be pretty damn easy. I've already gained noticeable weight since moving here...the reason, I'm fairly certain, is evenings spent at home drinking beer and staring at the wall, since my TV only picks up two fuzzy stations and it's been too hot to go outside.

Of course, there's Lark to spend time with...but she lives a good drive away, and she has a small child to worry about. I can't just up and walk down the street to see her, like I could with Owl. And even if I could, I would have to worry that I would drop by at an inopportune moment, like when the kid's dad is over for a visit. And even if all conditions were ideal, she's still just one person, and like me she isn't the type who's going to spend much time looking for new friends. It seems both of us are too free for friends.

The thought of not having friends doesn't bother me as much as it would many people, but it does to a certain degree because it's more likely for me to become friendless than it is for the average person. And while I like the freedom of not needing the approval of others for every action I take, Murphy's law will sooner or later dictate, just as with my dusty car, that the moment I lose all my friends will be the one moment when I happen to need one.

9:20 p.m. - 2006-08-08


previous - next

latest entry

about me





random entry

other diaries: