Sisterhood

For those that have trouble identifying these, this is one of my “Hamlet’s play” series of fictional posts.

I saw Evelyn’s sister’s face today and they do look remarkably alike.

I remember, let’s see, it was 1980 or so. I was eight. There was a car, a big one like the ones common in the 1970s, brown or beige, a station wagon, if I am correct.

The driver of the car followed me to the end of the driveway of my neighbours, the Mackenzies. I turned into their driveway.

One of the people in the car told me that she would place a bet, could I run faster than the car? I told them I wasn’t interested and then, because these strangers were creepy, I decided to walk more quickly toward the Mackenzies’ house. I knew I could get home by cutting through their backyard, through the trees to my house.

I am not entirely sure what happened next- I turned my back on the car, I heard engines revving, someone yelled “stop”, I ran toward a tree.

I do not know what happened next. I honestly can’t remember.

Thing is, though. Thing is: one of the people in that car knew me, thought she knew me really, really well, thought she knew me from infancy, perhaps. She was 10 years older than me, so an adult, and she was in that car, and thought she knew what I’d do, thought she could control me, thought she’d see me die that day.

And the other thing is, she is not the only one who saw what happened that day and all the days subsequent, all the times I’ve been attacked; there is someone else that knows me, doesn’t try to control me, thought they saw me die at least once, maybe twice (yes, I remember 2012, or was it early 2013?). Someone else to bear witness. Someone else to help me investigate, because even though I have no proof and a poor memory and struggle daily with wondering what thoughts I have are real and what thoughts delusion, this person doesn’t have these problems, and this person knows me.

This person saw what happened that day, with the car, to the small child I was. I don’t know if both of you have children of your own- Evelyn does, maybe you do, too. My friend definitely does.

Imagine what you would do to someone that tried to run over an eight year old child on purpose.

Now imagine that child is mine- because she is, she’s a part of me, that frightened eight year old, she is mine.

Now imagine what I would do to you. With evidence- maybe not of that long-ago summer day in Ontario, but it’s not like that has been the only such exercise among such loving and busy sisters.

I know how you know me. I’ve seen your faces and I know both of your names. You never did tell me your names, before, but that is not important now. I saw your faces, before. You never thought I would be able to say that, right? You had a foolproof plan. You both had it all figured out, long, long ago, and it worked well for so very long.

Only she screwed up, you see. Evelyn asked me to impersonate myself. She told me I was not ugly enough but I would do. A pivotal moment. It’s a long story, what happened after, and I’m saving that one for a film.

I was not the only one who saw you, and not the only one of your acquaintance that knows you for what you are, now.

When the time is right, all will be revealed.

Tick.

Tock.

Evolving ideas

I’ve decided to fold my ideas relating to my “Hamlet’s play” series of posts (I talk a little bit about them here, and I’ve made a couple more additional such posts since that one). The premise of these should be obvious to anyone that has actually read Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and I’m going to use this idea in a series I’m envisioning as working for television, which I have been tentatively calling “October 6th”. I had originally decided to write this story as a short story or novella, but it has blossomed in my mind to encompass a large variety of my dreams and actual experiences, and I’ve actually roughly plotted what might take about 14 episodes to relate. I am actually thinking of changing the pace (which would be too fast, I think) and making the year’s worth of story I planned to tell take even more episodes over perhaps a couple of seasons, and folding the concept and some of the material in my “Hamlet’s play” series into season two. I like the idea of a writer catching her abuser with absolutely no evidence except her own memories, which when related are powerful enough to convince those that know her to investigate and find the truth.

I’m writing “October 6th” (I really have to find a better title) mostly for my own satisfaction, as I have no illusions about an unknown amateur writer selling TWO seasons of a TV show, but that doesn’t mean the story isn’t worth telling.

This weekend I am working on a podcast (episode two! I’ll be discussing clinical trials, not fiction; this is about the pandemic, so I’ll be describing it in my science project blog, www.gut-bacteria.com).

I am feeling more or less myself again, though I am cognizant of the psychological problems I face and I still cannot shake the idea that I’ve met certain people and certain very negative things have happened to me. There is not very much I can do alone without any evidence of any kind, though, except what the protagonist of “October 6th” might do: post fiction pieces online that describe these things, and hope allies find these, read them, are reminded of events they themselves remember, and decide to investigate.

2016?

I’m feeling a little better than I had been, but I’m plagued by a recurring notion that people calling me right around now (or in the past weeks) have been getting me in 2016. I can’t explain this. I just seem to remember phone calls from 2016 that I didn’t understand then that are relevant to things happening now. Around August, so I didn’t even know anything about Trump being elected, let alone the current pandemic.

Time travel features prominently in my work, and so this sort of thing is probably something I’ll write about- I’m feeling better than I had been (I think I went through a slightly manic phase, then a slightly depressed phase, and am only now resuming what I hope is normalcy). I might be able to write it today, if I can get some quiet time. I don’t have anything pressing to do once I scan and email some paperwork.

It’s frustrating to tell yourself “just rest and do nothing for a while,” but apparently that has worked in my case, because this morning (aside from wondering about misdirected phone calls) I feel a lot more like myself.

Dear readers, this pandemic is hard on everyone’s mental health, and you yourself might need some time away from a busy schedule or pressing worries- however you handle your forms of stress, I hope you make time for yourself, for self-care, and remember that you are just as important as everybody else you might be taking care of.

Morning thoughts

There are times I really hate being bipolar. Sometimes it’s like being given 10,000 small weird gifts all at once by someone insisting you open them NOW, and you spend all your time unwrapping and trying to figure them out so you can get on with the rest of your life.

In fictioneering news, the past few weeks have gifted me with several rather bizarre entire novel plots, some of which have some similarities to things I’ve already written, and some of which are very new. Given that I have upwards of 60 story ideas already, I might write down these new ones in case they are useful, but I’m getting tired of having ideas but not enough energy to do actual writing.

I’m trying to follow advice and rest and do self-care for at least a few days so I can shut off the pipeline of weird thoughts that generated these new ideas; I don’t know what triggered this particular episode- I think just contemplating my time in one department on my campus was enough! I had a really bad time then and worked in a very hostile environment that I found intellectually stifling and psychologically almost abusive. I never had a specific thing I could pin down that was outright abuse, though. Anyway, just remembering that building and those people might have triggered some very paranoid thoughts, and I’m trying to let all the dust kicked up by my psyche settle.

In the meantime, sifting through the ideas this particular spate of paranoid thinking has provided, I’ve possibly considered something that might work as part of my series October 6th, though I have to figure out how the creepy new character I thought of would fit, and I’ve dreamed up some major points in a sequel to Infinity. I meant Infinity to be a standalone book, but I guess it won’t be. I thought of a crime drama plot as well. Plus I’m thinking of turning my entire “Hamlet’s play” series of blog posts into something more substantial. There’s a lot to unpack there and much of what I’ve written for them falls into different stories already, but I like the idea of a writer who has no proof of crimes, only hunches, using fiction to trap criminals.

Here’s hoping my next post will be from a more psychologically well frame of mind.

Mrs. Dempster

I freely talk about my experiences in being bipolar. I am not ashamed that I have a mental illness, and while at times it is distressing or inconvenient to have to parse truth from fiction, it has left me with an absolute ton of story ideas. I’m well above 60.

So I understand that when I get paranoid my mind invents fancies. That being said, I am fairly convinced I’ve figured out a few things about my own past. It’s a double whammy, isn’t it- suffering actual and bizarre traumas which sound unreal to family, friends, and therapists or doctors, while also battling bipolar delusions. What’s real? What’s not?

I test my theories. I form them and I test them, because I am a scientist. When I am angry or upset, or feel I have made some insights into my own past and real trauma which happened (as opposed to trauma which I freely admit is up for debate), I form a theory and I test it as best I can. It helps to have data, so I collect as much as I can.

I’ve recently formed an extension of my evolving theories about my past, a character I call Evelyn in my “Hamlet’s Play” series (this is a real person, mind you), and interactions with several figures. There are several main characters in these interactions with Evelyn. One has only recently come to mind and I can remember when Evelyn “introduced” us. I was a kid in high school and did not wish to hear his name or undergo the little performance that she had planned out for us, so I actually don’t know what he’s called. But I remember what he looks like, and I can guess about Evelyn’s obsession with this particular tableau. It’s not even original on her part, it’s from a book by Robertson Davies, called Fifth Business. She’s been trying to force me to recreate scenes from that book, and trying to force me into the character of Mrs. Dempster. I don’t even know why she’s obsessed with this book. I recall reading it, liking it, and mentioning the most memorable scene with Mrs. Dempster (where she’s found having sex willingly with a hobo because the hobo desired it) because that struck me- it really is a strange thing to write- and apparently my fate has been to suffer endless attacks from Evelyn and people she recruits or hires or manipulates. I cannot even count the number of times Evelyn has contacted potential employers, actual employers, friends, family, acquaintances, total strangers, my neighbours, anyone she thinks I might get some kind of help from at all, and tells them all sorts of lies about me- that I’m a prostitute, that I’m mentally challenged, that I’m a compulsive liar, that I desire sex with all men and will have it willingly no matter the circumstances if a man wants it, and on and on it goes.

This would explain why, on so many occasions, Evelyn tells me that I’m cursed, and it would explain why someone in the BIO building on my campus, back in 2016, called me “Boy”. That’s an actual character name from the book.

I suppose I’ll have to get a copy of Fifth Business and read it now to figure out what Evelyn has been up to or wants me to suffer; I am not in any hurry because I have spent years now dissecting her interactions with me and quite frankly she’s really not that interesting. She probably thinks she’s untraceable.

She’s not.

I wrote to her a short while ago.

I know she won’t write back, but that was not why I wrote.

You kept accusing me of being “rude” and asking me, “What’s my name?”. You never told me your name, you never ever did, but I know it, I know what state you live in, I know what town and what street and what number. I know you have been impersonating a wide variety of friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and relatives to me using a variety of phone and email and social media accounts, and you thought I would never figure that out, either. I know what you did to your husband, and me; I know about what you did to the child that was taken from his father and maimed, I know whom you hit on the head with a brick on my campus (UCR) and left for dead, hoping I’d be blamed. Funny how you told your husband I was a friend of yours “from high school” when you’re eight years older than I am and we grew up in different countries. Funny how you thought I could experience all of this, either by you telling me in riddles over the phone, or by actually experiencing it firsthand, and funny how you thought because I was traumatized for decades, and re-traumatized by you and your associates often enough that I could not recover, or remember much, that I would never, ever heal and remember. You’re a real performer, aren’t you?

I saw you next to your husband- him I recognized from as far back as Vancouver- where I lived, by the way; I never even had been to your city, Chicago, back in the 1990s. Over the phone: “The gloves are off!” They’ve never been on. I remember the hotel downtown in Vancouver and what happened there, too, and afterward. Such a pity you did not profit as you had hoped. I remembered your grin back in that hotel. I remembered your grin from a surprising number of attacks, do you realize that any one of them can put you behind bars for the rest of your life? You never thought I’d ever be able to recognize you, didn’t you? You always thought I was an idiot for never being able to overcome the massive quantity of abuse you had heaped on me, and all the conditioning as well, to pack those memories deep down. What did you call it? The oubliette?

Did you really think you had gotten away with it?

A good man passed

My good friend’s father, Larry Parker, died recently.

I really cared about this man for a variety of reasons, but that’s not why I’m making this post.

I think I know who is behind his death. I think I know why, if not how, and hell, I might even have insight into how from contemplating my own father’s death.

Both of these men will not be unavenged.

I see you. I’m a data analyst and I have mild OCD, I see patterns really vividly that are murky to others.

I see you. I know you see these posts.

I remember quite a lot, actually. You should have been more careful.

Tick.

Tock.

On Hamlet’s play

I’ve gotten a question about which posts constitute what I am, in retrospect, calling my “Hamlet’s play” series. Here is a list, in no particular order: Checkmate, A New Year and Some Old Thoughts, Happy Valentine’s Day, October 6th, Character Diary Entry, To The World, The Smartest Woman in the World. All of these feature an abusive figure I call Evelyn. There may be additional entries that would fall into this list, but I think this is enough to give you an idea of the tone and content of this series.

Just as I have no proof that I have ever interacted with President Trump (and I talk about him elsewhere), I have no proof that I have ever met, interacted with, or communicated with Evelyn (who is a real person). All I have are memories which surfaced long after the events I described in the above, and other events I haven’t yet written about, occurred. They came in fragments, bits and pieces, and because I am not certain the actual person Evelyn did these things- perhaps I am mistaken- I have to be careful about making accusations. Evelyn also has quite a lot more wealth and power than I do.

The only pieces of data that would point to my having truly recounted actual events in the above posts and ones they link to, are if either of these individuals- Evelyn, or President Trump- were to indicate publicly that they have been in contact with me somehow. It seems unlikely, of course, which is why I have made no attempt to publicize these interactions or seek investigations of them. However, in the unlikely event that I am brought up publicly as someone who has interacted with either of these individuals, well, I hope this document and the ones it links to can be useful. I admit that the pieces I wrote for all of the above are fictionalized, but they are based on what feel to me like very real incidents. Hence the term “Hamlet’s play”.

Enjoy.

A small update

Hello, readers! I plan to release my second episode of Solving the Pandemic (described in my last post) next week- I have been too busy to get to researching and writing it, but this might actually be fine since I have been circulating information about it to people and if there are two episodes, they might miss the first, possibly more important episode.

I’ve also resurrected some ideas of mine laying dormant which deal with microbial soil ecology, and I’m pleased that I picked them up again because I think they might lead to an interesting finding. I spent several hours today figuring out an analytical method I had used years ago for a somewhat new purpose, and everything works fine, so that’s good.

What this means for my fiction writing is that it’s on hiatus. I have my most recently finished novel out for critique from friends, but I haven’t made progress on any of my creative writing projects recently. I don’t know about you, but I am finding sustained productivity to be difficult with the pandemic looming over us all. I also have my own personal issues- trauma, which manifests in my “Hamlet’s play” series of accusatory and strange mini-stories that I’ve sprinkled throughout this blog, and bipolar disorder. I might compile the “Hamlet’s play” thoughts into a single narrative, and if I feel especially emboldened, I’ll perform it as a fiction podcast.

In the meantime, stay tuned for next week’s podcast episode on how clinical trials are conducted (I’m focusing on the USA in this instance). Thanks for reading.

Been busy: new podcast!

Hello, readers- I’ve been busy trying to advertise a science idea I had on March 28th, and it is actually pretty difficult to do this. I have always had a pretty hard time being taken seriously as a scientist, and being bipolar doesn’t make this easier. I am not entirely sure why, although I rather suspect it’s because I do not think the same way everyone else does 100% of the time. I seem suspiciously creative, perhaps- maybe “too out there”. And my gender might make me seem less authoritative, even when I actually know more of what I am talking about than my audience.

In any case, I am trying a variety of avenues to bring attention to my idea- I find this rather grating because it requires me to promote myself at the same time, and I hate doing this. I started a podcast, and the first episode is here:

The science blog post where I describe the idea I had as well as the difficulties I face trying to get it to the right people is here. I also describe these somewhat in the episode. And I’ve also managed to create video content (a static image plus audio which I managed to record in my closet and cobble together, editing out clicks from my phone and the odd cat meow). My YouTube channel is SolvingThePandemic, and the first video is here.

What this all means in terms of my fiction writing is that it’s temporarily on hold. I do have ambitious plans, or at least they seem ambitious when I add them to the load of other things I am currently working on (some of which, like trying to spread this idea, seem a little more important than others).

This podcast has been teaching me valuable skills, so even if I fail completely at reaching an audience aside from a few friends and relatives, I feel very much like it’s not a wasted effort. And in a month or two when someone better-connected has this same idea, perhaps an internet sleuth will find my work and bring it up. This seems defeatist, and perhaps it is- I’m tired, I still haven’t 100% recovered my equilibrium from dealing with bipolar symptoms not so long ago, and I know I lack a platform. I also don’t know if just having a good idea is enough to get it taken seriously. So much of whether we listen to someone depends on whether we think that person can have something useful or important to say, and unfortunately I’ve struck out many times on that basis even though the ideas I was sharing were, eventually, proven by others to be valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re right, if no one is prepared to listen, no one will.

In my science blog I mention putting together a hypothesis and companion proposal paper relevant to the pandemic for public archives- I am still turning these over in my mind, only since the archives won’t take short speculative papers I have to submit them to a journal that will take something like a hypothesis. I can reformat my work to be shorter and have fewer references, but this kind of impairs readability, so I’m considering what options are offered by different venues, and what I can afford (scientists usually have to pay to publish their work, for which they are never financially compensated later, and if you think that is a giant ripoff, you are right).

I’m no longer in much of a rush to publish my thoughts formally in a written document- the one idea I really need to circulate rapidly is the one about leveraging clinical trials to try to find solutions to the pandemic in a more rapid fashion, and I laid out all my thinking both in my science blog and in my podcast episode. So I figure if I can reach someone with pull in the clinical research community, that’s all I need- I just need one fairly well-connected person to listen just long enough to understand my point and then my part in this is over.

So while I consider what publishing options I have for my hypothesis paper and associated thoughts relevant to the pandemic, such as how dysbiosis (imbalanced intestinal microflora) might contribute, I will put out as many little podcast episodes as I can (the first is under 12 minutes, and none will be very long). I figure at least I can help inspire and provide hope to the general listener that things will some day go back to normal, and I can hone my skills while I do so. Maybe in time I’ll offer fiction in this audio format, so attempting a podcast is definitely not a waste of time.

In the meantime, please listen to my podcast, and share the first episode if you can.

On Trump

Now, dear readers, I have absolutely no proof- none- that I have ever spoken to Dear Leader Donald John Trump, and I freely admit this.

However.

Should the occasion arise where people may wonder why he’s mentioned me somehow, here are a few conversations or events involving him and his family that seem very real to me, as summarized in a few posts: TreasonCaveatCharacter Diary Entry. I’ve mentioned Trump or “the man in the hotel” more than once at other points as well. The story that has occurred to me intersects with another, involving a figure I am simply calling Evelyn (and I wrote about her a fair bit as well). These thoughts/ memories about Trump have inspired a couple of story ideas that I’m calling Cloak and The Accidental Spy. I am currently replotting Cloak and putting down ideas as they occur for both of these.

What’s real? I don’t know, I’m bipolar, and I’ve been struggling with really odd ideas for years now, and especially the last day or two. They are very convincing, but I have no proof that they occurred. Objectively, they seem unlikely. I’ve been told that they can’t be real.

However. I am not entirely, 100% convinced that I’m making everything up.

For some of of the interactions between myself and Dear Leader or other Trumps, I felt very strongly like there was at least one trustworthy witness, a man. I believe he recorded some conversations. If suddenly this blog, or my science project site, is brought to the public’s attention because people are investigating me, maybe he will come forward. He will also probably have witnessed at least some of the workplace abuse I am complaining of in my last post.

Waiting and watching with interest.

Update: I mentioned elsewhere that I’m having trouble keeping the year straight. This is only partly true. I think I may be getting calls where it’s fairly convincing to me that it’s 2016. This is impossible, right? For me, now, those calls were three and a half years ago. I’m aware that it’s currently 2020. But, for whatever reason, my phone and computer and internet pages and office setting when I get the calls appears/ appeared to me to be 2016. I had/have no knowledge of the pandemic or of Trump being President.

I wonder what this psychological phenomenon is called? It’s spawned so many story ideas about time travel.

I’m also wondering what year I’ll be in should I get a call right now. Should I ever be called to testify this phenomenon is going to make testimony quite difficult.