What could have been

If it is to be believed there are parallel dimensions, I’d like to think that right now, I am on a night flight to London with my girlfriend sitting next to me. Maybe her head is on my shoulder and she’s trying to get some sleep. I know I would have already been on my second glass of wine, trying to sleep through the flight over the Atlantic with the drone of the air rushing over the fuselage and the engines shooting us across the sky at nearly 600mph. Probably watching some censored version of a stupid movie. Holding hands.

But I’m not.

It’s Sunday, May 10, 2020. Because of the pandemic, the flight was canceled. Then we were cancelled. I’m not having a good day with this. I get that so many people can just shrug and say, “Life goes on” but I’m not wired that way. I’m still reeling. Still processing. Still raw. This shit takes a while. If you can get over that kind of loss so easily, good for you.

Today I picked up some herbs from a nursery and planted them in pots at home. I’ve been walking wounded for a few days now. Trying to keep busy. I just keep thinking about that trip. And yes, about her. Trying to let go. Trying to keep my head clear. Trying not to say “What the fuck?!” every twenty minutes. Little things keep popping up. Reminders.

A year ago, I was about to take the same flight. I did it solo. It was my first international trip and it opened my eyes to who I am and what I wanted out of life. It changed my perspective in so many ways. I went through the rollercoaster of pushing my comfort zone, figuring things out, taking a recuperative nap, and repeating over the next ten days. It was amazing. It was an experience I had hoped to revisit. Something I had hoped to share with someone.

Fucking coronavirus.

Again, my life feels stalled. I’m angry, alone, stuck with my work to keep me occupied. That’s just wonderful. While so many have been bitching about being on lockdown for the last two months, I’ve been sheltering in place alone, (apart from phone calls). The monotony broken by my son for two weeks now out of eight. The time with him is wonderful, but it is work. We do podcasts together, but I can tell the difference in my voice with him. I’m Dad. I’m not me.

Everyone is sheltering in place with someone. I’m tired of pretending that is something I will get. Fuck it. Everyone paired off on Noah’s Ark and I’m waving bon voyage from the pier.

I hope that other me is enjoying London and Edinburgh for the next ten days, in a world where the Chinese government didn’t play “I don’t have anything behind my back, Mom,” with the world and fuck everyone over.

In that other world it would have been the beginning of a new adventure. Today, it’s just more of the same. Get knocked down seven times, stand up eight. But I just keep getting up. I don’t even remember why anymore.

Over here, people are arguing over facemasks and hoarding toilet paper. You lucky bastard. Here, it’s just more of the same. The same old story, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to figure out just what the fuck went wrong.

Have fun, Clinton Harris in a Parallel Universe. I hope you have an amazing time.

Frustration and Staying Frosty

So, I moved my travel blog (not that it will be getting any mileage in the foreseeable future, for obvious reasons) to WordPress. It was supposed to be a little cheaper, and the domain host that I had been using was not that great. All customer service was done by automated responses to keywords which directed me to a Tech Info Library.

So, I moved the domain.

Only to discover that none of the content moved with it. But because it never made it to Google, I can’t even use the wayback machine to copy and paste a year’s worth of content to the new site. It’s gone. All of it.

When life throws those kinds of things at you, all you can do is find the lesson in it. You see, I have a LiveJournal blog that I wrote on from 2007 all the way until pretty much the end of last year. All of that content is still there. Unlike the blog site I paid for, which is gone, never showed up on a Google search in spite of all the add ons and bullshit I paid for, and now it is so much pixelated dust.

The lesson here is write locally, upload globally.

Kinda the same with my book. You see, people are buying and potentially reading my book, but they are getting copies of it from sites on Amazon that aren’t my account because I never get paid for them. The Chinese are notorious for this. Copyright? What’s that? I’ve had many friends who find their works printed off from China and they never see a red cent.

The only bummer is that I probably no longer have a PDF of the finished copy of my book the way Createspace had it, because I could just go to Createspace and run off copies for cost and give them or sell them to people. I could buy three or sometimes four copies of my book for what Amazon wanted for just one. I did this a lot. Because I feel like it’s better to be read than it is to get rich.

I know I’m not going to get rich. Money-wise anyway. There are other kinds of wealth. Granted, I wouldn’t mind selling some writing to help pay the rent, which is why I write SEO content for companies. It is usually joyless work, but it is more fulfilling than changing the same classes over and over and over again for professors who don’t feel that working five days a week is for them. No, they do everything they can to shore up their teaching schedule into maybe three days so they get four day weekends.

This is why I’m going to be writing about the underbelly of the Ivory Tower soon enough. I have 18 years experience in this kind of fuckery. It’s time to share it with the world. There’s a good reason Higher Ed is failing right now. Why one of the biggest crises to hit the US is the student loan bubble. That’s why the Feds are looking to bail out loan holders right now. They painted themselves into a corner by not allowing bankruptcies, and rather than bring back debtors prison, they have to do something. Might as well winnow out the small remaining loans so they can continue to milk the big bulls.

This, my friends, is how you get the Great Depression II. Inflate loans people can’t pay (but keep issuing them) and then the bottom drops out of the economy. Boom. You now how an impoverished class. Or at least an economic crisis.

And this stimulus package to just pay everyone $1000 to $3000 dollars? It reminds me a lot of the German state in the 1920s. Lets just print off more money. What color deutchmarks would you like to plaster the bathroom with? I guess if they run inflation up, that toilet paper crisis in the US will be solved. Just go to the ATM machine!

Anyway, that is my dispatch today. Stay safe. Be patient. And be kind.