Alien Nation

I’m giving a guest lecture on Haskell to the Principles of Programming Languages class at CU tomorrow. That’s pretty exciting.

This is a personal entry, by the way. I found myself censoring my posts for a while to just technical issues in order to build a base of readers. But then this blog completely lost its therapeutic properties, so I’m going to censor my censorship a bit.

My roommates Jude and Namaste were sitting in Namaste’s room checking out gametap, and I was sitting there watching them play some games for a while. I wasn’t really interested in playing those games—I’ve found myself less interested in games lately—I just wanted to sit there and be around people.

That proving pretty uninteresting because there isn’t that much idle socialization in games, I decided to go for a walk. I bundled up and began walking through the dark to a nearby park. Halfway there, I just stopped on the sidewalk and stood there, noticing myself feeling incredibly lonely. Loneliness… is not an intense emotion. It’s subtle, and you just feel kind of empty and tired. It doesn’t make you cry, it just sits there, omnipresent, reducing your enjoyment of life.

I started walking again and started talking to myself, which is one of the strongest ways I have of working through issues. Except this isn’t an issue which was very well suited to my self-talking therapy. All my life I’ve learned to speak using the meta model, precisely, mathematically, nailing down in a sentence exactly what I’m talking about. And emotions aren’t like that. They’re vague constructions, floating around in various forms, not necessarily caused by any particular phenomenon, not really solvable with a simple proof.

“I’m lonely.” That was productive.

I reached the park and found the exact middle. I knelt down right there and curled up into a little ball. I tried to concentrate the emotion, but it didn’t really work. I feigned a few meditative tactics, obviously to no avail (you can’t feign meditation and have it work!). And by work I mean have the way I’m feeling change at all, better or worse. Like I said, loneliness just sits there in the corner of the room with its notebook, quietly judging you as you become more and more desperate. If it interacted with you any more then that, it would serve to make you less lonely, which would defeat its purpose.

Who are my friends? Previously I just wanted a girl, but that might have just been the gut response to my relationships with my friends weakening. I have two groups of friends, gamers and musicians. I’m having trouble connecting with my gamer friends because I’m gradually losing interest in games, for whatever reason. I’ve never really built friendships with the musicians I know, because we get together and play music and go home, essentially. There’s a musical connection there, which is strong and interesting, but it lacks some of the more human elements. One exception is Nolan, who I have a pretty good friendship with. But I don’t see him much.

Nolan was really really good at bringing his band together as a family. I could learn a few things from him.

Everyone else just brushes me off when my life isn’t going smoothly. I probably would do the same to them. It’s hard to get out of my own head; if I’m working on a programming project or a composition, I don’t want to be bothered with the details of somebody else’s life. You need a really good connection with somebody to be able to talk openly about your problems. It’s been a few years since I’ve cared about someone enough to stop anything I’m doing in order to really listen to what they had to say. That’s pretty sad.

Just as I was arriving home, I started to feel something like a very energized anger. I ran as fast as I could for the fast 50 yards home or so, walked in the house, and with energy pounding at my hands and through my body, found I had nothing to do with it. If nobody was home I would scream at the top of my lungs… but I’m too self-conscious for that.

Much as I want to be unrestricted and act on my impulses, when I know that the worst consequences possible are a little embarrassment, I can’t bring myself to do that. Each time I suppress my impulses, the next time the impulse will be stronger and so will the impulse to suppress it. It’s like going insane by holding on too tightly to my sanity.

I’m just lost. I don’t know where to go next.


3 thoughts on “Alien Nation

  1. Luke you crazy Diamond! Here’s three things that might give some perspective on your inner struggle… The first is that I’m still friends with about 80% of the musicians I ever played with and that includes a couple of life-long friendships. Don’t underestimate the musical connection… The second is that when you’re young, loneliness seems crushing at times, but it does pass. Turn it into art. I know that’s easy for me to say, but I’ve been there. And the third thing is… “where to go next”–Dazzle Lounge, My Man! You are a prodigiously talented musician, where to go next will never be a problem for long. I’m afraid that you’ll get bored with Eric and me (simian bass) and then where will >we< go next?

  2. What a great reply, Evan! Very well said, and good food for thought. You and Luke are both such beautiful writers, that no matter what’s being expressed, it’s enjoyable, rich, and profound. Thanks.

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