Lest you doubt that everything in the Universe is connected, the way to get the downstairs toilet in my house to stop running--as it does sometimes even when the handle stays up--is to run the hot water.

Many thanks to Darren for this helpful tip. I for one would really not have thought the sink's hot water was connected to the toilet, but there it is.

It's possible that at the end of the day the thing that distracts me the most, overall, more than anything, is wondering what my future looks like, what even might be available. Do I have kids? Is that something that psychologically I can handle? Am I really different now than I was six months ago? How long do I live in this house, driving 45 minutes to my job (which I like), practicing aikido, seeing my friends, carrying on whatever relationships I can? I can make life sound so dreary.

I have it in my head, and always have, that for more normal people--yeah, yeah, everyone's different; but the overwhelming majority of people are less smart and less odd than I am, and even fewer have had the opportunities I've had to explore and elevate my smartness and oddness (thanks, Mom and Dad)--that for people closer to the top of the bell curve, life is somehow simpler. And while I haven't quite let go of the idea, I'm pretty convinced that simplicity is a myth. That people grow up in small towns and marry their high-school sweethearts and have 2.5 kids and a dog and a white picket fence and they can still be dissatisfied and something will be complicated, even if they don't face it head-on. I'm stunned by the panorama of all that is human, from the most glorious and lofty things all the way down to the gruesome and foul. Such extremes, such color, and all this pleasure and pain is just very simply what we are.

I'm feeling quiet and pensive tonight, which on Mondays often has a tinge of sadness to it. Tonight in particular I'm missing talking with someone, and I'm sort of listening to my feelings about how I fit into that person's life; some of the feelings are real, and others are sort of whiny and self-pitying and go away once acknowledged and understood. I need some time to myself anyway, with so much going on, I have so much stuff to let sit and process.

I slept until past 8 this morning, for the first time in...I dunno. Many weeks. Maybe it's a sign that the world is settling a little bit.

I was forced to go look up the Pygmalion myth this evening (I'm not entirely sure why, but that's beside the point). If you're like me and haven't read the myth in a while, have never read the George Bernard Shaw play of the same name, and have never seen My Fair Lady, Pygmalion was a Greek sculptor who disdained women, but created a statue of such surpassing beauty that he treated it as his love, until one day at a feast of Aphrodite prayed to that goddess to give him a woman like his statue. Aphrodite brought the statue to life for him. Now, according to my friend, the woman, Galateas, left Pygmalion, having outgrown him or some such, and in the movie they get back together at the end. None of the versions I found on the web, including a translation of Ovid, mention anything about her leaving--just that they got married and had some babies who go on to cause more trouble. I was struck by some of the graphic detail in this translation from 1713:

    Art hid with art, so well perform'd the cheat,
    It caught the carver with his own deceit:
    He knows 'tis madness, yet he must adore,
    And still the more he knows it, loves the more:
    The flesh, or what so seems, he touches oft,
    Which feels so smooth, that he believes it soft.

    Fir'd with this thought, at once he strain'd the breast,
    And on the lips a burning kiss impress'd.

    'Tis true, the harden'd breast resists the gripe,
    And the cold lips return a kiss unripe:
    But when, retiring back, he look'd again,
    To think it iv'ry, was a thought too mean...
As Pygmalion falls in love with the statue. I mean, I know the Romans and Greeks made Robert Mapplethorpe look Republican, but it's not like I ever actually read the stuff.