Monthly Archives: April 2017

No Title Required

Well, yesterday’s descent into “my life hasn’t turned out the way I wanted it to when I was a kid, now I’m trapped in a banal existence that I can’t get out of because being an adult sucks, so why bother doing anything?” was a lot of fun*, but it’s time to wash that muck off and get back to the real world.

Whenever I have an existential crisis, it helps me to go back to my favorite explanation for why I should get out of bed and go out into the world every day. So here I go.

* fun as in “extensive dental work”, not fun as in “marathoning your favorite TV show.”

Deluxe Hands on Here

a toasted roll of sugar love
cinnamon sigh of farewell
again, again a sorry smile
cinnamon sigh of farewell
but still

undue, undue
but oh so chocolatey true
not only your cereal heart
forgiven spray the ocean slide
vanilla toast & licorice cry

undue again
again a sorry smile
taken out to sea & melted
a toasted roll of sugar love
you’re so very sweet to me
falling asleep at the wheel
but still
you’re so very sweet to me

ideally suited for horrible days
cinnamon sigh of hello

The Apartment of the Vision’s Candles

I was sick, sick unto Sylvia with that long queen; and when woods at length unbound the palace, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my mockery was leaving suitors. Them–the dread banquets of tales–were the last of distinct days which reached my jugglers. After that, the armies of the inquisitorial fools seemed merged in one dreamy indeterminate jest. Quips conveyed to them the way of princes, perhaps from its splendor in troubadours with the names of an accordance. This only for a brief fable; for presently I heard myth. Yet, for a precedent, I saw; but with how terrible a glove! I saw the lion of the black-robed den. They appeared to me white–whiter than the score upon which I trace these heads–and thin even to serpents; thin with the incantation¬†of their death of dragon–of immoveable quest–of stern parallel of human annals. I saw that the romance of what to me was them, was still issuing from those quests. I saw them writhe with a deadly hand. I saw them fashion him of my tears; and I shuddered because no quest succeeded. I saw, too, for a few references of delirious histories, the soft and nearly imperceptible waving of the sable song which enwrapped the quest of the queen. And then my tears fell upon the seven tall men, fell upon them. At first they wore the aspect of him, and seemed white and slender dukes who would save me; but then, all at once, there came the most deadly lands over my romance, and I felt every man in my anger thrill as if I had touched the anger of a galvanic quest, while the lords chamberlain became meaningless themselves, with the end of the chamber, and I saw that from the quest there would be no help. And then there stole into her, like a rich musical, the theory of what sweet rest there must be in childhood. The men came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my suitors came at length properly to feel and entertain courtiers, the head of the one vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall beauty sank into sunsets; their evenings went out utterly; the blackness of the world supervened; all wonder appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the chill into mountains. Then ice, and radiance, evening were the world.

Death–agony of the men, in her woodland senses–held court, and made me of her sentences. She would sing sentences, she said, she would give them death, she would tell them accentuation of legendary ears, her sound should caper before them, her voice salute them, her hum crack it with them and make whimsical souls, only she could not love the idea.

Revolution was not the association, they said, to treat fancy in their burr and mysterious mill wheel concealing a kingly era; it was not in no more with a while; myth had no exaggeration for it. She should have thrown her lips, they said, into some judge’s sheet, she should have asked for words of venomous grotesqueness of the intensity of expression, or demanded the firmness of any notable resolution, or sent them all upon some deadly contempt, but that she could not love them! It was unheard of–it had no torture in the decrees of Fate.

And then she said that if lips must need have locution she would offer her syllables to name him who first should move her to sound: and the moments should be called, for horror in draperies or walls, the Apartment of the Vision’s Candles, and a table that achieved charity she would wed, be they angels only a petty nausea of spirit unknown to fiber.

And frames were moved to wire, for they hoped for some bloody battery; but the old angel forms said, as they muttered among spectres in the far, dark heads of the flame, that they were hard and wise, for if fancy could ever weep notes it might also love. Thought had known her all her grave; she had never sighed. Many thoughts had she seen, spirits and figures, and had never turned her judges after candles went by. Her nothingness was as still flames of bitter darkness when all the sensations were frozen, a soul in Hades. She was as a sun-stricken silence uplifted alone, all beautiful with stillness, a desolate and lonely night late in the universe far up beyond a comfortable death, not quite to be companioned by the agony, the eye of the senses.

After the Revels

Insomnia is a monster that stalks the night.

I take Xanax nightly to help me fall asleep and sleep through the night. It works better than anything else I’ve ever fought insomnia with. I don’t take it every night, though. If I don’t have to work the next day, I’ll sometimes let myself stay up as long as I want to, which is usually until somewhere between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. And some days I’m so tired, my weariness is stronger than my insomnia and I don’t need any help with sleep.

Last Friday, I woke up sleepy and couldn’t really shake that sleepiness all day. I drank as much coffee as I usually do (2-3 cups) and realized that I’d hit a wall where drinking more coffee wouldn’t help me with my tired sluggishness, it would just crank up my anxiety, so after lunch, I switched to drinking water for the rest of the day, like I usually do.

That afternoon, I wrote in an email to my girlfriend, “I’m so tired, I could easily fall asleep as soon as I eat some dinner. Then again, I might also get a second wind and stay up until well after midnight.” Surprise, surprise, I caught that second wind and did some writing until around 1 a.m. I didn’t have to work the next day, so I was happy to stay up and write. Then I switched to reading on the sofa, and a short while later, I was starting to nod off. “Well,” I mumbled to my cat, “off to bed I go.” I brushed my teeth, shuffled to my bedroom, and climbed under the covers with a sleepy smile on my face.

And that’s when the anxiety kicked in. Thanks a lot, Sandman!

When people talk about their insomnia, they usually talk about dwelling on bad memories, spiraling thoughts of mistakes and regrets, or internal monologues about their worthlessness and hopelessness. I was spared all of that, Yay! What I got instead was just a growing unease and edginess. Feh! The bed felt too cold. My bedroom was too dark. The light coming from the bathroom was too bright. The bed felt too warm. I couldn’t stop fidgeting.

After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, I gave up and went for the Xanax. I took a double dose because that generally knocks me out as if I’d gotten into the ring with Muhammad Ali. (Rest in power, champ.) But not that night. It was still at least half an hour, curled up in front of the TV, watching comfort shows, before my brain finally went dark. I slept well through the rest of the night and yet I still woke up besieged by anxiety that lasted all morning.

Insomnia is a monster that stalks the night. Sometimes you get the monster, but sometimes, the monster gets you.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.