July 27th, 2001

sleepy

pain, destruction, uncaring, and wandering knights

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why are there so many out there who only seem to care about causing pain? Who see others as possessions, or less, as objects whose only purpose is relative to them. Why can't people see - people? Why can't they see that housed in these frail bodies are fellow souls, that can laugh and cry and be human, just like they can?

With war . . . there's a Reason. Maybe it's a bad reason. But there's always a reason. Nobody goes to war because they consider themselves evil. Hitler thought he was improving the genetic makeup of the human race, for example. Nobody says "let's kill a bunch of people, it'll be fun".

But people do that one-on-one. People tear someone's soul out, and laugh at the tears. And they only target the nice people - they avoid their "fellows", the others who cause the pain and suffering in the world.

Cereal convention. Gaiman had it right . . . the brutal slayers and destroyers would get along fine.

of course, as always, I wish I could help, I wish I wish I wish I could be better at doing what it is I do. I can't. I make mistakes . . . and I don't need anyone to tear me to pieces, I'm perfectly capable of doing it to myself. And then, somehow, with friends and support and tears I patch myself together - yet another strip of soul, grafted onto the rifts in my sanity - and go out and find another Wounded, and show them how to cry, and tell them it's okay.

Yes, there's a capital letter there. Because there seems to be such a distinction . . . almost nobody is on the edge. People are either happy or they're . . . Wounded. They look out at a city at night and think, each of those points of light is a person, and none of them see me, none of them can hear me screaming at the dark to stay away just another night. The Wounded don't *want* to die. They just get dragged down with their fingers cutting bloody tracks in the wall. Even if they can't see it themselves . . .

but they're *everywhere*. My dad was talking to me about Livejournal, and asking why I spent so much time talking to people online, and I told him it was because people were depressed. And he said, yes, but people offline are depressed also. And I said, yes, but you can't get them to open up to you. Online there's anonymity, and because you can't know anyone, you can know them far better. Look. I opened up Livejournal and clicked random. First time was okay - some girl talking about music. Second time . . . it only took two tries. And all he could say was, the poor girl. And I nodded. And closed the window.

Why just close it?

Because she didn't need my help. Because she said she was lonely, and depressed, but . . . the edge wasn't there. And maybe I'm being judgemental, but . . . I can only help so much, and I don't think she needed me.

I did the same thing with my mom today. She was talking about how the company she ordered mulch from had dumped it in the wrong place (this, incidentally, is why she was sulking.) She said it had been an emergency.

An emergency?

I couldn't do "random" because the servers were acting up. So, search for interest. Suicide. It takes a minute to load. 739 matches.

"There were 707 the last time I checked." page down, page down, page down, page down . . . how many pages of names? Twenty? Thirty? Every single one is a real person. Names like "alonecrying". "deathbecomeshim". "hatelife4ever". A page of names every second, too many to read.

"Here's one that's worse." Search again. Cutting. 525 matches. Page down again. "Half a thousand people, and any of them could go just a little bit too far tomorrow. And just think - how many people on this service didn't add this as an interest, because it would be too obvious? How many didn't add this because they didn't want it to look like a cry for help? Now, how many people aren't on this service?"

At the bottom, I point to a name. "She's always at the bottom of these lists because her name is so far down alphabetically. I know her - I found her randomly. Once she posted an entry saying she was suicidal, and I commented about it on my journal - I didn't even post a link. And some of my friends found her - independently - through my friends page, and talked to her. Now she's feeling better, I think, for the time being. One down. Seven hundred and thirty eight to go. And more every day. And less every day . . . because they don't delete journals through inactivity, and I would bet money that more than one of these journals is no longer updated."

"This is an emergency. And it isn't an emergency. Because every day people die from despair, but every time I want to find someone else to heal, I can."

It's strange. The people don't individually matter until I talk to them. Because I know intellectually that, at this very moment, there's a girl somewhere cutting her wrists. And, to me, she's not important . . . because as soon as she's gone, two more will fill her place. Yet as soon as I talk to them, as soon as I read about them, they're actual people, and I'll sit up talking to them for hours on end because they need someone they can trust.

And there's no other way to do what I try to do - no other way and be sane. I could try to take everyone under my wing, only I would fail. I wouldn't be able to handle that many conversations, I wouldn't be able to remember that many facts . . . even now I'm having trouble. (Did you know that two of the people I talk to have strong feelings for Sean? Different Seans. I presume. And there are two other people who hate Ben. Different Bens, too. Isn't *that* ironic?)

And then there's stuff like what happened today, when I remember that among the people who simply don't realize what they're doing, among the people who hurt through uncaring or indifference, there are people who revel in pain, the kind of person who would shatter the trust of a fifteen-year-old girl and commit what I consider the worst crime that can be committed . . . and I wish it was a millenia ago, and I could walk over to them and chop their head off, or better yet, kill them very very slowly and very very painfully. And I thank whatever gods might be listening that I've got enough communication skill and trustworthiness that the newly wounded can trust me . . . even if they feel they can't trust anyone else . . . because somehow I have to help, even if I can never punish the person who did this.

If it was a millenia ago . . . I would build myself armor and forge myself a sword, and would take an oath, and travel from village to village and help the needy in any way I could.

But you can't do that today, because those who really need won't come for help, and those who come for help are only those who think they need.

I'll be your knight in shining armor . . . if I can, if you'll let me, if I'm skilled enough. I'll do everything I can to push you out of the pit, and I'll do everything I can to deserve your trust . . .

I just wish I could do more, wish I could be there for everyone who needs me, all at once. But there's only so much time.

there's only so much time.
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sleepy

here's your paycheck, give me your soul | 8060 servings per container

this tells me I'm worth $2,654,170. Although I don't believe it. Just what goes into this stat?

And how much of it is based on someone's self-image?

I remember a study where they went around to people and asked them whether the considered themselves socially above average, average, or below average. 80% of their sample was above average. Impressive, huh?

When going down that list, I couldn't point to a single thing that I really felt below average in . . . but then, how many people would?

Of course, they didn't have trivia on there. So maybe that helps a bit. There are plenty of people who could wipe the floor with me in anything involving geography or history, and I know it full well. Even computer trivia. (What's the bus width of a Pentium Pro? Not a clue. It ain't important!)

And I also had a problem with the "IQ" thing - especially when you look under the Most Expensive and see literally half a dozen doctorates with an IQ of 200 :P (females seem to be less prone to claiming insane IQs.)

I feel a bit hypocritical on that, though, since I *did* choose 180, because the only IQ test that was even remotely accurate that I took (years and years and years ago) registered me as "above 155", and I don't actually know what the real number is. 180 is just a wild guess . . .

oh well. go figure.

Ever looked on food products, and really paid attention to the little "nutrition" label?

The servings are absurdly small sometimes. For example, a bottle of Sobe is 2.5 servings. Do you know anyone who actually drinks a single serving of soda at a time, and puts the rest in the fridge for a future opportunity? No, you finish the bottle, of course.

I was having fun in Costco - a large bulk-stuff store - looking at food labels. Marachino cherries - 150 servings per container! Beef boullion cubes (in bulk) - 200 servings per container! How about spices? 50, 60 servings per container. The mustard we bought has 80 servings. There were a lot of things around the 500 area - the amusing part is, they weren't rounded. Labels like "491 servings per container" and such.

Then my mom bought a large box of baking soda . . .

8060 servings per container!

Isn't this just a *bit* insane, folks?

I have another deep philsophical and meaningful entry coming up, but it can wait.

And it's a bit of an honor that someone linked to my previous entry . . . I mean, wow, that's flattery :)
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