Sunday, March 8, 2015

Turing Machines

++Edit 030915 12:17 am-- spoiler alert for The Imitation Game.  Sorry about that.+++

And that, reader(s), is exactly why I need to be on anti-depressants again.  And trust me, this little emo outburst is not even close to what it used to be like.  The day Ex left me... well, I do not even remember what happened that day.  Perhaps I drank, but I don't think I did.  I remember watching him through the keyhole until he disappeared.  Going to the window multiple times, hoping his car would return and he would give me another chance.  But deep down I knew it wasn't going to happen, because I recognized how he walked away as I closed the door.  I'd seen that same gait in Dallas, before he disappeared the first time from my life.

The purpose of this blog has been to give me a venue to air my thoughts openly without the ridicule that comes from Facebook and other sites, but still, after the Crazyjournal fiasco, where I also operated sans-meds, I've taken liberties of mentioning almost nobody by name, and only a few by pseudonym.  Writing out my thoughts and feelings and events in my life lets me capture them in amber, before the rot of memory tampers with them, confusing them with other memories and twisting new fictions, like memories are wont to do with everybody.  Capture the butterfly, pierce it and pin it down, preserve it in a pristine condition, then come back in a few days or weeks and look over your morbid sanctuary and wonder what the hell you were doing and thinking.

I couldn't even see a doctor to get back onto Zoloft until I had insurance, I could not get insurance until February of this year, I could not get in as a new patient before the February blizzards started, so finally, I should be able to see a doctor, re-up or adjust my blood pressure meds, and get going again on some type of anti-depressant, which I will be on for the rest of my life.

I wonder what my reaction would have been if Ex had approached me, in his roundabout way, if I'd stayed on those drugs.  Perhaps I would have just ignored his "views" on my profiles, which I tried to do at first... the Growlr views were not the first time he looked at mine.  My little brother tells me I'm like that, or used to be in the past, if somebody screwed me over I would have just cast them out of my life, fuck them and they can go to hell, and all that.  I agree I used to be like that, before I fell in love for the first time with X.  And the second time and third, with Ex.

I just watched The Imitation Game in my bedroom, while the cat played with my feet beneath the covers.  It was interesting and heartbreaking and I hated it and loved it.  I loved it because it is a story about science (even though it is about "maths" and not stuff like Theory of Everything) where science wins, as opposed to modern day, where science and reason are losing out to religious zealotry.  There is a tender and gay love story that is almost as heartbreaking as Valerie from V For Vendetta, but it is broken up as the movie rotates between three of Alan Turing's life periods.  I hate it because it is heartbreaking in the worst way, in that it hits all the bad stuff in all of Turing's life at the same point in the film, to suddenly open the window and expose this curious man who broke the Enigma code and helped save an estimated 14 million people's lives, and show you precisely why he was an absolute twat to everybody.  An absolute sledgehammer to the feels.

Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the tortured mathematician, but honestly until the movie rounds the turn to the third act, he was simply playing a more demure version of Sherlock Holmes.  Where Holmes would be verbose and rude, Turing would be timid but dispassionate.  But in each character you can see the tick-tick-ticking of a mind that never stops.  Perhaps he could have done with some Zoloft himself, rather than chemical castration that Turing eventually succumbed to.  It certainly helps my mind from racing with thoughts, and I'm no genius.  I wonder what it could do to help a true genius organize his or her thoughts rather than have them all shotgunned out at once like a video game, only to scatter to the breeze before they could be gathered and examined.

The ending had me on the ropes because there is no sense of building dread for the finale.  It is non-stop punches to the gut.  Turing solves the Enigma, helps win the war, but then you find out that his young love died on holiday from bovine tuberculosis, which makes the fact that he named the code-cracking machine after his love all the more bittersweet, and the revelation that he would endure hormone therapy rather than chance giving up his one symbol of unrequited love, the machine that he named after Christopher, the only real love he had in his life, is heart-rending.  Would you do that?  How many of us would?

It ends with noting his suicide a year after the treatments began, and that his machine would eventually lead to what we now call computers.  Every interaction we have nowadays, be it social, economic, political, whatever, can be traced to this one man and the love that was denied him.

Admittedly, it takes plenty of liberties with the truth (Turing was never accused of treason), but the sentiment of the injustice is remarkably pure in those closing moments.


I only got on anti-depressants because I thought I could win back the love of Ex if I got better.  Hint:  they don't work immediately, or very well at first, and it takes a while to find the right dosage.  By the time I found mine, Ex had moved on to another partner.  And for many months afterwards, I was not well.

Eventually as I moved onto Zoloft (from an initial prescription for Citalopram), and found some peace.  It was not easy.  Deep down I knew that I had to stay on them, or I would obsess about Ex more than I already did.  Eventually the obsession ebbed, and I thought getting off of them was possible.

Guess I should have rethought that.

I've gone through every emotion since he left.  Rage, sadness, longing, jealousy.  The worst has been betrayal.  The thought that I never meant that much to him to begin with.  It stands to reason that if I did, he'd have said something wouldn't he?  Why would he let me think the things my brain throws at me, thinking he is just a user of emotions, rooting for his relationships to fail, and that he was as bad as I was... he is okay with me thinking that?  I find it hard to believe he's that kind of person.

Then I remember the last time he liked a picture of mine on Instagram.  Silly, how such a thing can mean so much.  It was the picture I took as I was still losing weight, in my "the Angels have the phone-box" t-shirt.  I took it December 1st, just days after his birthday.  It didn't add up why he liked that photo if he was mad at me at the time, as he told my brother that he was.  

So, maybe he never did really like me.  Maybe this great love I thought I had was just a Turing machine, something I simply built on my own time but never figured out the correct cipher for.  Maybe it was me all along.  Maybe I was the failure, not at all him.  That's why Turing's breakdown at the end of the movie resonates so much, because I know my only other choice to get better is to let go of the straw-man I've built.  He probably never existed, except in my head.  Even admitting I will never hear from him again anyway is difficult... Turing had at least that much.  He knew Christopher was gone.  The Machine was all he had left.

I will be going to the doctor in about ten days, assuming we don't get hit with more blizzards.  Zoloft is preferable to chemical castration, but sometimes it amounts to the same thing anyway.

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