An unusual reason I’m thankful for Anime

Just got back from a social night out with my local Atheist meetup group that I am the organizer and host for.  Turnout was moderate but congenial.  I had an Indian pizza and two pints of beer.  Conversation was good, but we pretty much adjourned by 8:45 or so.  It is a work night, but if I were in my 20s and 30s, I would probably want to keep hanging out and keep drinking and maybe listening to music or just sitting in a corner listening to whatever the bartender is playing on the PA system and drinking and thinking thoughts to myself.  At 44 going on 45, I think about that option briefly, then I decide I’d much rather just go on home and use my time to get caught up watching Japanese Anime instead.  Hanging out drinking all night just doesn’t have any appeal to me anymore, thank goodness.  The pull of Anime is a welcome change of priorities for me.  When I was younger and undiagnosed, my drinking was a way to self-medicate against my inherent social awkwardness and lower my inhibitions sufficiently to give me the liquid courage to initiate and sustain conversations with people.  Drinking buddies aren’t real friends, of course, but when they’re all you’ve got, well…they can be a (temporary) comfort.  And you just lack perspective in your 20s and 30s.  Probably wasn’t the best judge of character in those days either.  These days I only consume adult beverages in moderation on weekends with a meal at lunch, and usually sitting alone with my headphones in, just listening to relaxing music or my favorite podcasts, enjoying quality “me” time while getting out of the house for a bit.   I don’t drink to use it as a social lubricant to facilitate meeting people.  I’ve long ago given up on drinking establishments not located near college campuses…no intelligent conversations to be had.  That was the appeal–back then–of college bars.  Get sufficiently toasted to have an intellectually stimulating conversation with equally smart or smarter people into the wee hours.  That’s only possible in an on campus or near-campus venue, in my experience.  I’ve long ago accepted that all that is a younger man’s game and really isn’t open to me anymore.  I tried and failed (so far) to stake out a career in academia through the side-door of librarianship.  It seems as if it just wasn’t meant to be at this stage, and I’m weary and tired of trying.  Tired of being rejected and misunderstood and yes, probably fired because of my ASD.  I just want to do my current job and be left alone, for the most part.

Feeling a little sad that a really cute Asian librarian that had been newly working in our department after transferring from upstairs will be leaving us soon, having accepted a full-time job with another library system in a neighboring county.  I’m happy for her, of course, but still sad I won’t get to see her and say “hi” anymore.  I probably never would’ve worked up the guts to ask her out, and she probably would’ve said no, but it was fun to see her daily and fantasize.  Oh well.

My book arrived, and I’ve photocopied then scanned the relevant pages as a single PDF.  I will begin working on its translation this weekend in earnest.

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