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Yeah basiaclly I should put some info that I want you to see here. Maybe stylized contact info? Anyway, if you have sugguestions for what'd be useful to have here then please contact me.

I'm less interested with populating this with real data than I am with having made it work

Check it out. I added images into a component with gatsby. Pretty fun.

White Tiles

"I'm going to be late", thought Michael. He was barely ever late, so people would be suspicious if he wasn't one of the people waiting in the room before the event began.

The pit pat of his footsteps turned into a pitter-patter. "I guess that's a roundabout way of speeding up", the thought floated through Michael's brain uninvited as he avoided another black tile. "Don't step on the black tiles, that bothers me", thought Michael. This thought was deliberate, so Michael welcomed it.

"Yes, stepping on the black tiles is only for bad days. White tiles are much more pleasing. Well, that's actually not true, is it. Because back home at that one friend's house there was a bathroom with all black tiles, and it was quite pleasing."

Samuel nearly passed by Michael, almost unnoticed.

"Oh, hey Shmoo! Good to see you, man". Seeing people grounded Michael. It stopped him from slip slopping into solipsistic thoughts. People called Samuel Shmoo. Michael called Samuel Samuel, except for today.

"Oh, hey Mike". People called Michael Mike. Samuel called Michael Mike. "I guess today isn't a special day for Samuel," thought Michael.

Neither Michael nor Samuel slowed their pace as they walked right past each other. If it wasn't for the anxious feeling tickling the back of Michael's head about accidentally calling Samuel Shmoo, Michael wouldn't have even believed that the encounter had really happened, it was that fast. "Or at least, relatively speaking it was," Michael continued the thought.

Sometimes, a second would take this long to Michael. Sometimes, it would take this long. Those are two different lengths, to anyone reading my mind. "I like to explain why I do things," thought Michael, as he avoided another black tile.

"Why did I just do that?" Michael was avoiding black tiles. "It's not that I'm avoiding black tiles, I clearly don't dislike them, as is evidenced by that one bathroom". Michael preferred to be rigorous when inspecting his mind, lest he lose his train of thought. "It seems like that metaphor lends itself to a really easy pun about a slippery slope of losing your train of thought into losing your mind," thought Michael.

Michael thinks a lot.

"I think a lot," thought Michael. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. "It's not necessarily a bad thing, though," thought Michael. Like a flywheel, Michael's mind took a while to return to normal after use. "I feel like my mind..." Michael couldn't continue the thought. He couldn't articulate what he felt. There was a single atomic thought in his mind that he couldn't get a foothold into. He couldn't figure out how to break it up into its constituent pieces in order to translate it into English.

"I'm sorry to anyone reading my mind that's interested in what I'm thinking right now. This is the most important thought I've had in a while, and I can't explain it." Normally, the concept that people might be able to read his mind gave Michael anxiety, and made him feel guilty or ashamed. But right now, he wished that there was a higher power that understood how he felt, so the higher power could translate for him.

Michael's atomic thought can be described with a picture. It was a graph. On the y axis, we see a homebaked Michael metric, "brain activity". On the x axis, we see time. In terms of the x axis, there were 3 important points on the graph. Zero, Door, and Now. "See this is the context that anyone short of omniscient misses", Michael thought. "What would someone who doesn't know my entire life story expect when they see the 'Door' label?".

Michael didn't even recognize that the challenge was also present for the 'Zero' label. This is because the 'Zero' label was meaningless to Michael, it was an nebulous time. It described a span of about 110 minutes. You could have pinned the label time to any clock time and it would have worked just as fine.

Anyway. The graph was constant, and near the top of the y axis between Zero and Door. Upon hitting Door, brain activity spiked then dipped. "Like a drunken butterfly," thought Michael. After the initial spike and dip, brain activity once again spiked and dipped - but the average fell slightly. "Like one side of a slinky as it slink slops down the stairs," continued Michael.

After the slinky region, "as leading academics colloquially refer to it as", brain activity once again spiked and dipped. This time was less dramatic, "but you'd have to be there to understand how or why," Michael thought. He didn't quite seethe while thinking this, because he wasn't really having a conversation. But the color that he always sees in his head when he's angry was the color of the shirt worn by the imaginary person he thought that thought at.

"You're not quite an imaginary friend, and you're not quite relevant to my life. This is the last time I'll see you, and you aren't bothered by that in the slightest. If I had never met you, I'd be the same. But if I had never met you, you'd never have existed. I don't suppose that bothers you, does it?"

The unnamed and unknown imaginary academic nodded thoughtfully at Michael's comment. "Yes," he postulated, waving an academic looking pointer/stick in his hand. "I can understand how anything less than the full picture would be conducive to making the truth elusive."

Michael liked that. He smiled. Validation and a nice rhyme. Maybe Michael would miss this guy after all. He named him "Professor Red", so he could recall this manifestation of his experiences upon a later time when he wanted to talk to someone smart and comforting.

"Maybe I should call my mom instead", thought Michael. Michael's mom was real, and Professor Red wasn't, you see. You can understand Michael's quandary, I'm sure.

Michael's thought were interrupted by a door opening. "Samuel", thought Michael. The door was opened by Samuel, he was no doubt entering a room. "I wonder what room Samuel's going into," not that he cared. It was just a nice thought to have. It was comforting to ask a question that he could answer. But Michael didn't turn around.

The thought "I'm quite proud of myself" flitted through Michael's brain as he made the conscious decision to not turn around. He grimaced at the uninvited thought. "If I was having a conversation with someone right now, it woulda been SO uncool to say that. Besides, it's not like I'm proud of myself for walking down a hallway. I'm just proud that I didn't give in to the ethereal desire to answer every question I think of. It was a nice question, with a nice answer. In theory, I can answer it every time. But gaining the answer wouldn't help me. To turn around would be a pointless exercise. It would be indulgent, frivolous, and nonsensical." Michael's tirade crescendoed upon thinking the word nonsensical. It continued with a diminuendo, "Besides, I don't even need to look around to figure out what door that was. I could always look up or figure out Samuel's class schedule, and cross reference that with the time right now." Michael struggled to not pull out his phone to look at the clock. He knew if he pulled his phone out then the back of his mind would start buzzing.

The familiar faces on his background greeted him, along with a few notifications. "I'm proud of myself for downloading the New York Times app, but I really don't care about..," Michael didn't finish the thought.

The sound of a door swinging closed once again interrupted Michael's thoughts. His phone slip slopped back into his pocket.

He turned around.

A hallway full of closed doors ****ed back at him. "There it is again! There's no English word for the single thought that I'm having. A hallway full of doors doesn't stare, there aren't eyes or the ability to react." Michael pondered his mundane existence. "A hallway full of doors also doesn't invite," Michael thought. This thought was substantiated with the anxiety that some of the doors were locked. A hallway of doors simply exists. And does that which only a hallway of doors can do.

"To understand exactly what Michael thought," thought Michael, "you'd need to know everything and exactly everything that Michael knows. No more, and no less, lest you draw a wrong conclusion." Only with identical conditions would you be able to walk in Michael's shoes. Michael's souls made contact with another white tile.

"A hallway full of doors, when stared at with a simple question, only does one thing," thought Michael. "It exists, it simply is. All the things you can think about doors, it does. And more, because there are, well..." Michael didn't finish the thought, because it was too obvious to him, and he didn't wanna come off as base to the person that might be reading his mind right now.

"Because there are more doors in the thought of a hallway full of doors than in the thought of a single door," Michael's brain volunteered. He scowled. Professor red stepped into the back of Michael's mind wearing a dark green sweater and slacks. "He's always in slacks," decided Michael. The scowl didn't leave his face, but Michael's mood was back to positive.

Michael took another step. He had been walking this whole time, but this time "he noticed it", Michael thought. Referring himself in the third person as if he was narrating a book. There was a black tile 4 paces in front of him, slightly out of his way. Michael contemplated going out of his way to step on it, to see if it would make him feel anything. Professor Red's sweater wasn't see through, yet it managed to not have a color. "What a strange metaphor for my emotional state," thought Michael. "I wonder what feeling keeps Professor Red the warmest. I wonder if there're any emotions that'd be considered designer in his world."

Michael took another step. He had actually taken 2 steps, so this was his third of four in order to get to the black tile. "Now stepping on it would make me really go outta my way," thought Michael, as he went really out of his way to step on the black tile. As Michael's foot landed on the line between white and black, Michael realized that he didn't really care about the different tile colors.

A buzzing feeling entered the back of Michael's head. He cracked his knuckles one by one and took a deep breath, feeling his chest press against his shirt. It was a nice shirt, he decided.

Michael took another breath. He had been breathing this whole time, but this time he noticed it. Although, he didn't recognize the fact that he noticed it. Sometimes it's better to be unaware. "Not quite blissfully ignorant," thought Michael. Ok, maybe he did notice it. Or maybe he was just responding to this thought, this figment of my imagination.

"The second one," thought Michael.

Professor Red looked up from the papers he was doing official business with at his desk. "What did you just say?" he asked.

"The second one," repeated Michael, helpfully.

"Michael, I'm just a figment of your imagination. I see that you have the concept of me as a real person somewhere in your head, right next to my 2003 tax filings. But I'm not. You can't have an original conversation with me, as you control everything I say. This type of mental masturbation is severely discouraged here."

Professor Red's shirt changed to that same shamed and embarrassed dark green as he chided Michael. "Whatever, nerd." Michael decided that he didn't like Professor Red as much as he thought he did. He put some creases in Professor Red's slacks, because such a pure honor didn't deserve to be subjected to the bothersome Professor Red.

Michael took another step. He didn't notice it when he did, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case he meant to notice it.

"I'm going to be late," Michael thought.

Ari Sweedler, 1998-2020