It is now Thursday, and last night marked the fifth time in a row that I couldn’t manage to get myself to sleep before two o’clock in the morning.
Actually, the two o’clock was good news. On a couple of occasions over this stretch, I have not been able to get to sleep before four, or I’ve gotten to sleep for about an hour and then woken up at five thirty. When I don’t get to sleep until four, I wake up at nine and the day is a mess and ruined.
It’s gotten to the point where I can’t figure out what would make this better.
Usually, if I don’t get to sleep until two on Day 1, then on Day 2 I crash very early and the whole cycle rights itself.
But nothing like that is happening at the moment, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do to get back on schedule before I start teaching next week.
In the meantime, I feel like I’m walking through cotton wool, and my brain is stuffed with fuzz, and I’m not getting nearly enough done.
I might be more patient with myself about all this if my mind was racing through the night on some problem of serious importance.
And I’ve got a few, and that could be what I was thinking of.
Instead, I seem to be obsessing about things that make no sense and make no difference.
I keep replaying arguments I had months or years ago–or, worse, rewriting them in a way that makes me make the points I couldn’t think of at the time.
Or I obsess about plots, or books I’ve read, or something. And my mind goes into overdrive and just won’t stop.
The result is that I do things that are completely nuts. I just tried to send an e mail, and instead of clicking on the “send” button, I clicked on the “save” button and had to go work it all through again.
It gets to the point where I can’t even do what I usually do to calm myself down. I can’t play Solitaire, for instance, because I fuzz out and miss half the moves and mistake the cards and lose over and over again and get frustrated and annoyed with the whole thing.
And if I’m tired enough, I start thinking that all the losing is a Secret Coded Message from the Universe which means…
I don’t know what it means. I can never get quite clear on that.
It is one of the very peculiar things about me that I am sometimes very superstitious, but I don’t believe in any of the traditional superstitions. I have no trouble with black cats or the number thirteen or cracking mirrors or throwing salt over my shoulder–although I do always kiss bread before I throw it out.
That’s a Greek thing.
But even when I was a very small child, I would go through periods where I would invent superstitions out of whole cloth, and then find myself unable to convince myself that they were nonsense, even though I knew very well I made them up.
If you’re going to say this makes no sense, I agree with you. It makes none whatsoever.
But I do it, and no appeals to common sense seem to be at all capable of talking me out of it.
In the meantime, things have to be done because things have to be done. Neither my life nor the world at large goes on hold because I’m behaving like an addled ninny.
Fortunately, bulling things through is something I’m generally good at. How well I bull things through is another story, but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.
All of this is by way of saying that the lack of blog posts has been as much a matter of this as of anything, because there’s another hallmark of the times when I get like this: I begin to fell that I really have nothing to say.
And maybe that’s true.
Maybe the secret underneath all the blathering we do about everything from the plots of cat detective novels to the meaning of life is that it’s all completely irrelevant to…everything.
Reading the comments on this blog, I am sometimes bemused by the extent to which some of you see the apocalypse coming Right This Minute.
The whole thing gets even more curious because you don’t all see the same Apocalypse coming. Maybe we’ll all die because the ordinary people will rise up against their government/corporate/academic elite masters, or maybe the corporations will mechanize everything to the point where human work is no longer needed and we’ll all starve to death.
This morning, it feels to me as if none of this will ever happen, because it would require absolutely everybody to expend too much effort.
Which reminds me, of course, that I need to go expend some more effort myself.
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