January 29, 2011

THE SLEEP AND THE OLD MAN

Well, technically I am not old, although I sometimes feel like I am eighty. Or seventy. Or ninety. That depends on my current levels of sleep deprivation and pain. I did sleep a little this afternoon, for all of an hour and twenty minutes, the first sleep in over three days.

Until a friend of mine called me up, and ripped me out of it.

Not his fault. I should have unplugged the phones, I should have done something. It's not his fault, and he was very apologetic. But these things have a profound impact on me. Because it is now closing in on midnight again, and I am awake. Again. And in the back of my mind, there is that itching. Feed me, Seymour! Feed me all night long! It tells me to look at things, that itching, it is like a machine that wants to have data to process.

And the information is merely a few keystrokes away, a couple of mouse clicks here and there, and it would start to get its fuel. I must not allow that. I have not watched television. I sat in a darkened room and listened to George Carlin, from a DVD, with the television turned off, its sound only fed to me through my old audio system. And I thought about the arrogance of the rational man. Maybe one day I'll write about it, in a scientific fashion, for it is a certain kind of arrogance.

No television. No news. I promised myself. Let the machine in my mind run on empty, for once. But there's that itching. Just one story. Just one article. What is the harm in that. It's just data. We can handle data, hell, that's all we been doing since we were six years old. And once we have it, we can dissect it, deconstruct it, analyse it, synthesise it, extrapolate from it, find possibilities and probabilities.

I wonder if this is how junkies feel.

Every account I have read, every scientific study I have analysed seems to point to that. I wouldn't know. This is abstract information, which makes it scientifically valuable but leaves your mind without an emotional connection to it. It is understanding without emotion. That doesn't make the information worthless, but it does make it less than useful, at least when it comes to myself.

The pain has gotten worse.

On a scale from zero to "oh fuck" it has reached a decent "dear god", which is roughly one level below "oh fuck". It's worse at night, as it always is. When it is mainlining from my back and my shoulder through my right cheek and exploding in a blinding white, just an inch above my right eye.

If I analyse, the pain is manageable.

If I find a problem to tackle, I can contain it without pain killers.I don't like pain killers. I don't like any drug. They numb your pain, but they also numb everything else. I feel I am losing IQ points within minutes of using them. Not many IQ points, and I bet I can debate any CEO with my mind's arm tied behind my back when totally numb, but that is like stating you can outrun an ant, even if you have a broken leg.

Just one mouse click. Just one article. Just one news feed.

No. It would be too easy to give in. The past couple of days have proven that to me again. Too easy to get lost in it, to find the inconsistencies, too strong the urge to connect the points.

I wonder. I wonder sometimes how normal people see the world. How easy it must be. How envious I am often of them. How can they forget? How can they make the instinctive judgement call that this information here and that information there doesn't have to touch them? I don't forget. I pretend that I do. I don't. The best I have ever achieved is to build a wall around the information in my brain.

But it's still there, all of it.

It must be so much easier for most people.

When I am with other people, it appears to me that they are moving in slow motion. There is no pride in me saying this. Nor am I dismissive to them. It's like I am just half a reality apart from them, like my thoughts cannot ever be synced up in the here and now. I still wonder how people can have fun at parties. I can be fun at parties, don't get me wrong, but that is me performing, that is me using my mind to out-dance them, to be funny, to have three jokes a minute, to be faster than them. I can be a lot of fun at parties. You can ask around. I just don't have fun myself. For me that is hard work. It is exhausting for me to sync up to those moments.

There's always a part of me that analyses each of those moments, that weighs it and stores it, for future reference and future use. Sometimes people notice. Notice that I notice things about them that they don't wish to be noticed.

I'm almost always embarrassed when they do.