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Feeling need to talk to my journal about random topics, no particular logic to it:

Jeffy and I are going to Curacao next Thursday. This is the first actual vacation we have taken since 2002 when we went to Mexico. Curacao was a somewhat last-minute choice. We'd been planning a trip to France, but it got all off the rails for reasons too tedious to recount. Basically, we procrastinated our planning too long, weren't going to meet J's requirements for that particular trip, decided not to spend the money if it wasn't going to be right. But I was still determined to go somewhere completely away from home. We'd heard of this former Dutch colony just a few miles off the shore of Venezuela but we knew nothing about it. Now we are very excited about it. We have a suite in the capital Willemstad, which town evidently looks like this:


I certainly didn't need a new one of these to start up just now, but that's the way it goes. This is the opening segment of what turns into a haunted house tale of sorts later on:

Mud, made of red clay and the inches of rain that had deluged the land for the previous two days, finally stopped the driver of the old truck that was to have conveyed me the last few klicks to the Sanitorium Melancthon. It was not that his tires were yet mired, but rather that he wished to avoid that hassle, which he saw coming too soon down a road the pavement of which was probably two centuries decayed and which had been getting gradually more so as we drove. You’ll need to finish on foot, sir, he said. I’m sorry, but I’ll go no further in this mess. I paid him the full fare, pulled on my rucksack and trudged forward between ruts full of black water. The rain didn’t fall hard, but it was insistent and a bit too cold for that hot season.
            As I drew nearer my destination, I could somehow feel that it was there, and I was frustrated that I could not yet see it. Such a vast edifice as the Sanitorium Melancthon should have been visible by then, and I wondered if I should have doubted my directions more than I did before I headed out here. But I did see what looked a looming mountain of vegetation, banyan-like trees hung thickly with moss and kudzu. The remains of the road vanished into this green and black mass, and I continued, trusting after all my directions, persistently displayed in my handheld, following me every step, pointing me forward. Eventually, under the canopy of ancient vegetation run wild I reached the expected gate.
            The gate itself had fallen over long ago, but its pylons still stood, twists of iron a hundred feet tall, their tops lost in the trees. In between those spires, in the middle of the decayed road, someone had erected a low-slung cabana with a moss roof, and inside that cabana a kid in his teens leaned on an aluminum stool next to which sat an old mechanical cash register on a folding table. He wore sandals and short faded denim pants, held aloft upon his waist with a length of yellow rope, and nothing else at all. He had that tone of bronze skin and that shiny jet hair that would have made some of the locals in those parts say that his daddy had hit him with the chopsticks, their crude way of talking about children descended from the Kaseian soldiers who’d long ago garrisoned in these parts, an expeditionary force come from distant Mars to explore and possibly reclaim the provinces of the long-decayed homeworld. The Kaseians eventually left the area, but they also left behind plenty of their seed. This gatekeeper kid looked more like one of those interplanetary visitors than anyone else I’d seen since I arrived in the swampy counties of the Rouge Melancthon.
            “You headed down-rivuh,” he said, his accent the regional twang. “Or yon to the Old Village?”
            “Neither. I am going to the Sanitorium. It has been arranged. I was told that a gatekeeper would be expecting this.”
            The kid frowned. “It’s been arranged,” he agreed. I was relieved. I doubted that there’d be any way that someone like this kid could have known my plans, but I was glad that he did. “But I din’t think it wa’gone to be jus’ some wet city-dude allah by hisself!” He laughed, and I somehow found myself laughing with him.
            He stopped. “No one evah goes in there alone, y’know.”
            I erected upon his table a tall stack of coins, thick gold pucks each stamped with the old Jando sword-and-sun sigil. He looked at the money, looked back at me.
            “This is what I was told would be the fee that I would need to pay here.”
            He nodded. “That be it. But if you got more money on ya, y’oughta know they ain’t nothing to buy with it in the Sanitorium.”
            Not sure what exactly he meant, I waited a beat for clarification. “I got this,” he finally said. He stooped low, and dug into a wooden crate under his table. He came up with four unlabeled bottles, green-tinted and crook-necked. “The local stuff,” he said. “You drink? Cause like I said, they ain’t nothing fuh-sale in the Sanitorium.”
            How much? I wondered, considering his logic. I did have a flask of some of the “local stuff”—a rough bootleg absinthe concoction—with me, but how long would it last? Without much further to go, a few bottles wouldn’t weigh me down too much. “’Nother three swords,” he said.
            I gave him the money and stowed all four of the bottles in my pack, stuffing them in amongst my changes of clothing.
            And then, “Ain’t suppose there nothing else you might want, brothuh? To buy, right here, I mean?”
            I don’t think I said “I don’t what you mean,” but certainly I must have looked it. He asked again, in a slightly different way, eyes narrowed. Then he hooked a thumb around his yellow-roped waistband and tugged it down a bit, exposing a little bit more of himself. “If it’s your kinda fun,” he said. “Three more’d do it, your choice how ya like it.”
            I am sure I said something like thanks but no thank you. Appreciate the offer, but no, thank you again. The kid didn’t say anything further to me, but I felt that he was staring at my back the whole time as I passed through the ruins of his gate and that he would continue to do so until I was finally out of his sight. But before then, I did very briefly steal a backward glance, and I do not think he was there anymore.

The water dreams are back. In these dreams, I am usually driving somewhere that I don't want to go and I find that as I proceed the road that I am on is too close to edges of bodies of water or that there are vast expanses of water to either side, and eventually the road starts to get washed out and I am trapped in some hopelessly cut-off swampy or oceanic area with no possibility of going forward nor any chance of retreating the way I came. I have been bothered by these dreams for most of my adult life. I went for a while without remembering one, but they recur a lot lately. I don't like it at all. I hope that when I am in Curacao by the ocean and on the floating bridge and in the floating market and driving a rental car within view of the ocean that some switch will flip back off and get rid of these dreams for a while.

Another ongoing work-in-progress caused me to do some quick Googling to determine if I could easily get an answer as  to whether, in the real world, something could somehow change with the genetic information transmitted in a human male's sperm as to make it somehow not really his genetic info anymore but rather that of an exomorphic entity.I didn't get anywhere one way or another with this line of inquiry (so I'll just make up what I need it to be for purposes of my story), but I did encounter the odd claim that roughly 5000-7000 is the likely number of ejaculations that a male will produce in his lifetime. I also found one of those dumb ask-a-question sites where someone wondered if that was in fact a set limit. Like, once you've hit it, you're done.
The arithmetic on this, however, seemed a bit off, so I made use of the calculator on my phone and came up with a very different number. Next week, I will reach the 30th anniversary of my first such emission (yes, I did record the date and time, 10 days before my 12th b-day). So that was about 10,950 days ago. And while it's true that not every last single day of my life since then has featured such fun, the ones that didn't are certainly more than compensated for by the many other ones that included two or three or four or more occurrences. So if the average to this point in my life is something like once per day, I'll be at 11K pretty soon. And I assume I still have a few more years left. So, no, it doesn't ever run out. No lifetime limit.

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