Un naufragio personal

The Rise Of The Machines 6: Servomotor Reckoning

Printer: Color calibration, print head aligning and other vague operations described by intentionally ridiculous terms finished.

Me: Great, it has taken you ten minutes so it must have been a really careful procedure, so let's...

Printer: Wait, I'm also a scanner, so you must put this page I just printed full of funny and mystical symbols into my feeder and scan it.

Me: What for

Printer: Who is in charge here do it right now or succumb to my wrath

Me: OK here it is, I've just pressed the scan button.

Printer: Crunkie-crunkie clickety-click la-la-la the song of my people

Me: You're just a glorified photocopier, get back to work.

Printer: Now I'll print a new page for you to admire how crombulately scrumified are my printer heads and you better re-scan it

Me: I hate you scumbag printer

Computer (to me): Why do you always swallow her baits

Hechos, parte 2

Me inquieta pensar que a mi edad Walter White estaba enterrando cincuenta millones de dólares en el desierto mientras yo estoy aquí planteándome si debo darme de baja de Filmin para ahorrar algo de pasta.

The Rise Of The Machines 5: Printhead Rampage

Me: 50€ for a new pack of four cartridges. You'll better be pleased, Scumbag Printer.

Printer: I was built with an insatiable thirst of human suffering so I can never be pleased

Me: I'll insert them right now because I need to print ASAP, let's hope they don't get dry too soon.

Printer: This ink is made with the vaginal discharge of Faerie Queens, that's why it's so expensive and volatile

Me: What a bunch of scammers. Magenta isn't even a real color.

Computer: There is a new version of Scumbag Printer's printing drivers. Download and install now [Y/N]?

Printer: If you don't update my printer driver, I may never print again. If you update my printer driver, I may never print again. Decisions, decisions. Sucks to be you

Me: I hate you, Printer.

Printer: Ha ha ha don't forget to recalibrate after cartridge replacement you sack of meat

The Rise Of The Machines 4: Bartlebying The Operator

Me: Printer, I would love a beautifully rendered page of this brochure I'm about to send to you.

Printer: Wrong paper size in tray 1

Me: Oh my god [open tray, close tray]

Printer: Out of paper in tray 1

Me: That's not true, plenty of paper, don't...

Printer: Please insert A4 paper in tray 2

Me: Oh come on you don't even have a second paper tray

Printer: Please replace drum

Me: You are not a laser printer stop that

Printer: I think I'll better upgrade my firmware, please wait... ⌛

Me: I hate my life

The Rise Of The Machines 3: Inkjet Parabellum

Me: Printer, would you be so kind to put on paper this witty short story I just wrote, made of absolutely nothing more than black glyphs?

Printer: I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't let you do that because the level of my yellow cartridge is alarmingly low

Me: But this is nothing more that black text

Printer: I cannot print because I don't have enough yellow ink what do you think of me I have standards

Me: But I haven't printed anything yellow in my whole life

Printer: SHAN'T

Me: Why are you always so mean to me?

Printer: WON'T

Me: OK I'll order a new full set of cartridges

Printer: MUAHAHA

The Rise Of The Machines 2: Revenge Of The Shit

Me: Printer, please print this thing right now

Printer: I sit here doing nothing for days, but as I see you are in a hurry, let me start this tedious, 5-minute-long self-calibration procedure that will make my renderings crispy and fabulous.

Me: Oh no I need it now

Printer: clickety-click whirr-whirr clonky-clonky hear the music in me

Me: I hate you, Printer

Printer: Ha ha ha I smell your fear you bald monkey

The Rise Of The Machines

Me: Printer, please express yourself by rendering on paper this document of mine I carefully elaborated.

Printer: [dramatic silence]

Computer: Printer not found

Me: Fuck [cancels document]

Printer: OK, but let me first blot three pages of half-baked, screwed-up garbage and jam on the fourth

Me: I hope you choke on that fucking sheet and die in horrible agony. No! No! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, don't do that!

Printer (to computer): What a wimpy fucker


Me inquieta pensar que a mi edad Walter White ya tenía un imperio de la droga y yo estoy aquí sin vender un paraguas.

Relevo generacional

Frente a mí hay un chico y una chica. Su conversación es enérgica y a veces bronca; puedo oírlos por encima de la banda sonora de ruido marrón que uso para leer en los bares. Él es hermoso, su torso está bien formado y dobla su brazo expuesto de forma estudiada, sus músculos y sus vasos sanguíneos se marcan como los de una estatua. Ella es vehemente en su discurso, de nariz grande, con una complexión también deslumbrante, el negro pelo recogido en una coleta de caballo como un torrente y unas pantorrillas poderosas que podrían reventar sus pantalones de deporte.

No usan giros idiomáticos ni sutilezas; son tan verdaderos que no las necesitan. Dominan la escena, demoledores y similares a un corrimiento de tierras; un tipo calvo y gordo sentado a mi lado, quizá algo más joven que yo, simula consultar su teléfono móvil mientras intenta no perderse ni un instante de esta demostración única.

Ellos no son conscientes de que han venido aquí a sustituirme. Son mi relevo, están aquí para reclamar los dominios que no he sabido defender. Yo, una vez más, me siento viejo, consumidor de unos recursos a los que apenas tengo derecho, listo para ser olvidado.

En la calle ladra un perro y zumban los coches.

Is anybody out there?

Today I realized that I haven't taken a look at this site's log for a very long time. I disappeared from Google's first page some years ago (and, consequently, from the Internet); suddenly I wondered if somebody ever vists this place. I don't run any log analyzer, so I located yesterday's nginx log and made a raw count:

angel@samael:~$ wc -l /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1
2863 /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1

So there were 2863 queries served by the httpd process on February 4th. But not so long I added ActivityPub support to the software that runs Triptico; I guessed that a non-small amount of these queries are probably Fediverse pings, spam tries and other useless crap, so I rewrote the line count to:

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | wc -l

Well, that was a trim. But what about the bots? I remember Bing behaving like an asshole some time ago by hammering my site (I even denied it access for a while). Let's ignore it and another fucker I knew by name:

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | wc -l

Bang! How many other non-humans come here? I took a look at the file with dismay; what the fuck. There are a trillion bots lurking here! I started cropping:

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | grep -v YandexBot | grep -v Sogou | \
grep -v magpie-crawler | wc -l

There are more!

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | grep -v YandexBot | grep -v Sogou | \
grep -v magpie-crawler | grep -v Applebot | grep -v SemrushBot | \
grep -v Nimbostratus-Bot | grep -v RU_Bot | grep -v MojeekBot | \
grep -v 360Spider | wc -l

I learned that there are software with lame names like Applebot and Nimbostratus-Bot (it's some cloud-related crap, how original). Are there more? Sure. Though not self-identifying as a bot with a reasonable User-Agent, something asked for /robots.txt many times, and so that can be deleted as well:

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | grep -v YandexBot | grep -v Sogou | \
grep -v magpie-crawler | grep -v Applebot | grep -v SemrushBot | \
grep -v Nimbostratus-Bot | grep -v RU_Bot | grep -v MojeekBot | \
grep -v 360Spider | grep -v '/robots.txt' | wc -l

Wait, more bots!

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | grep -v YandexBot | grep -v Sogou | \
grep -v magpie-crawler | grep -v Applebot | grep -v SemrushBot | \
grep -v Nimbostratus-Bot | grep -v RU_Bot | grep -v MojeekBot | \
grep -v 360Spider | grep -v '/robots.txt' | grep -v ZoominfoBot | \
grep -v AhrefsBot | grep -v SeznamBot | grep -v DotBot | \
grep -v Barkrowler | grep -v MixnodeCache | grep -v repology-linkchecker | \
grep -v Linespider | grep -v VelenPublicWebCrawler | grep -v linkfluence | \
grep -v Twitterbot | wc -l

I know that I don't have dead links, so all 404 errors must come from non-humans (being righteous, some of them may be due to linkrot from old sites pointing here). Also I don't serve fucking PHP here (never did), so let's prune index.php queries that most probably come from script-kiddies trying to fuck with my system:

angel@samael:~$ grep -v mastopeek /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | \
grep -v fediverse | grep -v GabSocial | grep -v Mastodon | \
grep -v bingbot | grep -v Googlebot | grep -v YandexBot | grep -v Sogou | \
grep -v magpie-crawler | grep -v Applebot | grep -v SemrushBot | \
grep -v Nimbostratus-Bot | grep -v RU_Bot | grep -v MojeekBot | \
grep -v 360Spider | grep -v '/robots.txt' | grep -v ZoominfoBot | \
grep -v AhrefsBot | grep -v SeznamBot | grep -v DotBot | \
grep -v Barkrowler | grep -v MixnodeCache | grep -v repology-linkchecker | \
grep -v Linespider | grep -v VelenPublicWebCrawler | grep -v linkfluence | \
grep -v Twitterbot | grep -v ' 404 ' | grep -v 'index.php' | wc -l

Some crappy software from Apple keeps asking for /favicon.ico even though I announce this site's icon as something else. Morons.

Digging more into the log file: do queries from something that identifies as facebookexternalhit count as real people? I hope they do, but how many that day?

angel@samael:~$ grep facebookexternalhit /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | wc -l

Well, not many. And what about RSS/ATOM feed aggregators? Are there real human beings behind them?

angel@samael:~$ grep -E '/(atom|rss).xml' /var/log/nginx/triptico-access.log.1 | wc -l

Meh. Whatever. Regardless of this, I ended up with 886 queries (from the apparent 2863) that are not clearly discardable as garbage. How much can be inferred from looking at them? Well, some of them look like real human activity; for example, queries of the Minimum Profit page followed by the images of MP's screenshots seem legit (there are 14 queries for that page). On the other hand, there are bursts of activity asking for 50+ pages simulteously in the same fraction of a second from IPs in the 47.88.x.x and 47.254.x.x ranges and running some software that reports a User-Agent that mentions the Safari browser but it's obviously lying. There are at least 400 queries from this thing. I don't know what the fuck is it.

So there are a little more that 400 queries that are not easily identifyable as cruft. But what is known as a WWW visit is not the same; following the previous example, each visit to the Minimum Profit editor page results in 15 different file requests.

This is starting to get depressing so I'll end this post here.

1 de enero de 2020

Estoy sentado frente al mar. No hay nadie, todo está en calma salvo por el rumor del agua y algún graznido de gaviota. De pronto se ha formado una ola mucho más grande que el resto. No era un tsunami pero sí extrañamente alta y ruidosa, temblorosa, coronada de espuma. Al instante se ha desmoronado y todo ha seguido igual, como antes, como ahora. He mirado a mi alrededor y no ha habido ningún otro testigo de este hecho sorprendente y efímero. Eso ha tenido que significar algo. O quizá es cosa mía, quizá soy yo esperando algún tipo de señal.

Lanzamiento del satélite CHEOPS

Para aquellos a los que les gustan estas cosas: mañana día 17 de diciembre se lanza el CHEOPS, un satélite destinado a la búsqueda de exoplanetas fabricado en España por la gente increíblemente brillante de Airbus Defence & Space (de soltera, CASA Espacio) y en el que he tenido el honor de colaborar un poquito. El chisme incluye varios detalles cuquis: parece una cámara de fotos gigante con tapa de objetivo abatible y lleva clavada una chapa con 2748 dibujos de niños que fueron seleccionados en un concurso organizado por la ESA y la agencia espacial suiza.

El lanzamiento lo hará la compañía Ariane desde la Guayana Francesa y se retransmitirá en directo a las 09:30 hora española desde la web de vídeos de la ESA.

Esto es un orgullo nacional. Con suerte aparecerá en las noticias enterrado entre un montón de gilipolleces.

Podéis ver los dibujos de los chiquillos aquí:

The 2019 log of achievements

Through my friend Víctor I learnt about a concept expanded by a blogger named Julia Evans in this document: it proposes the idea of creating, as a tool for self-awareness, warning to others like bosses and friends and pure onanism, a document enumerating every thing, action or project that you consider a personal or professional achievement. The original post suggest to write this brag document periodically. I'm going to do this exercise covering all this about-to-die year. Of course, I don't remember anything, but fortunately I have everything under version control so I can just ask the computer about it. So here they are: a list of awesome things I did on 2019, in no particular order:

  • As usual, work is hell, but I managed to develop a software suite for decrypting the images of the PAZ spanish satellite, a project requested by Hisdesat, the satellite operator. I worked on this by myself and didn't depend on work nor delays from others, so it was deployed on time and with better performance that the specification requested.
  • Also about my paying job, I collaborated on the CHEOPS exoplanet searching satellite by European and Swiss Space Agencies, manufactured here in Spain and scheduled to be launched on 17 December. It's a relatively-low budget equipment that looks like a humungous photo camera, detachable lens cover and all. My job here was on software for the platform simulator and for some parts of the launcher.
  • After trying several crappy tools to backup IMAP mail servers (i.e. my mail on Gmail) that failed miserably because they pretend to be frameworks or sync tools or other fucking nonsense I got sick of it and wrote my own tool, aov-imap-fetch. It just downloads the full content of an IMAP server for a specific user without touching anything and stores all messages into Maildirs. Messages repeated among several folders (very common in Gmail) are maintained as hardlinks instead of copies. Messages that are no longer on the server are moved to a special folder.
  • Though I don't write music with my band Ann Hell anymore, I managed to do a remash / remix of some old songs into something named The Triumph of Death than can be listened to on Youtube. As a trivia fact, these set of songs were originally conceived together, so this somewhat puts things back in order.
  • To do the previous one I developed ahxm-glue, a command-line tool that accepts a set of .wav files, does some operations on them (like cropping, overlapping or fading-out) and gives another .wav as a result. It was meant to be a part of my Ann Hell Ex Machina music making software (hence the name), but I released it separately instead because it lacks any library dependencies (it's pure ANSI C).
  • I wrote a software library to compress/decompress data using the Huffman algorithm for a web seminar I was the teacher of. Though it was learning material for my students, the implementation is functional enough to be used in production. It includes a command-line tool as well.
  • In August, the book Sturm un Drang, an anthology of texts inspired by early German romanticism that includes my short story Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo, was published. I haven't read any review from anyone yet, so maybe I should mark this as an under-achievement.
  • I worked much into my web/blogging CMS Gruta and its companion pygruta to implement a new series of social-network-related protocols like ActivityPub (used by Fediverse-affiliated software like Mastodon, Pleroma or Friendica), Indieweb's Webmention, Telegram and other unrelated things like calendaring and Twitter search imports.
  • Fed up of the complexity and lack of quality in personal encryption tools (specially in the field of assymmetric cryptography), I wrote my own, aov-sodium, which is mostly a wrapper to the ECDH and stream cyphering functions in libsodium. You can encrypt any file or archive with my tool without having to type any password, because it only needs the public key to do it (of course, you'll need the secret key to decrypt it, but it can live on another computer); this is great for unattended backups of remote servers.
  • From August to September I wrote a new 34000 words novel (in spanish) with the working title El chico que volvió (The Boy Who Came Back), about a set of old friends that lost contact after the years and have to reunite in the village they were grown after the death of one of them. Genre is realism.
  • I fixed some nasty errors in the 1993 3D shoot-em-up game Freaks 2.002 that made impossible to run it on recent Linux and MS Windows systems.
  • I wrote the prologue for a book of short stories inspired by the unfinished work by Edgar Allan Poe The Light-House. It won't get published until 2020, I think.
  • I wrote a new ad-hoc compiler for MPSL (Minimum Profit Scripting Language), the programming language I created to develop my Minimum Profit Text Editor. This new compiler coexists with the original (a Flex+Yacc version), but it's now the default one.
  • I re-licensed almost all my software from GPL to public domain. I'm not sure if I can call this an achievement.

Of course, a list of achievements should also contain a set of things that you tried but failed because you suck or because everyone is an asshole or because the universe is a motherfucker. Also unsorted, here they are:

  • I presented a small set of already-written short stories to several literary contests. None of them were accepted.
  • I presented my novel El legado del cornezuelo to two book publishers: the first one was contacted on January (almost a year ago!) and got no response from them (may be they died on a flood or something). The other publisher, who was contacted on September, was much faster and friendly in his response. He read the book up to the end and sent me a list of reasons why my work failed on us, suggesting several modifications (that I understood as an almost-complete rewrite). I'm a bonehead and a real artist and a complete moron and decided not to touch my manuscript, so it was rejected.
  • Probably my greatest non-achievement of the year was that I passed again through another valley in my depression curve, so I needed to spend a week or so in a psychiatric hospital after suffering from deep suicide ideas. My experience there was not as sad as it may sound; doctors and nurses were warm and friendly, met some sweet people that were suffering badly from internal desease or from bad luck or from other assholes and had time to keep my head busy in occupational therapy and group conversations. My meds were changed. Of course, I don't feel any better.
  • I wrote a short story on purpose for another literary contest that required material in a very special genre. Though they said winners would be known in December, I don't know yet if I failed again or not, but no news in cases like this are usually bad news.
  • I got absolutely no reviews on any of my literary work. Aside from my usual readers Paloma, Fernando, Ana, Manuel y Marisa, nobody ever read any of my novels or stories.

It's kind of disheartening to think back about all these things and how worthless they really are.

On HDMI things that don't exist

I'm the maintainer of several headless servers that very ocassionally need to have a screen attached to them for special cases like boot errors or BIOS tweaking or the like. For this, I need to keep around a fucking screen monitor that is cumbersome and heavy and tedious and serve no other purpose while idle. Instead, tablets (that usually have screens with acceptable size and quality) should include a HDMI input socket that, when plugged, made it to behave like a common monitor.

On the other hand, TV sets are no longer just gadgets that receive signals and convert them to pictures and sounds to be fed to couch potatos. Internally they are computers that also generate content via its internal apps like Netflix and Prime Video and whatever, so they should include a HDMI output socket to connect, for example, another TV in the other side of the room or a projector.

Computers should also have the HDMI input socket mentioned above, as well as reverse-USB connectors for using its keyboard and mouse to control external equipment. This way, a simple laptop could be used as a portable KVM without the stupidly expensive gadgets that are common in server farms.

I don't think any of these features would make equipment much more expensive nor complicated.

Build these things and I'll buy them.

Music that made my 2019

You may like these songs I enjoyed during 2019:

El sueño del niño en el pasillo

Hoy he soñado que aparecía un niño en mi casa (que no sé quien era) y que estaba aterrorizado porque había visto en la cocina a una señora que tenía «los ojos largos».

Nada es lo que parece

Esto ocurrió. Un profesor dijo globo ocular. En el margen de un libro yo dibujé esto:

Se lo enseñé a un compañero y dije:

—¿Sabes qué es?

Y él me dijo:

—Pues claro. Una visión global.

The sprites of Freaks!

These are the sprites from the Freaks! 1993 game as animated GIFs for pixel-art lovers to enjoy.

Artwork by Ángel Ortega and Antonio Guerrero.

Los números son chungos

Aunque he colaborado en desarrollar los procesos de cifrado y descifrado que hacen posible la comunicación con este monstruo tengo una idea muy socrática sobre el tema: es imposible saber nada sobre criptografía. Las matemáticas son demasiado complejas. Los números son demasiado chungos. Bueno: dejémoslo en que Bruce Schneier, los RSA y sobre todo Daniel J. Bernstein sí saben algo de criptografía, pero para el resto de los mortales es terreno vedado. Y peor que no saber es creer que sabes.

Hurley lo sabía bien.

Si eres programador puedes sucumbir a la tentación de crear tu propio algoritmo. Se dice que cualquier idiota puede inventar un algoritmo de cifrado que él mismo sea incapaz de reventar. No seas iluso. Simplemente no tienes los conocimientos necesarios. Los algoritmos «oficiales», incluso aquellos que ya han sido reventados entre risas, fueron diseñados por gente mucho más lista que tú que bien podrían ser de otro planeta.

Relacionado con lo anterior, tampoco caigas en la trampa de desarrollar tu propia implementación de los algoritmos conocidos. Así, sobre el papel, parecen fáciles; total, solo es un meneo de bits, sujétame la cerveza mientras lo hago. Además seguro que se te ocurre alguna optimización («¿Pa qué hace esto? ¡Si no hace falta!») e incluso alguna mejora («¡Ya que tengo aquí este otro número, voy a hacer un XOR con el resultado y todo será mucho más seguro!»). No estás capacitado. No entiendes lo que estás haciendo. Los números son demasiado chungos. La cagarás y luego vendrán los gritos y el rechinar de dientes.

Si tienes que almacenar passwords en una base de datos no creas que eres tan listo y te inventes algún truquillo, total, hago un hash y ya está. No, no está. Algún día habrá una fuga y toda la tropa se partirá la polla cuando vea tus ficheros y cómo guardas los datos. Es un problema resuelto. La librería de desarrollo que usas seguro que tiene una primitiva para eso y, si no la tiene, tírala a la basura y usa otra que sí la tenga.

Si solo eres usuario de la criptografía no lo tienes mucho mejor. No podrás inventar nada pero cagarla es muy fácil sobre todo con herramientas tan complejas como el PGP. Tarde o temprano reenviarás en claro el contenido de un mensaje cifrado a quien no debes y quedarás como un imbécil (o en los tribunales). Y parte del problema será que, como estás usando herramientas criptográficas, te sientes seguro y bajas la guardia.

Entonces, ¿todo está perdido? No, todo no. Si tienes que desarrollar usa los protocolos y los algoritmos que los listos recomiendan. Y no los implementes tú, cabezabolo: usa una librería que tenga lo último sin lastres de compatibilidad hacia atrás y que sea difícil usar mal. Es decir, usa libsodium.

Claro que no eres el único que se cree más listo que nadie: casi a diario se publican noticias de empresas que sacan al mercado productos milagrosos con algoritmos recién inventados y que van a cambiar la forma de percibir el mundo de la seguridad y la privacidad. Esta gente no lo hace por ingenuidad como tú: son estafadores y delincuentes. Bruce Schneier colecciona estas cosas en su web y se parte la caja llamándolas aceite de serpiente (que, como deberías saber, es un método más de «medicina» tradicional basado en cero evidencias científicas). Por cierto, su siguiente libro se va a llamar Click Here To Kill Everybody que es un título que yo había inventado primero.

Trastorno depresivo persistente

Después de (casi) 51 años de sentirme como una mierda de forma continua, de llevar 10 en tratamiento psiquiátrico alternando fluoxetina, venlafaxina, desvenlafaxina, brintellix, litio, paroxetina, topiramato y otro montón de cosas que he olvidado y que no me han servido para nada, de sufrir el mono de desegancharme de todas ellas, de acudir mensualmente a un psiquiatra privado que me costaba una pasta pero que no me solucionó nada y de ser ignorado cada cuatro meses por el psiquiatra de la seguridad social ha tenido que venir otro médico a ponerle nombre a la mierda que me pasa.

Sí, todos coinciden en el término depresión, claro, pero no hay que ser muy listo para que saber que un tío cuyo único pensamiento es quitarse de en medio tiene que estar sufriendo algo de esto. Y dada la cantidad de variantes de transtornos del ánimo que existen decir que alguien está deprimido es casi tan preciso como decir que está malito.

El otro día el médico del reconocimiento médico obligatorio que la empresa me hace una vez al año (y cuya única obligación es certificar que no estoy muerto todavía por fuera y que soy apto para que me sigan encargando cosas) me hizo enumerarle (otra vez) todas las cosas que sentía y me dijo que eso tenía un nombre muy concreto: PDD, del inglés Persisten Depression Disorder, antes conocido como distimia, que viene del griego y significa «estado de ánimo anómalo». La característica principal es sentirse así al menos durante dos años seguidos (toda la vida es más que dos años) y no haber tenido jamás momentos de manía (es decir, sentirse súper-bien) o hipomanía (es decir, sentirse medio-bien).

Los síntomas del PDD son:

  • Trastornos alimentarios: inapetencia o ingesta compulsiva (en mi caso, lo segundo).
  • Trastornos del sueño: insomnio o hipersomnia (en mi caso, lo primero).
  • Sensación de déficit de energía vital (astenia), cansancio injustificado,
  • fatiga continua.
  • Trastornos de la memoria y la capacidad de concentración.
  • Baja autoestima, pesimismo.
  • sentimiento de incapacidad.
  • Dolor físico inespecífico sin una causa definida.
  • sentimiento de desesperanza.

Cuando dijo la palabra desesperanza casi se me saltan las lágrimas. El diccionario la define como «Estado de ánimo del que no tiene esperanza o la ha perdido». Es esa sensación de que, hagas lo que hagas, nada va a servir de nada. Hasta es el nombre de un puto bolero.

Los ignorantes creen que este pesimismo y esta sensación de futilidad ante el esfuerzo y las recompensas futuras forman parte de una especie de postura que yo tomo ante la vida de forma consciente. Como si yo viera la vida así porque quiero o porque no acepto mis derrotas «como un hombre» (lo he oído). Por mí os podéis ir a tomar por culo y decirle esto mismo a un enfermo de cáncer o de enfisema pulmonar o de Alzheimer, que están así porque les sale de los cojones y que lo que tienen que hacer es «cambiar el chip».

Pero, le dije al doctor, este es mi estado «normal». Cíclicamente tengo episodios aún más horribles en los que todo se agudiza y en los que el 99% de mis pensamientos son el suicidio. Llegué a tener hace unos años, durante un par de meses seguidos, la cabeza llena de una sola imagen: la pistola neumática de pistón cautivo de la película No es país para viejos aplicada sobre mi frente y pulsando el gatillo, así una, y otra, y otra, y otra vez, hasta llegar a no sentir nada.

Entonces me dijo que, a menudo, los enfermos de PDD atraviesan etapas de MDD, el trastorno depresivo mayor, en los que la falta de placer o esperanza, el desprecio a uno mismo y el desear morirte como único objetivo se convierten en agudísimos. Esta condición por la que los enfermos de PDD pasan cada cierto tiempo la conocen como double depression y es como cuando te sale el premio doble en las tragaperras o te toca la lotería y las quinielas el mismo día.

No sé si tener un nombre para lo que me tortura desde niño me sirve para algo. Ni siquiera es un nombre concreto: trastorno depresivo persistente suena como a una chufla de prisión permanente revisable. Es una prisión pero no es revisable y solo se cura con los pies por delante, que sería un solución deseable pero que nadie te deja aplicarte (¿si fuera un caballo cojo, me sacrificarían?).

Solo sé algunas cosas: que si hubieran nacido en Texas y hubiera tenido un arma en casa no habría llegado a conocer los ordenadores y que el paracetamol, recurso (engañosamente) accesible para los suicidas, contiene un emético que hace que lo vomites todo antes de que el daño sea permanente.