Being unemployed means having to fill in lots of forms and notify lots of people and offices about your status and needs. I think everything’s now put to bed and copacetic and stowed away safely, cap’n. But I keep thinking it’s not, that I’ve missed something vital, and it’s going to rear up and tear off my head. Metaphorically speaking.
I often feel this way about the various obligations, duties, processes, and procedures that life subjects us to. Part of that is because I have a bad memory and I do indeed tend to forget important steps. But I just realized that it’s deeper than that.
As a semi-deaf and severely nearsighted kid, without either glasses or hearing aids, I always missed important things in school. I sat at my desk lost in my own world, neither seeing what the teacher was writing on the blackboard nor hearing what teach was saying. Which was fine with me, but I’d show up without homework assignments that I didn’t know had been assigned, and when called on in class I’d either ignore the caller or would have no idea what the subject under discussion was. Other kids looked at me as though I were crazy. Teachers assumed I was stupid or disobedient or both. This probably has a lot to do with why I disliked school so much.
It probably contributed to my habit of losing myself in escapist fiction, and later writing it. It also probably explains why themes of secret, important stuff happening in the background, beyond the ken of characters who are endangered by their not knowing, crop up so often in my fiction.
Maybe that’s also why I got hooked on Philip K. Dick from the first novel of his I read.