Pic of the day: Childhood memories are really fuzzy. At least mine are. This may be just as well, because what I remember is not the truth about the person who caused this entry.
Undeserved and unexpected. As I mentioned last fall, my autist uncle died at a surprisingly ripe old age. In a way it is encouraging that he lived that long, because he certainly was no athlete. I have no idea whether autists generally live a less or more stressful life than the rest of us, but they probably don't take any initiative of their own to take care of their health. My old online friend Al Schroeder (formerly of Nova Notes, a journal similar to mine but better) has already lost one of his two autist sons. So it would seem that my family genes are pretty solid. If I die before I wake, it is most likely an act of God. Well, I don't die in August at least, we can say that for sure because I write this in September.
Anyway, when my uncle died, I reflected on mortality briefly and then put it all behind me. We were never close. Actually I was scared of him to the point that I would run like a chicken if I saw his face in the window. He lived in the attic when I was small, you see, and never mingled with the rest of the family. I did not even count him as part of the family. More like a bogeyman, I guess: My brothers (or perhaps just one of them, childhood memories are hazy at best) used to scare me with him. Of course we did not know then that he was an autist, and that the same genes in some milder form probably are responsible for us being the hyper-intelligent introverts that we are.
One thing I never suspected him of, was gathering treasures on Earth. I assumed that whatever pension he was entitled to, was paid back to the municipality as compensation for feeding him, clothing him and keeping watch over him at all times during his middle and old age. I think that was a reasonable assumption. But evidently it was wrong. Because even though I am merely one of several nephews (and he has living sisters still) I inherited an amount roughly equal to two months of pay after tax. Of course, this says something about how little I earn after tax, by Norwegian standards. But it has been enough to pay my bills, the expensive credit card and parts of the cheap credit card. I still had some debt there. Well, not anymore now. Also, this month's pay is just sitting in one of my two bank accounts. The other I have used to pay every bill I could find, and there is still enough left that I don't want to think about it.
For someone with as low expectations as me, it doesn't take much to tilt the board. I don't have a wish list of stuff I would buy or do if only I had money. People do this, I understand, but probably not all of them. Anyway, my daydreams are not like those. More like "tour the galaxy" or "know the ultimate reality". A couple month's pay will slip right through those, like a massless neutrino slipping right through the Earth without noticing it. I have to build a detector to catch something as insubstantial as surprise money. And I am not sure if I should to that.
We have a saying here, I can't remember if there is an equivalent in English: "The death of one is the bread of another." One man's death is another man's bread? It refers to the outdated belief that economy is a nullsum game, where someone has to lose for another to win. I suppose if I don't do anything, there is always bread. By which I mean, to quote the ever helpful voices in my head: "If you don't spend it on computers now, you are just going to waste it on bills."
Actually I had already written off getting a new computer for this fall, even though a new expansion pack is coming out for The Sims 2 in September, and it is even more of a drain on computers than Seasons was. But since I was supposed to lose my job by January 1 and have to move to Eastern Norway to get it back, I would need all the money I could find to pay for the move just. Actually I would probably have to use a credit card or two again, and then spend another year paying them down. No sweat that. People do this all the time. Actually, many people don't even pay them down, just get a higher credit limit. Anyway, things may not be quite like that. Or at least perhaps not.
This is all up in the air, and perhaps it is a conscious effort to keep us employees in the dark to make us more malleable. More likely it is good old incompetence. The higher-ups decide on a reorganization, but they don't know the details. The people on the floor know the details, but there isn't so much in common between the details and the big picture. In fact, it may not look like a picture of the same thing to the casual observer. The middle managers then are supposed to merge the two visions. This is bound to be confusing even to themselves, not to mention everyone else. But the short of it is that maybe I can stay in Kristiansand doing either something similar to what I have done so far, or something else that only requires superior intellect, not lots of talking and placating humanoids. (I can placate humanoids, but the talking makes me physically sick after decades of near silence. See above about autist genes.)
We shall still have to wait and see. I am worried that the feeling of "having money" will cause me to pick up slightly more expensive habits, like those I had before: Eating at restaurants instead of at home, buying clothes even though I have whole clothes already, buying books even though I have unread books already, all that. You know, the old habits. As the Norwegian fairy tales often end: "...and aren't they dead, they're still alive."
But perhaps, just perhaps, I may manage to hold onto the money for a few months to see whether I need it to move again.
Or I could, I guess, buy a bed instead of sleeping on the floor on the old ultra cheap rubber foam mattress I've used since I moved here. Nah, that's too much. But perhaps a computer. Someday.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.