A Train of Consciousness Running Off the Tracks
|Photo Credit: Flickr by ewout|
My brain this morning is unemployable, my hands shiftless and agitated. I sit staring at the aggressively blank page of an empty Blogger post, repeatedly sniffing the acrid, floral conditioner still clinging to my hair and rifling through my brain for some trace of inspiration. Finding none, I check email. Nothing doing. I read several posts in my burgeoning Google Reader with some satisfaction, but, immediately, more take their place, like water emptied from the bucket left out in a rainstorm, like the heads lopped off a hydra.There is a hopeless quality to this. I check my schedule for the day and add several tasks to my Google calendar–none inspiring–so that the day, at 5 A.M. already stretches before me like a road in Kansas, visible as far as the eye can see and filled with laundry and errands. How can you hate a day that still remains dark with the cloaking of the night before? This requires enormous projection.
My alarm was set for 5 A.M. I woke at 4:15, after hours of fretful, intermittent sleep. Consciousness kept encroaching on me like invasive weeds, thrusting taproots into my slumber. Dumb mistakes I made at work. Embarrassing social missteps. Worry over traveling tomorrow. I pulled the offending thought roughly up each time, leaving the root embedded in the soil, and each time there it was again, showing new growth. Sometimes a dandelion, sometimes a thistle. On this occasion, during the wee hours of the morning, I had no desire to think through these concerns. I merely wanted to sleep.
Coffee tastes like bile. I could check Facebook, but I already know I won't care about anything. Somehow the same forty-odd people who emerge from the melee will say the same sorts of things they always say, and I will not have anything to say back. Maybe, though, someone has had a baby or died. Maybe something actual has happened. I set the thought aside. My cat is chasing what appears to be a large chunk of dirt, that perhaps came in on someone's shoe, around the living room. This activity, which has no real purpose, seems meaningful to him. I suppose it is just as useful as jogging. This thought amuses me for a while. Perhaps groups of upper middle class women, decked in head lamps, expensive trail shoes and hot pink running gear are gathering now in the early hours to enjoy one another's company and to chase stray objects around darkened living rooms. For cardiovascular exercise. Checking their heart rates on their Garmin training devices, one asks another, "Shall we go 'round the couch once more before we quit?"
Lack of sleep, I think, may have driven me moderately whacked. I understand that studies have been conducted at universities on cats wherein they are deprived of sleep, and that these cats invariably go insane. I can no longer remember where I read this. I may have made it up. I have several thoughts about this notion now. I am deeply troubled and fascinated by the idea that money might be found at public universities to torture cats. Also, I wonder how you can tell if a cat has gone insane. Does their behavior in any way differ from normal cat behavior, which normally verges on schizophrenia? Do the cats report that they are seeing things that no one else can see, that they believe that aliens are controlling their brains? Or do they just meow incessantly, piss themselves and attack for no reason, all of which could easily be within the normal scope of cat behavior in my experience? At any rate, I suspect I may be going the way of these cats. I have to meet with my boss today for my work evaluation. I may suddenly let loose a long meow and rake him with my bitten fingernails before running madly from the room.
And now it is time to get up and do something other than type random proof of mental unfitness into the Blogosphere. Time to feed dogs, release pet ducks, cook eggs. Time to pace like a jaguar about the house, appearing goal-oriented, appearing productive. It is a bad idea to publish everything you write, but I can't afford not to. My family is too poor to afford wasted writing. We save every bit of writing like soap slivers in order to mold them into an ugly, mottled lump of grey soap that I can publish to various platforms. We turn stumps of sentences into compost casseroles, the bones of old essays into stock. Our standards could be higher, but nothing is wasted.
Not one single word.