July 18, 2012
On the train from Vienna to Mattersburg
I’ve been living clean for three days and feel my energy and clarity slowly coming back. Overall my mood is elevated, although the spikes in both directions seem to be sharper. Shortly after my dad passed away I was to busy to reflect upon his death. I definitely have more moments now when the pain of losing him hits me really hard and unexpected. It usually lasts for not more than a few seconds, but it is quite intense.
Work, commuting, and buying groceries take up most of my time. I try hard to get enough sleep, with success to some extent. But I think I should get more still. It’s still hard for me to go to bed at 9pm. That’s only two hours after I’ve returned from work, so I’m still eager to go after my personal interests at that point.
The good thing is that the scarcity of time keeps me from wasting it. Now more than ever I feel like every minute of my day has a purpose. It is ironic how liberated the circumstances make me feel. When I finally manage to bring myself to go to bed, I sink to the bottom like a stone.
I will go to Croatia in a few days. This has been the longest I’ve ever not been there. At least two years, maybe three. It certainly feels like five. It will all be very different than it used to be. I changed a lot. My grandmother and my father are gone. My mother sold a part of her real estate. Many of my friends will have finished college, have a job or be unemployed and high most of the time. There won’t be a tightly knit group as there used to be. But then it hasn’t been like this since a long time ago. If I manage to just grab at least a few of my friends and give them a good hug, I’ll be content.
Last week or so I enrolled in an online Quantum Computing class chaperoned by Berkeley. Yesterday the course started and I watched the first part of the lectures. It brought back good memories. Back when I went to College I would watch a lot of lectures while working out on the elliptical, most notably a course on Programming Paradigms from Stanford, which was more or less an introduction to Java. I enjoyed those a lot, because the professor shows so much love for the subject he’s teaching.
It also reminded me of my dad. Many of the things tought in the lecture seemed familiar to me because my dad had explained them to me. Also, the reading recommendations for the course had a few books by Feynman in it. Books that were out of print when my dad borrowed them from the library, painstakingly photo-copied every single page, and archived the pages in [binders] that he labeled with his hand-writing.
Another thing that made me feel weird is how I have taken over the role of the person in that house who’s studying for fun. My dad used to tape every educational TV show he knew of. And there used to be (and probably still are) a lot of them on German public broadcast. Most of them were pretty bad, mostly because the presenters lacked charisma. But so does the guy in the lecture videos from Berkely, and I don’t seem to mind that much. I just want to have a good time grasping a new concept. No pressure. Only curiosity. Pure joy.
Like every time I stop drinking and smoking and start regaining my senses for a few days, I feel an incredible lust for writing. I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to write, because there’s so much to write about. But I’m about to choose something and commit to it.
July 18, 2012