About Ryan Oakley

Author of "Technicolor Ultra Mall."

log: coming soon

Don’t let the pictures at the beach fool you. These last few weeks have actually been incredibly stressful. I can’t talk about what all that is about on here (not yet) but, maybe, in September I’ll be able to discuss the situation. Don’t worry, though. We’re going to come out of it fine. But still, it’s been a three week nightmare here. Tide seems to be turning. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, sacrifice a chicken, and all of that. Right now, seems okay-ish.

Has been some good stuff in the middle of all that. Finished an interesting writing project. It was intense but also a lot of fun. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk about that soon. In the fall, I think? This blog is turning into a list of things I can’t talk about yet.

Sorry about that.

I was also accepted into the JEDI Space section of ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative. It’s another research apprenticeship – this one involving space. I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to continue in the medical inequalities apprenticeship. Scheduling issues. We might be able to work around some of those but, even if we do, I’ll have to reduce my involvement.

The Interplanetary Initiative sounds interesting though, and I’m looking forward to it. Here’s the mission summary of the section that I’m in, JEDI Space:

Many organizations are creating a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive (DEI) workplace environment. However, there is little focus on creating DEI access to space. It is still an exclusive club. Even more critical, there is little emphasis on the “Just” aspect of access to space and the space community. This project will seek to answer the question of what a JEDI space means and how to open space access to more of humanity through surveys, conversations and events. An important goal of this project is to inspire action to create a space community that invites people to stay, going beyond metrics to understand the root cause of the metrics.

I’m excited about it. The team includes astronauts, professors, and my fellow students. Though I have limited expectations about what is possible here, I hope we can make some small contribution to preventing space from becoming the playground of billionaires and war machines. For my part, I think we need very different ways of thinking about space.

Yet another thing that I’ll hopefully get into at a later date.

This log entry is like a season preview for the fall.

COMING SOON: Learn about the exciting drama, the new project, and get fresh and healthy news about space delivered to your door. STAY TUNED. FILM WILL EMERGE AT 11!

I’m really enjoying running and swimming. For about a week or two, before all this stress, instability, and madness, I had something very close to a perfect life. Studying and school in the morning, running and swimming and beach reading in the afternoon, chores and time with my wife in the evening, and, after midnight, paid work on a writing project, and then pass out to some B-Movie. I mean, that was great. I could do that forever. Who couldn’t?

The structure remains the same but, boy, a THING can really fuck with the mood. It now seems a bit less like happiness and more like sanity retention. I’m grateful to have it though.

I mean, look yesterday’s water. The visibility was incredible.

I even got myself a little pair of water booties, which makes navigating the rocks much easier, and lets me use different points of entry into the ocean, while taking in the tide pools.

The odd thing is, I usually hate the beach. I don’t like . . . I don’t know what I’d call it? Mass recreation? Forced relaxation? Fun? But I really like this little beach. There’s some recreation there, some people just hanging out, but it’s also, primarily, a working beach. People fish, catch octopus, spearfish, forage seaweed and shellfish, cook, and, just generally, pull a living from the sea. Some, like me, just enjoy it, snorkeling or diving for shells or, in my case, trash, but it’s not just people laying around, partying, and enjoying themselves – though there’s enough to that to keep from being some joyless drudge.

Sweat.

Quitting the gym was a good idea. I was concerned that I’d get out of shape without it but I’m in better shape than I was with it. My weight has dropped from 83kg to 78.3kg without a loss in strength. If anything, I’m stronger. Less bulky but more defined and stronger.

Getting ready to run to the beach.

This is a good thing. I know bodies are a sensitive subject so, let me assure you, I have no feelings about yours. But for me? I have too much invested in trousers to ever want to put on much fat or muscle. Given the choice between the two, I’d take the muscle because, well, it’s useful and seems to have an upper limit. But overall? I prefer being lean to being big.

I’d like to maybe drop another kilo or so but I’m not pressed about it either.

Blue Linen Summer Suit

It’s been an almost perfect couple of weeks. Study and school in the morning, run to the beach and snorkel in the afternoon, evenings with the wife, and post-midnight work on a paid creative collaboration. (I hope to be able to tell you more about that fairly soon.) Turn on a B-movie, pass out, start again. Mixed in with this, I’ve gotten another research apprenticeship for the fall. (This one with The Interplanetary Initiative.) And I’ve even had a linen summer suit made. Life these last few weeks has been perfect. It can’t possibly last.

I was a bit nervous about this one. It’s a bit different from what I usually like.

Straight from beach to basted fitting.

I usually work off a basically, for lack of a better term, British suit style template. For that reason, linen has always made me a bit nervous. Fuck knows, I didn’t want to look like I just stepped out of the colonial office for a gin and tonic. I would much prefer to look like a cocaine dealer than Dr. Livingstone. At least the crimes of cocaine dealers aren’t backed by the state. Well, not usually, at least. Not officially, anyway. Most of the time that is.

But, given the high temperatures and suffocating humidity, I decided I required a linen suit. I’m basically content transforming back into my punk form for the summer but it’s still nice to be able to, once in a while, put on some clothes and not just completely die.

I had to make some changes and take some risks with cut and fit, not completely sure how it would all turn out. I wanted a more Mediterranean style. Basically, for lack of a better term, a more Italian cut. Looser fit to catch any breeze, more focus on drape, higher waist, and, for the first time in my life, pleats. I wanted a suit that could keep me cool, and be fairly versatile. Nothing precious. Something that could be casual.

I’m very happy with the result.

Dressed down:

Dressed up:

The linen should wrinkle nicely. There’s not really anything you can do to stop linen from wrinkling. It’s in its nature, you see. But we took a few measures to try to control what will happen when it wrinkles. We even lengthened the jacket sleeves a little bit so that, when the suit wrinkles at the elbows, it should wrinkle into an even better fit.

It’s also my tailor’s favorite suit that she’s made me. She says it’s more the style she likes.

I like it too but, in particular, I’m really liking the comfort, feel and the lightness of the linen. These days, between my corduroy suits and this, I’ve favoring more durable suits made from tougher fabrics. Fabrics that look better as they age. Textiles that improve as they break down. A bit of wabi-sabi. Instead of fearing wear, I want to embrace sweet decay.

And, I don’t know, maybe in three to five years, my wardrobe and I might have a bit of a better grip on the heat and humidity here. I doubt it but I can dream. That’s perfectly legal.

log: 바다 백수

Well, shit. It’s been a minute.

Since we last spoke, I decided I might have pulled the trigger a little early on the whole surrender to the weather thing. It hasn’t actually been that hot or humid. Warm, to be sure, but hardly suffocating. Of course, that all changed last night. 92% humidity and the raw temperature just kept rising through the entire night. And today? Summer arrived.

Been a strange few weeks. Finished the first of my summer classes. Whatever. Like, don’t get me wrong, I like school, but I also sort of hate it. Whole academic industry seems largely like a pyramid scheme to me. But, apparently, my brain needs a license so . . .

The odd thing is, since a lot of the restrictions have lifted, and the COVID numbers are in steady decline, it feels like I just moved to Busan a couple of weeks ago. I’ve felt fine popping into random restaurants, going to things, lingering, so on and so forth. While wearing a mask indoors in crowds, obviously. That’s just how it is now. I don’t even mind. I’m used to the thing and usually wear it outdoors too. It’s easier than carrying it and remembering to put it on when I go indoors. Wife and I even took in a baseball game.

Giants won that one. 13-0. It was an amazing bunch of fun. We had seats in the cheering section so I danced a lot. I have not danced that much in years. I’d like to learn the songs.

It doesn’t feel exactly like I just moved here. I mean, it sort of does. What it feels like is – you know a person online for a few years then meet in person and develop an IRL relationship. It’s that sort of feeling. The place isn’t as alien as it was when I first moved here (not by a long shot) but I’m also, really, just starting to get to know it. And I like it. I love it here.

I’m hunting down dumplings and noodles

I’ve also taken up jogging outdoors. I want to lose some bulk and gain some strength. I’ve always favored full body functional exercises to isolations. I also just enjoy running. I mean, sprinting (or trying to) makes me feel like a little kid. I started off running at night, which I like, but over the last week, without school to worry about, I’ve adjusted my schedule. Reason being? The beach! Swimming. After living here since fall 2019, I finally got into the water!

These days, I jog down to the beach, take a swim, and jog home. It’s about a 3.5km run to the beach and longer than that home. The difference is in the hill. It’s 2.25km down the hill. I don’t like to run all the way down it and I sure can’t run all the way up it. (I’m trying motherfucker, I AM TRYING.) So, all in all, about 7km run during the day (approximately 9km including the walk) and a swim in the middle. I wear a 3.5 kilo backpack. Wear a mask.

Let’s dox myself.

So this is the part of Busan where I live and I’ve marked about where I live.

If you look to the far right and back, that’s the beach I typically run to and home from. There’s another little beach along the coast that I like. It’s a little tough to get to but usually empty except for old people gathering seaweed. But it’s pretty rocky. And if there’s waves, it turns into a white froth and would turn me into a red pulp. So that one is not always on.

But I have a snorkel and mask for when it is. And I forage some seaweed for food. Like, I mean, if the ocean is just going to give that shit away, you’d be a fool not to take it.

If you want to see pictures, Instagram is probably your best bet.

Wife hates me, of course. While she’s at work, I’m on the beach. I mean, I would kill me. Luckily, she’s not that petty and as long as I still complete my housework, schoolwork, run the errands, and all of that background work that supports her career, we’re good.

I just wish she could come to the beach with me during the week when it’s a little less populated. She might be getting a job where she works weekends and has a couple of weekdays off instead. I hope so. She’d never had a job like that so she’s nervous about a lack of weekends. I, on the other hand, have never had weekends. The times I’ve joined mainstream society and had to endure weekends? I fucking hate them. They’re the worst.

This whole week my days have been reading, writing, running, swimming, chores, errands, batting cage, woods, baseball, new dumpling spots, and even a trip to the tailor. (I’ve decided I need at least one summer suit and I’m having a linen one made. More on that at a later date, probably.) Right now, my major problem is – I would like a pair of swim trunks I can run in or a pair of running shorts that I can swim in. Something that will dry out pretty quick. I’d like to be able to lighten that backpack a little.

And, I’d also like to get a few more subscribers to The Doomtown Gazette. It’s good right now –like, honestly, if you subscribe, thanks so much, it rally helps and is really appreciated, you folks actually keep my bank account functioning– but three more subscribers and I think I could justify subscribing to a certain AI illustrator that I like. And that shit? That would be like me getting a drum machine. I could work with that!

It’s a very happy time, right now. Like deeply happy. It can’t possibly last. But what does?

log: surrender

Surrender is an underrated skill. Maybe because it’s easy. Might be because it threatens one’s ego. When you’re fighting, you have to defeat someone else. When you surrender, you defeat yourself. On purpose. But knowing when and how to surrender important.

Sometimes, you just need to give the fuck up.

After spending last summer struggling through the heat, trying to figure out how to maintain myself and my sense of myself, until I finally dissolved into some sort of punk mess, I decided that this year I was going to just say fuck it and give up. Surrender early, surrender hard, and don’t look back. The second the heat came, my fucks would go.

The heat came. The humidity came.

And I waved the white flag.

But surrendering took some preparation. I was able to prepare. Last summer I saw how uncomfortable I felt with the sort of preppy look that emerged when I just tried to dress down. I was so much happier when I just let myself become a mess and de-prepped with some punk patches.

So this year I, at least, have some idea where this is all going. Having decided on surrender, I was able to get ready for it. Bought some t-shirts. Ol’ Dirty Bastard and The Fall and some others in the mail. These should do me for years.

I’m still trying to figure out the whole legs situation. I have a grand total of three pairs of summer pants –one of which doesn’t fit and another which is white– and four pairs of shorts. So I’m good on the shorts front. Think I could probably use another couple pairs of pants. I’ll have to experiment. Due to the rain, it’ll be good to be able to roll them up.

And I need to figure out something with footwear. I need something waterproof.

But, all in all, I feel pretty much ready.

Other than that, my gym membership expired and, well, I’m not going to renew it. I like having a gym in my life but that place was getting too crowded. Too many people for the space they had and the hours they kept. On top of that, the staff (two body builders) routinely hogged the machines. Like, I hate being like ‘the staff shouldn’t do that’ and Satan knows, I do not subscribe to ‘the customer is always right’ but, like, if there’s a shortage of space and I’m paying, I don’t want to have to wait for a worker to finish with their program before I begin mine. When they started asking customers to move so they could work out? Well, fuck it, I’m done. That never happened to me but I don’t even want the stress of thinking it could happen or seeing it happen. So I’m back to working out in the woods.

I’m also thrilled that I finally got close enough to a sound I always hear in the summer to get an ID on it from my bird call app. It’s a Northern Boobook. A sort of brown hawk owl.

Almost certain!

I’m also trying my hand (or my feet?) at some running. Never really done much running and what I’ve done has always been on a treadmill. Now I’m running on the Haeundae Blue Line. Basically 3-5km runs. To do the 5k means walking about 4km to get to where I start and, after I finish, I have to climb the hill/mountain to get home. But I’m liking it. I’m also trying to get up this hill/mountain that I live on. That’s going to take some work, I think.

after first 5k

I got myself a little backpack and that helps. Haven’t had a backpack since high-school. Honestly, I’m thrilled with the thing for my exercises, Can carry my skipping rope, water, a towel, phone, wallet, headphones, all that shit, and keep my hands free.

This summer, I’m looking forward to running down to one of the beaches and jumping in the water for a swim. Assuming, you know, we’re not in the middle of a plague or some such.

My studies are going well. I’m enjoying my summer classes.

As far as the plague goes, the outdoor mask restrictions were lifted a few weeks ago but the vast majority, myself included, are still wearing ours. There’s not really much of a noticeable difference on the streets, though life and hustle and bustle is returning to the city. And The Mystery Library finally reopened – two days a week– and that gives me a nice place to get out and do some reading with a coffee. So I’m happy with that.

Things are decent.

the doomtown gazette

I’m pretty horrible at promotion. I’m pretty happy or whatever passes for “happy” just scribbling in the corner. Ideally, I’d love to figure out a way to get paid for writing without ever being read. (Maybe academia?) In spite of all that, every once in a while, I sort of take a pass at promoting my work. Then I horrify myself and give up. Having said all that

THE DOOMTOWN GAZETTE

That’s right. I’ve gone and changed the named of my Patreon. I wanted to make it a little snappier and, well, I think this is a better name. I tried to punch up the presentation a little bit. Prices and all that are still the same and I couldn’t bring myself to add different tiers.

There is only one tier.

SUPER NUCLEAR LEVEL HYPER MEMBER!!! 

As a SUPER NUCLEAR LEVEL HYPER MEMBER!!! you receive bulletins from THE NOCTURNAL LIBRARY. THESE WILL APPEAR AS NEEDED. ADVISE CAUTIONS!!! You will learn what SECRETS are being held in THE MUSEUM OF A BILLION COSMIC OBJECTS!!! You will TRAVEL THE NEXUS OF MISERY and RETURN A CHANGED PRIMATE!!! COMMUNE WITH THE ANIMAL AND THE DEAD! JOIN NOW! SHOP NOW! JOIN AND SHOP NOW!!!

If that sounds like you’re sort of thing, it’s just $3.33 a month. My posting has been a little more erratic than I’d like lately but it’s still fairly steady and there’s already 86 doses up.

That should be more than enough to keep you busy for some time.

And, all in all, I’m pretty happy with this work. I understand that in some cases it’s probably unreadable and it’s often uneven and I don’t know what anyone would get out of reading any of it, but I dunno – I think it’s pretty solid sci-fi of a type I like. A plotless assault on decency, good taste, and rationality. Like, whatever its problems, being commercial is not one of them. It’s probably pretty fucked up! Some of it, I’m not even sure it’s legal.

So, if you’ve been a supporter, are one now, or if you’ve even just gone to the trouble of sharing a link to my book or The Doomtown Gazette, under whatever name, I’d just really like to say thank you. The little bit of money I make from this really does help. Aside from that, it’s nice to think that there might be some batshit niche for this stuff.

And like, if you ever want to use any of this stuff for your stuff, just let me know.

log: suicide sprints

Odd midnight trip to the woods. I met another human, which is incredibly rare. We chatted. Well, we tried to. His English and my Korean are both abysmal. We managed to discuss animals. We walked together to the outdoor exercise area.

I’d brought my skipping rope into the woods. Although I go to the gym, this summer, I want to add some night-time cardio. Long and short of that is I don’t want to bulk up as much as I have been. I’m going to adjust some of my routines for more of a focus on speed, agility, strength, balance, and endurance. I want to lose a little bit of mass without losing strength.

At the exercise zone, while I skipped, he ran through boxing drills. It’s a testament to the safety of this country that I was alone in a dark forest with a stranger who was punching the air and, not once, was I concerned for my safety. It was just social.

Then this maniac wanted to do suicide sprints on the badminton court. Basically you run to one end, touch the line with your hand, run back, do the same, and you keep doing that. Sounds easy enough. Try it, sometime.

We did 15 three minute rounds of suicides together with one minute breaks. I mean, fucking hell. Now, I usually don’t do 15 sets of anything. My basic workout philosophy is, if you can do more than five sets of a thing, you aren’t going hard enough. I don’t know if that’s a good philosophy but it works for me and gives me a frame to operate in. So 15? I only made it through because having a partner makes it easier. And, well, I also hate to lose in that sort of competition. Well, I don’t mind losing but it won’t be for lack of trying. I’ll be a puddle before I quit. When I said that I was going to be sore tomorrow, he taught me some strange but effective breathing exercises. They seemed like Tai Chi but I really don’t know what they were. But you could really feel the breath in your stomach. We finished up, became “sports friends”, and exchanged numbers. He likes sports. We might play catch!

And we walked out together. So, an odd thing about the woods, a thing that I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned, is that the forest where I walk is full of graves. Mound burials. The odd tombstone but usually just large unmarked mounds where people are buried. The woods is basically a cemetery. We walked past two or three mound burials on the way out. He pulled out his phone and started playing Thriller. So he’s a comedian, I guess.

We saw some cops driving around and we goofed on the police for a while. That’s important. A basic contempt for police is vital. It’s something I take for granted in a friend.

So yeah. Odd trip out. And, damn, I’m sore.

In other news, the outdoor mask mandate was lifted today — except in certain environments. I’m going to keep wearing mine. Mainly, I don’t feel like digging around in my pocket to find my mask when I need it. And it’s not like it’s hard to wear or anything so . . .

more of a cryptid

Not that anyone asked. I don’t believe in alcoholics or alcoholism. I also don’t think drug addiction is a disease. That’s not to say that I think it’s a crime or a moral failing. (Though, if done well, it just might be both.) And I do think medical interventions are a lot more use than police interventions, though, let’s face it, the line between the two can be blurry. But a disease? I just have doubts about that one. And alcoholism? As groups like AA think of it? As a sort of demon possession. I think that’s a lot of horseshit. Not that anyone asked.

Generally, I tend to think drug fiends are just selfish manipulative pricks who are experts in converting pain into license. Often, getting off the drugs will help them but it usually doesn’t deal with the personality than made them so terrible while on the drugs. Satan knows, I’ve seen some people sober up just to wonder why they’d even bother. Like, if they were going to keep acting like that, they could at least do everyone the service of putting a lampshade on their head. For some people, getting sober just seems like a new way to become the noisy center of the universe. But, having said that, I think it’s generally pretty good to sober up. And most of this is verdict on myself rather than on anyone else. Not that anyone asked.

So even though I believe these things, I actually don’t have much of a problem with groups like AA. They’re not for me. They might very well work for someone else. I don’t like how the 12 steps monopolize the discourse on drunks and drunkenness and I can’t stand how they often act like they’re the ONE TRUE WAY or how they operate in a weird partnership with the legal system. But, if someone gets some use out of these groups, and if it helps a person, that’s fine. Honestly, good for you. I’m happy if it helped. I can see the appeal. I might think it’s nonsense but we all have to believe some sort of nonsense to get through the day. It’s one of those things where I have my opinions and experiences, other people have theirs, and that’s all fine. No one needs to have the final universal answer on this thing. No one should pretend to. It’s just perspective. Do what you need to. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I don’t really give much of a fuck. And if you’re making to effort to stop hurting people, that’s also good. So don’t take me too personally!

I’ve been off the drugs and drink for something like ten to fifteen years. There’s been bumps in the road to be sure. (And if the 12 Steppers I’ve known are any indication, a program is no guarantee of avoiding those.) I don’t view those bumps as relapses. Maybe errors in judgement. Sometimes as reasonable responses to intolerable situations. Other times, just as a pretty good time. Overall, I’ve stayed sober without meetings, badges, or any of that. I don’t really think about all that much. I don’t count the days. I just go about life. I find it easier sober.

For starters, no fucking hangovers.

And I used to blackout. Like, a lot. So it’s also nice to wake up knowing where I was, what I said, and what I did. Because, holy fuck, sometimes I still remember things from those blackout days. An image, a word, an act. A mystery. Sometimes, no mystery at all. Hard to say which is worse. And that shit can turn you cold on a hot day. That’s some stay awake staring into the darkness shit. Waiting for the knock on the door shit. I’m happy to produce less of those feelings. I couldn’t take any more of them. Just can’t deal with it.

Not that anyone asked.

Anyway, what brought this on? Just a weird synchronicity.

Happened to read this post by Paul Graham Raven about quitting Twitter and the recent rush to the door due to new ownership. And this part broke off and snagged in my brain.

I expect most folk will stay, and many of those now leaving will find a reason to go back. And again, I ain’t judgin’; when I quit the first time, it was a horrendous blow to my social life that has in many respects never been recovered from. It’s hard to leave a network with sunk social costs; it hurts, even when the network itself is a source of pain. Ask any reformed junkie or alcoholic, they’ll tell you the same: it’s not just the substance you have to quit, it’s the life within which that substance is entirely entangled. That’s a lot to ask of anyone, and no one will ever do it until they really want to—which, to be clear, is a very different thing to thinking they should.

I can relate. For me, quitting drugs and drink not only felt like quitting a social life but also quitting myself. (These days, I’m not sure there’s a difference. I don’t believe in souls and I think my personality is basically my social network.) The oddest part of all that I had no idea who I was without drugs or drink. I mean, what the fuck do I even like? What sort of things do I do? Who the fuck am I? I felt like I had to consciously and deliberately invent a sober version of myself and choose my interests. As scary and painful as that I was, I was also grateful for the chance. One doesn’t usually get to exercise such agency over themselves. Probably everything needs to blow up for that sort of shit to even be possible.

Then I bumped into this piece in WIRED about how AA is falling out of favor and veing replaced by new trends in getting sober. That is, something like:

All the better, I guess, to toast the charismatic influencers who inhabit the highly nonanonymous sobriety … space. (There’s always a space.) You might think there would be an oligopoly in neo-sobriety superstardom, but no, it’s a thousand points of light, and each soberfluencer has staked out a niche approach or at least some trademark design elements. Many also sit in Venn patches with lifestyle masters in apparently related realms: exercise, spirituality, prosperity, productivity, and even conspiracy. From what I’ve divined from a heady three-day scrolling bender, the biggest influencers in the sobriety space fall pretty clearly into three categories: mystical gurus who ground their sobriety in rococo superstitions, professional habit-breakers who regard sobriety as a happiness hack, and reps from the managerial class who advocate for medical interventions and cognitive science to treat a brain malfunction they now refer to as alcohol use disorder.

I mean, leave it to people to abandon AA and find something worse.

I agree with that piece’s author when she says that not getting fucked up is not so much a profitable life hack as it is a first step in being a halfway decent person. Rather than profit, one will first have to deal with profound loss. And learning to help other people is an important part of getting sober. Like, one has to think about other people. To this day, I cannot stand when someone talks about a devoted drunk “battling” or “struggling” with booze and drugs. Seems to me, it’s other people, the people around us, who have to struggle with booze or alcohol. For the drunk? What the fuck do they care? It’s all good. It feels great. It’s a lot of fun. They’ve made their problems into everyone else’s problems.

And, finally, I bumped into this by Robin Sloan, once again about Twitter, that says:

Many people don’t want to quit because they worry: without my Twitter account, who will listen to me? In what way will I matter to the world beyond my apartment, my office, my family? I believe these hesitations reveal something totally unrelated to Twitter. I don’t have words for it, exactly, but if you find yourself fretting in this way, I will gently suggest that it’s worth questing a bit inside yourself to discover what you’re really worried about.

I think that thing that we don’t have words for exactly is important to all of this. I’m not sure what it is or if it’s the same for everyone. Nor am I sure that we can talk about SNS and drugs in the same way or even should. But there is some sort of unthinkable thing there. Some sort of same unthinkable thing. Something to do with what we do to feel real. To remind ourselves that we’re still here and still there and still in the world – whatever the fuck we think all that is. And I don’t think there’s a real need “to discover what you’re really worried about” when the idea of becoming unreal is probably enough to really worry about.

That need to be real is pretty important. I don’t think it’s a bad or shallow thing. (I sure as fuck don’t even think shallow things are bad.) It may just be an urge to participate. That urge is root of a lot of good in the world and a lot of bad. We want to be real people.

But, I think, when it comes to quitting things, a person might have to get comfortable with being irreal. A lot of times quitting comes with a lot of promises about living a more authentic life. I don’t know if that’s possible or even desirable. I’m not even sure what authentic is. But I do think, if you want to quit a thing, you need to get some sort of settlement with not being there and not being real. You might not be authentic. You could just be a cryptid.

And, I guess, if any of this post has a point, it’s that it’s okay to be more of a cryptid.

Not that anyone asked, of course.