I’ll take things nearly chronologically, starting with March 9, when I saw 10:53 AM when I got up and thought I might as well go out early, managing to do so just before noon, taking the recyclables as well. Since dad wanted cabbage, I first checked the price at this nearby store, but had seen that there was a 30% discount on all fresh fruits and vegetables at Kaufland and the main reason I went out that day was to get a certain kind of bread from there, so I then walked there. First checked prices at Carrefour, then went to the toilet at Kaufland just to blow my nose and wash my hands, then went in and tried to work my way through the crowd gathered around the fruits and vegetables. Trying to keep away from those who were coughing, one old woman in particular standing out because of her bad cough, made things even harder, and after getting cabbage and a bag of oranges and probably giving a wrong price to a man I saw looking for one, not realizing he was looking at the 1 kg bags when I had gotten a 2 kg one, I walked away for a while, to look for the other things and calculate how much I could afford to get. But then I got back and got some other stuff as well, except more onions, deciding that it was unwise to keep staying there as much as I’d have had to for that as well. It was the cabbages that caused problems at the self-checkout, however, the machine telling me to scan the product before placing it on the scales after I had scanned and placed it. But the employee came quickly and sorted things out with both of them when I asked for help, so I then got back to Carrefour to get a couple of things I had seen there, then walked back.
The plan for March 12 was to cover a half marathon distance again, and I meant to only get up at 2 PM. However, the noise dad made while getting ready to leave woke me up at 10 AM and I had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, also because some loud alarm went off several times, stopping almost immediately but being more than enough to prevent me from sleeping. Still, after two brief naps, I slept for about one more hour, then got up just before the alarm rang. Had the usual stuff, the yogurt being one of those with 10% fat and the cereals one of those free servings that came with them, but also had almonds and the sweet thing was a protein bar. Went out at 3:55 PM, when the reported temperature was 20°C and it was sunny, though there was some wind.
Knowing that it tends to take me a month to completely regain my speed after recovering from a flu, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I tried to push for a new record from the start. Failed completely, the first two laps being on that pace but requiring too much effort, so I kept getting slower after that, ending up with a worse time than I managed on any of the three such runs through the park done last year. Did hope to avoid that at first, aiming for 1:44 after lap three, but after lap four I was doubting that, and after sector two of lap five it was clear that the only thing I could realistically aim for was to stay under 1:45, and at least I managed that, just barely, the time being 1:44:51, with sector times of 4:23, 5:02, 5:53, 4:30, 4:59, 5:51, 4:34, 5:02, 5:53, 4:30, 5:12, 6:06, 4:42, 5:19, 6:07, 4:48, 5:31, 6:18, 1:54, 6:17 and 2:00, making for lap times of 15:18, 15:20, 15:29, 15:48, 16:08 and 16:37, plus 10:11 for the final portion.
My right knee started hurting at the start of lap three, and from lap four that ankle also hurt, followed some time later by the other one as well, and I can’t say that they got better after that. In addition, you can see that my pace suddenly got noticeably slower as of sector two of lap four, and it was towards its end that something got in my nose, which I’m quite sure caused me to lose a few seconds right away, blowing it out and trying to regain my breath after doing so, and then I almost rubbed my nose and remembered at the last moment that I meant to avoid touching my face, and stopping myself likely messed up my posture and pace, which was harder to correct when I was already tiring.
On the other hand, it was windy in some places, and on most laps it was really bad on the first part of that long left turn and on the sector two straight. But the worse problem were the people, as there were plenty of them despite the fact that calls to stay home had started to appear here as well. By the time I finished I couldn’t even remember all the times I had to pick my way through or slow a little in order to wait for an opening, not to mention weaving or going the long way around. There was a moment, towards the end of a lap, though I’m unsure whether it was the second or third, when a dog with a long leash cut across, the guy holding the leash couldn’t seem to decide whether to follow or pull back and the girl who was with him couldn’t decide whether to go after him or stay where she was, causing me to change direction multiple times to avoid them. But at least she apologized and seemed to mean it, which I couldn’t say about the older woman who completely blocked the path with her dog’s leash as I was on sector one of lap four, which was clearly the worst from the point of view of problems caused by other people. She was coming from the bridge and allowed the leash to get long enough for the dog to get all the way to the other side of the path, blocking it completely, so it’s a good thing I noticed it in time and didn’t trip, but had to go on the grass and around the light pole the dog was aiming for, and when I gestured in annoyance she apologized in such an ironic tone that it seemed she had expected me to apologize instead. Then, on that same sector, there was a roadblock caused by groups coming from opposite directions passing each other right in front of me, and also a kid on a scooter who came right at me after passing someone else, forcing me to just about jump aside in order to barely avoid him.
Ran back too, wanting to catch the ski jumping from the start, only to find that it was canceled. But I stuck to my schedule, taking the time I’d have spent watching to recover and going back out at 7:55 PM, since I meant to get that week’s shopping done on the same day, so I won’t go out again on another, considering the recommendations. Also in order to be careful, I didn’t use the free bus and walked to the Auchan from Vitan, getting the cat food and liquid soap we needed and walking back, getting back here at 10 PM.
This week’s run was Monday, when dad again woke me up when he left, just before 11 AM, and I again had a hard time getting back to sleep, only napping a little more until the alarm rang, at 1 PM. It had already been announced that the state of emergency was going to be declared that day and I expected that to happen in the morning, so I’ll be able to find out the details right away and know whether I’ll be able to go at all, and what else I’ll need to keep in mind if so. However, the President was scheduled to make the statement at 3 PM, and I wanted to get things done in one day again and try to go to a pharmacy right after the run, so my only chance was to go earlier and hope the lines won’t be that long if I’ll get there before 5 PM, meaning that I couldn’t wait for the announcement. So I had the usual stuff, the yogurt and cereals being the same kind I had before the previous week’s run, again had almonds as well, and the sweet thing was a large piece of pumpkin pie, and I left just after 2:45 PM. The reported temperature was around 9°C and it was sunny, but I definitely felt more wind than what the reports indicated, so I had the undershirt under the t-shirt and wore the jacket on the way as well, also using it to hold bags, that small notebook, a pencil and a pen, since I thought I’ll need to write the times.
Went for 16 kilometers again, knowing I won’t manage to stay under 48 minutes for ten, and even so I only barely avoided a rather embarrassing time by pushing like crazy on the last sector. The goal was only to stay under 1:18 from the beginning, but I couldn’t possibly allow myself to fail that, seeing as I had covered this distance, the first five laps, in 1:18:03 the week before, so it was a relief to see that, after being off the pace from the very beginning, I did manage a time of 1:17:58 in the end. Sector times were 4:25, 5:07, 5:56, 4:32, 5:03, 5:55, 4:33, 5:06, 5:57, 4:34, 5:10, 6:00, 4:36, 5:13 and 5:51, making for lap times of 15:28, 15:30, 15:36, 15:44 and 15:40.
As I already mentioned, there was some wind, and on the first two laps there were places where I felt like it was taking my breath away, and it occasionally bothered me a little at later points as well. Another problem that affected me much more early on was caused by the jacket and the stuff I had in its inside pocket, since the weight made it slip and try to unwrap itself, worrying about that and checking several times causing me to lose a bit of time until I realized that the little notebook ensured that it couldn’t actually do that, so nothing could actually fall out. There were also a fair number of people again, despite the recommendations, though not as many as the week before and some were following the news on their phones or even listening to portable radios, so I had to weave and go the long way around, and had a few small misunderstandings or situations where I had to pick my way through or take a couple of steps off the path, but I wouldn’t say there were serious roadblocks. As for my body, there were no specific issues, I just felt I couldn’t be faster than I was, and I just barely managed to stick to the planned times for the first four laps, needing to go a little faster on the fifth but seeing that I was even slower on its first two sectors, so I gave it absolutely everything on the last one, feeling that I was running out of energy and my nostrils threatening to close as my nose was getting a bit stuffy, but somehow just managing it in the end.
My hands were quite frozen at that point, and as I was trying to untie my jacket, I scratched my right thumb with a nail, ending up bleeding a fair bit, and instead of just going back to the other end of the path I was on, where there was a drinking fountain I could use to wash, I went to that mall from that area, getting a bit lost on the way as I was searching for another fountain and likely worrying quite a few people who saw me bleeding like that, especially considering the current circumstances, until I finally made my way to the toilets inside that mall and could wash properly.
Went to that Carrefour after that, getting a little lost on the way once again as I ended up in the parking lot and had to go back, not finding another exit. Didn’t find what I was looking for, however, which was unsurprising under the current circumstances for some of the things, but quite annoying when the reason I couldn’t even get bread was that all of those of the kind I wanted were sliced. So I then walked to that pharmacy, but when I saw the long line of people waiting outside, as only a few were allowed inside at a time, I just kept going, and also walked past the other cheap one from that area, even though only three people were outside that one, so I could have waited and purchased the things that were also available there… And should have done so, considering what happened today… Should have also gone back out later, to check out other Carrefour locations, as I initially meant, but decided against it, which again proved to be a bad decision.
The reason why those were bad decisions has to do with dad. On the one hand, I wanted some disinfectant for clothes, since the kind we’ve been using for a while, since I decided to start buying it, was discounted these days, and dad told me last night that my mother wanted some as well, but it’s obviously difficult to find now, even more so when it’s discounted, as it was supposed to be at Carrefour until today. It’d have also been possible to order it from them on-line, but shipping isn’t free anymore these days, so a bigger order would have been required in order to at least reduce the impact of the shipping fee, and I had things to add to one, but he said he didn’t want to make orders during this period either, so I really should have looked through multiple locations.
But the bigger problem has to do with the stuff from the pharmacy, as he also told me last night that today he was going to fill my mother’s prescriptions, and I knew that he tended to go to that cheap one for that, so before going to bed, after checking what was still listed as being available there as well, I left him a note saying that, if he does indeed go to that particular pharmacy for those prescriptions, I wanted a couple of things from there as well, and that he could also get some for himself, since I found them quite good in previous years. Stated clearly that I was just asking that if he’ll go there, and specified the prices for each, underlining these things… Only to have him hand me the things today, purchased from somewhere else, at a price that was about 18% higher, despite a supposed 11% discount listed and calculated for each product on the receipt. So I told him I won’t be touching those, or anything, I won’t be responsible for that, then left all the stuff in the kitchen, though I’m usually the one putting things in their proper place, rushed to my room and have been feeling like shit ever since, for again being stupid enough to tell him anything, and even expect him to give a shit…
Now I have to go and buy those things for myself as well, maybe later this week, since I definitely won’t be touching the ones he bought, as the only way to try to persuade myself that I’m not responsible for that expense and he only bought them for himself, regardless of what he’ll actually end up doing with them… Not that it’ll work, and I’ve been having a hard time thinking of anything else long enough to write this post now, and I’m even feeling nauseous, so I don’t know how I’ll eat, and I’m sure that sleeping is going to be quite a problem for days… Didn’t even take a shit, though I was about to when he came, but my muscles just locked up and I couldn’t even pee when I tried, before going to my room, so that was out of the question, and I wonder what effects that will have, considering the problems I have in that area… I guess it’s a good thing I hadn’t drank any tea today before he came, so I could stay here and not have to pee, at least… Feel like crying and can’t, obviously.
Still on the topic of dad being infuriating, had a talk with him Sunday, after waking up, that I’d need some stronger words to describe, since infuriating is too weak of a term. He told me he was going to meet with some people in the park and therefore won’t need the metro card, and I again said that I won’t be needing it at all from now on, as I won’t be taking the metro, which is a place where such a virus is very likely to spread, again not because I’m concerned about myself if I’ll get it, but because his age and existing health problems put him at risk in case I’ll pass it on to him. Then, after he agreed that it would indeed be a bad thing if he’d get it, I added that it seemed he didn’t care, still going out and meeting people, at which point he produced this “gem” that I’d need stronger terms than even “shocking” or “sickening” to describe: He said he actually wants to meet people now, because that’s a test for himself, since if they keep being fine after spending time around him, it means he’s fine as well! I was baffled, only being able to say that it’s exactly the sort of thing one shouldn’t do now, to which he replied that he does it for himself, and when, still shocked, I started to say that he’s using others as testing kits, he didn’t even let me finish, saying that he’s more important than any “others”!
How the fuck does one react to something like that, to that kind of mindset? I mean, even if I think that some of the strict measures taken now will only make the pandemic last longer and use massive amounts of resources that should be directed towards solving bigger problems, and that the focus should be on protecting those at risk, finding a treatment and, perhaps first of all, figuring out how to test pretty much everyone else and only isolate those who are infected, I still feel guilty even for going to run, since it’s not absolutely necessary, and for not doing something to help in a more direct manner, and I’d really want to volunteer to help in ways that may even put me at some risk, feeling even worse because I’m not even trying to do that, but knowing that I shouldn’t in order to avoid putting him at risk… And then I get… How do you even call that? What do you do with such a person?
I actually have one more thing to add, and that happened Saturday evening, when he got back and immediately turned on his computer, not disconnecting mine from the router or even saying anything first. I was reading a few posts and eating in my room, so it took me a couple of minutes to get out, no more than that, but he said that if I supposedly gave no sign, he assumed I was asleep and didn’t check. Not that it’d have mattered even if I would have been asleep, since there may also be a chance that I’ll forget to unplug that cable at some point, and actually did so when I ran that half marathon distance, though fortunately he got back after me that evening. I reminded him that he even has a note on his computer’s power button telling him to check for this reason, and he said it doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t be his problem, I should make sure we can’t both be connected if I want to avoid it from happening. He even said something about it being like the people who complain about having their parked cars hit, who should make sure to park them in spots where they’d be protected, which was another baffling thing and part of that same mindset proven so sickeningly the next day, but I was too furious to pick up on it at the time.
The reason why I said at the beginning of this post that I’ll take things nearly chronologically is that, on the evening of March 8, I found Elena P.! After 18 years of being left just with questions and nagging suspicions, and after searching as thoroughly as I could so many times before, for more than ten of those years, I now just sort of typed the name, not expecting anything, and one glance was enough to make me realize that I had found a profile that actually was hers. And then, that night, I found another, which definitely confirmed that it was her.
Unfortunately, the first one also seems to confirm my suspicions, since it states that during that time she was working at the radio station dad works at… And now she’s a psychologist, and it seems that she initially specialized in depression and suicide attempts in children and teenagers… Even if it seems that she switched from journalism to psychology several years after that period, this still paints an awful picture… Not that the very fact that she worked there at that time wouldn’t be enough for that on its own, when she only told me that she got a job months after we stopped seeing each other, in part as an excuse for supposedly not having time anymore, and even then only told me that she was a secretary somewhere.
Of course, I was suspecting all of that after I heard her say what sounded like dad’s work phone number while she was on the phone with me at one point, when she was supposedly working somewhere for a week in order to cover for a friend, making me think that he might have somehow gotten her to talk to me, possibly paying her for it, but I wanted to believe her when she said she might have given out numbers to someone interested in contacting the media, but only following the instructions left by her friend, not even really knowing whose they were. Ran that by dad as well at the time, and his denial sounded too emphatic to not be suspicious at first, but he recovered quickly enough to make me doubt my doubts, asking for a picture of her, supposedly to check whether he might have seen her even if the name supposedly didn’t tell him anything. Of course, a picture was also something I couldn’t provide, but the request also made me wonder whether she was perhaps someone he cheated on my mother with and who was using me to get to him in some way, and in the end I again ended up dismissing the whole thing pretty much just because I didn’t want to believe that, because she was someone I seemed to get along with so well, having that unbelievable mental connection, being the best friend I ever had… And unfortunately remaining even now the only person who ever seemed to understand me like that… Which should have been suspicious enough in itself, since it’s been proven time and time again that it’s impossible for me to get along that well with someone, to have such a mental connection.
Either way, sent her a message, a rather cryptic and harsh one, Saturday night. I’d have wanted to have a calm talk about the whole thing now that I found her, and while confirming those suspicious would have been awful, I really think I’d have been able to put the betrayal behind me and, while it’d have been terribly difficult for her to gain my trust, I’d have likely wanted to keep talking to her now, if she’d have wanted it as well, to see whether we can get along without acting and where things might go. But it seems I found her some nine years too late for that to be an option, since she has children, or at least a daughter, at least since 2012. If not for that, I’d have considered waiting for her birthday, which is towards the end of the year, since several months isn’t that long after 18 years, but that made it impossible for me to come up with anything to say that’d suit such an occasion; can’t honestly wish something good for someone guilty of the worst single crime anyone may commit, at the moment and for the foreseeable future, and directly worsening the world’s worst problem, after all. But, assuming that this part of what she told me back then was true, March 15 would also be an important date for her, though whether a happy or sad one depends entirely on what happened since then, so I took the opportunity to send that first message then, in the first minutes of March 15, pointing out why and using that, and her birthday, to lead into asking whether anything she told me back then was in fact true. Calmed down a little and sent a second, nicer message Monday night, but received no reply so far. I’m not blocked either, at least for the moment, so that’s something, but it’s also entirely possible that the messages were filtered and she didn’t even see them.
Before ending this, I’ll add that on March 9 I also decided to get back to ShadowGuard, and that night I noticed that I could access the blog in Internet Explorer again. Have no idea what changed, I definitely don’t think I did anything and the site’s security certificate didn’t change either, but I guess something did… On the other hand, on March 12 my phone proved that it didn’t change, giving that error again, and now I’m not sure what to do about it, since I’m uneasy about sending it to be fixed again during this period, even if, or perhaps especially because, requiring repairs three times in less than six months should entitle me to a replacement, since I have purchased the extended warranty. Still at odds and ends, Saturday evening I cleaned my room a bit and changed the sheets… And last night my desktop froze, possibly because of the number of open browser tabs kicking everything else out of memory, and killing explorer.exe and restarting it caused the usual loss of some notification area icons, so I rebooted, which means I’ll be able to see whether that issue with Vivaldi and ESET Antivirus will happen again.