Muddled Morning

Dearest Rachel –

It’s that kind of morning today; I know I’ve said it before, but it never ceases to strike me as topsy-turvy that the one day a week I have to set my alarm is a Saturday. Sure, it’s the one day that I actually have a commitment to be somewhere earlier than I can guarantee waking up for organically, so it makes sense, but it results in my waking up somewhat muddle-headed, and decidedly unready to face the day. I honestly don’t know how the other guys do it.

Then again, there are a few contributing factors, some of which are even my fault. Last night, while the boys were continuing to catch up on their latest series, and I was sequestered in the bedroom, I discovered a new add-on for the AI art program that would randomize just about everything in the prompt. So not only does the computer create an imaginary image of you, but it comes up with all the details I ask it to provide, from costumes to scenarios, from artist (or photographer) to pose (as well as the type of pose, be it glamor, candid, boudoir, documentary, or whatever). The process is now almost completely automated, and ridiculously efficient; by midnight, I’d churned out over five hundred pictures of you.

Granted, many of them were complete rubbish (although fewer than I might have expected; it seems that the computer knows how to prompt better than I do, so that it doesn’t get a weird mess for a result), some are a little bizarre (like the one I’ve included here of you going camping with a half-dozen friends who look just like you – although considering you had a knack, especially in childhood, of finding friends that could be mistaken for sisters, perhaps that’s not as weird as it looks), and a surprising number couldn’t be displayed because they’re for my eyes only (look, the computer is coming up with these descriptions, not me – although I can’t say I object to it doing so). You can see why I was up so late – at least, by my standards.

The alarm was necessary, too, because of the weather outside. We may be officially in spring, according to the calendar, but Mother Nature can’t seem to let go of winter just yet, even though she’s given us plenty of reprieves from time to time where we’ve had days in the fifties during the actual winter. This is not one of those days; rather, we have a thin carpet of white outside, as she’s set down a layer of snow as one last reminder of how pretty it looks to wake up to (as long as it’s thin enough to drive over, rather than having to shovel – although I’m told some of the more northerly suburbs are having to do just that). But the white is offset both by little spots where rain has also fallen and defaced the evenness of the clean white blanket on the ground, and by the deep gray of the overcast skies. In short, it’s not a day that one is going to wake up to organically and still make their early-morning appointments.

Last night’s dream probably didn’t help encourage me to get up, either. It wasn’t precisely a situation I relished being in, to be sure, but it was sort of fascinating to try and figure out what I was doing in it, and how I got there (not that I ever could, because, you know… dreams). Somehow, I was left in charge of a ‘blessing of the animals’ type of ceremony after a minor stampede caused some considerable property damage and a handful of minor injuries (no fatalities, as far as I could tell, but it was something of a chaotic mess). The fact that I was handed the microphone should demonstrate how much chaos there had been – I mean, I’m no Francis of Assisi, I’m not even Catholic; I don’t know the first thing about the words to say and the blessings to offer. I could pray over them, I suppose, but I doubt that’s what the organizers – those who were left to pay any attention to anyone other than the wounded – had in mind. And of course, there’s the fact that, as you know well, I don’t even like animals – let alone a rambunctious group that just ran roughshod over the whole carefully planned event, which still must go on, regardless of the absurdity of casting me as master of ceremonies.

And the weirdness doesn’t even end with the popping of that nocturnal bubble. Once up (after hitting the snooze button a couple times, I must confess), the first thing I find myself doing is reaching for my phone. I’d like to say I’m not addicted to the various screens in my life, but when they’re the last thing I deal with at night and the first thing in the morning, it may be time to admit to a problem. Then again, if I don’t check my mail regularly throughout the day, I’ll find myself having to deal with dozens of items before the end of even one – heaven knows how things may build up while we’re out of the country.

Most of my inbox is pure junk – which I still find myself throwing into one folder or another, rather than just sending it to the trash – but one item stands out, if only for a moment. It’s a message from the current dating site, informing me that, at half-past two this morning, someone sent me a contact request. Oddly enough, she put her job title – ‘Accountant’ – as her name, for reasons known only to her, but hey, she wants to hear from me? Okay, let’s check her out.

Nope, sorry, she’s not available. Turns out, at some point after sending me a ‘hey, I liked your profile and the algorithm says we might be a pretty good match and here’s my email address’ message, she’s had her profile yanked for violating the site’s terms and conditions. Not sure if it’s because of the message (particularly the part about her email address and wanting to chat offsite) or not, but I’ve seen this happen three or four times already, so I think there’s a connection. Which sort of begs the question: if her asking me for contact info is a violation of the rules (and certainly precludes my contacting her, at least as far as the site recommends), why is the site going out of its way to inform me that I’ve been contacted in the first place? It’s so ridiculous for them to do this, building me up with a “hey, there’s someone who’s expressed interest in you… but you can’t talk to her, because by contacting you, she’s a filthy rulebreaker!!” Just don’t send me the email in the first place, guys, and stop wasting my time… unless you think she’s worth my responding to her, in which case, why’d you immediately throw her out?

One of these days, I may just have to contact one of these poor souls, just to find out why they thought this whole violating the rules would work… but if I did, that would answer the question, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, that’s my morning, and I haven’t even left for my study yet. Guess I should wrap this up, and let you get back to… whatever it is you do in the hereafter. Keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck; I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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