When last we left me way back in 2016 the world was a different place. Now it’s way better.
Haha, just kidding.
Anyway, Part 3 ended with the promise that I would “quiz myself about dating, writing, running and ugly feet.” Let’s get on with it, with my doppelgänger, again known as Dopple, asking the questions.
Dopple: Has it really been five years since the last part of this interview?
Me: According to the calendar, yes.
Dopple: How time flies.
Me: I’ve learned that time is not linear. It’s elastic and that elastic gets flabby and loose as you get older.
Dopple: Sounds deep? What does it mean?
Me: It passes a lot faster, the taut snap of the elastic isn’t there anymore, so it flies by, like a bungee jumper who has about 20 extra feet of cord tied to his ankles and bonks his head on the bottom of the river instead of dangling tantalizingly above it.
Dopple: Sounds painful.
Dopple: So let’s go to the topics that were originally going to be discussed before getting into all the crazy changes of the last five years.
Me: Lay them on me, baby.
Dopple: Don’t call me baby.
Me: Sorry. Carry on.
Dopple: First up: Tell me about dating.
Me: What would you like to know? I don’t date anymore.
Dopple: Tell me about some of your best dating experiences.
Me: [long pause]
Dopple: [awkward silence stretches out]
Dopple: Surely there were some good dating experiences?
Me: Let’s come back to this question. Maybe in Part 5.
Dopple: There’s going to be a Part 5?
Me: Who knows what the future holds for us?
Dopple. OK, let’s move on to writing.
Me: [extremely long pause]
Dopple: Are you still there? Hello?
Me: Writing in Part 5.
Dopple: This is going to be a short interview…
Me: Sometimes succinct is good.
Dopple: How about running, then? You still run.
Me: Technically, I still run, but there have been…issues.
Dopple: What sort of issues? Amputation? Unnatural hair growth on your feet?
Me: Well, part of it is I got a bit lazy.
Dopple: For shame.
Me: Okay, that’s enough.
Dopple: Sorry. Continue.
Me: But really, it was just my left foot being weird and stupid. If there was a movie about my left foot called, let’s say, “My Left Foot” people would find it frustrating and dumb. They’d ask for a refund. They would not attend the sequel, “My Right Foot.” I would not win an Oscar.
Dopple: What’s up with the left foot?
Me: First, I have this weird issue with the ball of my foot where it gets really sore after a lot of walking or running. I mostly solved this by getting a custom orthotic made. It kind of amazes me how well it works. But my left foot still just feels…off. Not physically detached, but different. Like the bones don’t quite connect correctly. Maybe they’re too big or too small, or it’s really a clever alien symbiont posing as the bones. But whatever it is, it still causes my left foot to feel not quite right. No pun intended.
Dopple: Pretty sure that pun was at least partly intended.
Me: Fair. The other big thing happened in July 2020. I had just started summer vacation and decided to do a walk around Burnaby Lake. The total round trip is about 18 km. I was heading back, probably around the 16 km mark, when my left foot suddenly began to hurt. Just spontaneously, with no warning at all. I found it very odd. I still do. I made the sad decision to skip running during vacation to allow my foot to recover from this sudden phantom injury caused by just existing and breathing. Gradually over time the pain lessened and I eventually resumed running, but I never moved beyond 5K runs. Then in December the injury returned, like an unwanted sequel.
Dopple: Like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
Me: Exactly. Speaking of, did you know they are shooting a fifth movie? Harrison Ford is 150 years old now. Maybe the whole movie will be him digging up things in his backyard garden and thinking they’re priceless treasures because he’s lost his mind after making the last movie. And speaking of, The Rise of Skywalker was the worst sequel that sort of had Harrison Ford in it.
Dopple: But back to your foot.
Me: Yes, my stupid foot. It started hurting again big time in December, to the point where I actually avoided walking outside, like anywhere. It was bad. I was sad. I felt had. My doctor asked me to describe the symptoms and said I had plantar fasciitis. I looked it up later and the symptoms matched perfectly. The best part about this is it’s an incredibly slowly healing injury, so it lingers on for centuries. My next of kin will inherit it. If I had any, that is. It doesn’t hurt anymore now, but I can still feel it, if you know what I mean. I’m now doing 7K walks and run roughly half the time. I’m building back to doing a 5K again. Sometime this summer if my left foot doesn’t spontaneously explode or something.
Dopple: How is your right foot?
Me: Happy as a clam. Well, how happy are clams, anyway? When I go to the beach I see thousands of empty clam shells, which suggests a brutal and unhappy life for clams. So let’s just say my right foot is fine, always has been.
Dopple: Moving on, yet staying somewhat on the same topic, tell me about your “ugly feet”?
Me: Have you seen those idiotic nail fungus TV commercials?
Dopple: Where the medical professional in the white lab coat seems to suddenly be in someone’s living room, like he can teleport in straight from his office?
Me: Yes, those ones. Well, that’s what I have. Not the teleporting doctor, but nail fungus. I’ve had it for years and had basically written off my feet ever looking handsome again.
Dopple: How sad and horrible.
Me: I know, right? Imagine if I’d had a foot fetish. I would never take off my shoes (which probably contributes to nail fungus). Anyway, my doctor gave me a topical cream to use, which helped, but worked very slowly. But then we switched to pills and they’ve been working much better.
Dopple: That’s good!
Me: But the pills might destroy my liver.
Dopple: That’s bad.
Me: But so far they haven’t.
Dopple: That’s good!
Me: But they still might. I need to get my blood tested again when the current prescription ends. Still, my toe nails look pretty close to normal now. I can take off my socks in public and people will not run away in horror.
Dopple: Have you done that?
Me: It’s more a theory to be tested.
Dopple: Let’s talk about some of the other things that have happened since 2016.
Me: [whiny voice] Do we have to?
Dopple: Strictly speaking, no. We could go back to your dating adventures.
Me: Fine, fine. I’ll talk about what’s happened since 2016.
Dopple: What’s changed the most?
Me: I’ve gone from hair to hairs.
Dopple: That is tragic. Do you invest in hats?
Me: I have enough caps to form a line to the moon.
Dopple: Good, good. Anything else?
Me: I came to realize that IT work is crushing my soul. Maybe my left foot, too, for all I know. In fact, I started to realize this in 2016, but it never really gained clarity until late last year.
Dopple: What are you doing to prevent further soul-crushing?
Me: I have some ideas, but nothing I would talk about publicly–yet.
Dopple: Aw, not even a hint?
Me: Okay, one hint: It does not involve my left foot.
Dopple: That hint stinks.
Me: Talk to the foot.
Dopple: I think I’ll pass. So it’s safe to assume that you don’t see yourself staying in IT long term?
Me: Correct. I would rather do many other things instead, some of them actively unpleasant.
Dopple: I see. Well, maybe we can revisit this in the future.
Me: Revisiting it in the past would be tricky.
Dopple: Speaking of, do you believe in time travel?
Me: Not really. I mean, if people could do it, wouldn’t we already know? Unless they’re very, very sneaky about it. But humans suck at being sneaky about that kind of stuff.
Dopple: About time travel?
Me: About big, reality-altering things.
Dopple: What about the thousands of people that kept mum on while working on The Manhattan Project, when the U.S. secretly built the first atomic bomb?
Me: Sure, start using logic and valid examples, why don’t you?
Me: No problem. I expect nothing less of me.
Dopple: What else has happened?
Me: Nothing comes to mind.
Me: COVID whatnow?
Me: Look, since it literally affected the entire planet, I can’t really speak to it as some unique experience. Except maybe uniquely horrible. To me. And probably others. But it does have some upsides. Working from home is nice. I can get up from my desk and grab a snack from the fridge. I can start laundry. I never have to be concerned about a co-worker interrupting me by coming to my cubicle and blocking me from escaping. I don’t have to pay for overpriced cafeteria food. I don’t need to ride transit. I haven’t had a cold or the flu in 15 months! My home computer is way nicer than my work one. The air in my condo is nice, not the horrific toxic poison soup that squirts through the HVAC system in the office.
Dopple: What are some downsides?
Me: Shopping with a mask is unpleasant. Shopping is something I generally find unpleasant, but it’s worse with a mask. I have also been disappointed at how many people have rejected science, safety and reason in exchange for pretending a global pandemic isn’t actually happening. But we do seem to be finally nearing the end of it and a return to something normal-like.
Dopple: You got your first vaccine shot.
Me: Yes, and my second one is a few weeks from now.
Dopple: How did the first one go?
Me: I haven’t had a shot in years (I always rolled the dice and skipped flu shots. And almost always got the flu. Kids, learn from me and don’t be dumb!) so I built it up as some terrifyingly painful experience. When I took my seat at the vaccination clinic, I started to ask the woman tending to me what it would feel like and she jabbed me with the needle, I said, “Ow” and it was over. So a lot of build-up for basically nothing. I did feel pretty fatigued over the next few days, but it beats being dead, as they say.
Dopple: We are starting to run late. Shall we pick this up in Part 5?
Me: I’ll be here.
Dopple: And you’ll discuss dating?
Me: I may discuss dates.
Dopple: Are you referring to the fruit?
Stay tuned for Part 5 in which dating may be discussed, along with writing, drawing, programming and other stuff that ends with -ing.