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Date: January 11th, 2020.

Time of Writing: 10:00 PM

Weather: Warmer than it has any right to be for this time of year.

Mood: Perturbed.

Day Overview: Something about today has felt consistently off. I woke up at around noon and, knowing myself to have a lunch appointment with Edward around 1:45 PM, set about eating breakfast and getting myself picked up and put together. Today we were going to hang out and engage with this big internet thing that we periodically read, on an every so often basis. It's a thing that I've already gone all the way through, and a thing that he is almost at the end of. I will not name this thing, because naming it invites the possibility that through it I lose all credibility. But I'm sure that it can be inferred from some other details here and there. I got ready and dressed and waited for him to pick me up in his parent's car. 1:45 PM came and went. Soon it was 2:30. Then I get the message from him that he overslept, and also that his parents took the car out in the morning and won't be back until late in the evening.

This is no big deal. I wouldn't mind walking to the train station, given the absurdly pleasant weather. I donned my marching band jacket and set out for the nearby station only to find that the trains were not running. Instead, for the first few stations, there were shuttle busses. I piled onto one (without being invited to pay a fare) and set about reading a book, Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea, and I got as far as the second stop on the line before I got distracted and looked out the window. There was an ambulance parked outside the station, and a few paramedics were wheeling a stretcher around to the back of the ambulance to load inside. The stretcher was raised so as to keep the person held inside in a sitting position, but I could not see anyone sitting in it from where I was. I almost turned back to my reading then, figuring that they had been called erroneously and were merely returning the stretcher to the ambulance, their services not needed.

And then I saw that sitting in the stretcher was a young child.

She had a breathing mask on and looked to be in tears, I saw as the stretcher rounded the curb and turned back around. There was no obvious sign of injury. A man nearby, likely her grandfather from his gray hair and wispy appearance, was holding another young girl who looked undisturbed. My eyes hung on the scene for a moment before the bus jerked away. I looked ahead to the station, hoping to see some indication of what caused the incident, or only to gauge a general reaction to what had just happened.

Instead I saw the forward facing eyes of glassy eyed commuters ready to board the shuttle bus and continue their day. The ambulance incident may as well have not happened. It seemed as though I was the only one who saw it.

The woman who sat next to me had a dog in her lap. Cute.

When the shuttle bus ended I figured I may as well walk to the square where I was going to meet Edward for lunch - we settled on ramen. The walk was pleasant, and the food was nice. It had been a long time since I had any good ramen. One of the dining halls back on campus occasionally had a ramen bar, but it wasn't anything special. We went to his house and started reading the thing, but after a certain point I noticed that the links to advance to the next page were already purple. Edward denied reading ahead and tried to make some explanation for why they were purple, but I did not and still do not really believe him. He texted me a few days ago about a dream he had that mirrored the next pivotal turn in the story almost exactly. I get the feeling he was lying to me. We read roughly until his parents came home, and I helped them bring some of their things inside. Edward's mother showed me her old clarinet from her marching band days, which was interesting, and then I stuck around for not too much longer before Edward gave me a ride home.

On My Mind: Nausea is an interesting book to read while writing this blog because it is chiefly about the act of keeping a diary, at least on some level. The book is styled as the diary of a misanthropic writer who detests his own existence. Sound familiar? There are several instances in which Sartre, from the main character Antoine Roquentin's point of view, remarks that nothing happened in his day before making some observation that leads him to reveal that his day was long and incredibly eventful, comprised of many meaningful and memorable moments. I've been trying not to let this blog slip into an excruciating catalog of miserable minutiae, like some parts in this book, but I do feel the temptation coming on at times. Maybe when I am returned to the valley, when the spring semester starts, maybe then I will open up a little more about how I truly feel about the day's events instead of merely offering a play-by-play.


Produced: Zilch. Nada. Nil. I have stuff to write, and perhaps I'll get to it later, but I'm in a weird funk right now and I don't feel good about writing any more than this post.

Other Thoughts: I don't know how to talk to strangers.