Today I went to Thai Me Up for lunch, and I was shocked that the woman there remembered me and what I had ordered, despite the fact that I had only ever been there once before. I complimented her on her memory and we spoke for a few minutes while my food was being prepared. She was enthusiastic. Seemingly an unremarkable occurrence—or at least, I used to think so. But over the last few months I've had that ground out of me, and now I tend to assume that everyone is so bored, apathetic and wrapped up in their own problems that they'll have no real interest in interacting with me in a positive manner. This woman had energy—she was actually alive! As I walked back to my car with my food, I felt … puzzlement. Isn't the universe in a low-energy state right now? I was almost sure that no one cared about anything. Maybe something is changing.
In the afternoon, I received an email from Preston Covey, the professor at CMU who changed my mind about gun ownership. I had sent him an email the previous night asking about concealed-carry permits and what might be a good firearm to own, when Mark somehow ended up making me remember that I had been meaning to do this for months, and made me realize that it really wouldn't be that hard to do. Preston's response was very enthusiastic, and he sent me several documents to follow-up so that I could learn more about the use of firearms in self-defense. I'm starting to realize that there is a lot I need to know to be able to do that effectively, even ignoring the technical issues of how to clean a gun or the skill of actually hitting what I shoot at. I feel really embarrassed for getting thrown off of my project so easily before, but it isn't like I can't climb back on the horse. It's all a question of setting priorities.
Huh? I thought no one cared about anything. But Preston is still out there doing his thing. I suggested we get together some time, when I have a more clear idea what's going on, and he thought that was a good idea.
I'm almost starting to cry.
While driving home from work, I came to a stop on Fifth Avenue and Alison was walking down the sidewalk next to me with someone else. I didn't feel like yelling out of the window or anything, so I don't think she noticed me. If she was looking, though, there probably aren't all that many cars with Albany Academy stickers in Pittsburgh, and my video game music was a bit different than what most people play in their cars. I just smiled and drove on.