Friday, July 10, 2009

Actually, Today Is Pretty Typical, So Far

Note the CD case for scale. What I hadn't counted on was the way it would smell when I opened it up; a pungent stink of stale soy sauce. I'm scanning the back now; next, I'll have to take it apart and scan the bits. Note to self -- wash your hands.

Lessee. It started at four this morning when I was jolted awake by a particularly hideous hypnogogic hallucination. It was, as they all are, multisensory, and in this case taste and touch were the key senses. It was influenced by this. Don't click on the link unless you want to be exposed to something that was bad enough to to get under my skin. Let's just say that in my dream/vision/brief trip to the psycho ward, I was in the middle.

(Sigh. Now I'm trying to figure out how to write something to top that horrible experience. For horrorists, the atrocity competition is getting stiffer all the time.)

So I grab the Discman I have sitting next to the bed and put on my relaxation CD. This soothes me enough to get back to sleep. And my dreams are pleasant and optimistic until I am awakened by the sound of Roxie, our Jack Russel terrier, going berserk.

Here's a tip. Don't wake an insomniac, particularly if they're finally sleeping after an extended period of deprivation.

I scream at the dog. Does no good. Still screaming, I stagger into the living room. Note that at this point I still have my earplugs in (I sleep with earplugs, a face mask, a pillow over my head -- if I could sleep in a sensory deprivation tank I'd be a happy man.). I swing clumsily and blindly at her; I miss, thank goodness, but she shuts up until I'm back in the bedroom, at which point she continues and I go back to screaming at her.

Finally I regain enough consciousness to shut up, take out the earplugs, put on my glasses, reclaim my status as a sentient organism, and find out what the hell has been going on for the last ten minutes. I hear a voice from the porch; a man, saying something about garlic and olive oil.

What. The fuck.

Choking down enough of my brute rage to engage in civil discourse, I pull on some clothes and walk back to the front door. The missus pops in, holding a plastic bag.

"What the hell is going on?" I ask her.

"It's my sweet potato greens," she says.

Jibbedy jabbedy WHA?

"I found them on line," she said.

"Oh." sez I. What the hell would you have said? "So why did you stay there on the porch while the fucking dog was barking and you knew I was asleep?"

"Oh," sez she. "I'm sorry."

Now here's the thing. Time for another Lovecraft reference. The star that shines in the east, the perfect love of my life, is the paradigmatic example of Lovecraft's dictum that the most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate its contents.

She knew that I'd been sleeping poorly all week. She knew that I was currently asleep. She knows very, very well that I'm sensitive to sounds when sleeping -- she was the one who bullied me into using earplugs in the first place. She knew the dog is barking. She also knew that if she either invited the stranger inside, stepped out to the sidewalk, or let the dog out the barking would soon stop.

She did not correlate any of this information; she was in the moment, her only interest being sweet potato greens. And the real irksome thing was that she was sitting there listening to fucking recipes when she's gonna make me cook the fucking things for her anyway. And I can't get mad at her for this. If she'd thought the situation through she would have behaved differently and she was genuinely sorry.

The oaf shrugs his shoulders, glances at the ceiling: That's my gal.

And anyway, she has to put up with me. Yeah, being woken up when sleep is desperately needed is a thing -- but talking to a stranger while listening to your pet lummox bellowing incoherently from three feet away is another.

That's what makes our relationship work. Two wrongs don't make a right but sometimes they make parity.

So I enter the day feeling as though I'd been beaten with a hammer, still dizzy from sleeplessness and with a lingering sense of filthy contamination from my sleep-deprived hallucination. (Don't click that link up there, honest to Goatse. Just know that my lips were sewn to the last thing you'd want someone to sew to your lips. And I tasted and felt it. I'm still skeeved out.)

I staggered upstairs, checked my email, found out about Philippine superheroes (who taught me a valuable lesson -- scantily-clad women dressed in elaborate costumes are the gayest thing in the world), wrote a few wise-assed Twitters, and then went for a hike and a burger with my dad, said ritual being one of the pillars of my life.

Our new concept of the day was a pretty good one. The basic idea was his but I provided some valuable elaborations.

We're going to put together a list of twenty-five basic phrases that will say everything you ever need to say. Each phrase will be assigned a number, and when conversing with someone in the know, all you'll have to do is say the number and they'll know exactly what you mean.

When enough people are involved and the idea crosses language barriers? All you have to do is memorize the numbers one through twenty-five in a given language and you can get along in that country just fine.

Our Tentative Start:

1. Please help me.
2. Thank you very much.
3. I am very sorry.
4. I would prefer not to.
5. Fuck you.
6. No, fuck you. (Please note that this system of communication is not well-suited to conversation -- phrases five and six are intended to address that issue. You can talk for hours with just those two.)
7. I yam that I am. (We couldn't decide who said this better - Jehovah or Popeye.)

That was as far as we got by the time he dropped me off at home, but I feel as if our system is well on its way to being the next Esparanto.

When I got home I fell into a bit of a funk. Usually I'm able to get in a good four hours or so of work in the morning on a hiking day, but I'd lost all that time this morning. Worse, I'm all out of inspiration. And I want to be done with the fucking magazine.

So I decided to take some photos and make some scans and squeeze inspirado out of a stone. That's what I'm doing now. I'm writing this as I scan a vast and stinking lubber grasshopper, a cut slab of stone, an old chrysalis...

Hopefully, I'll have something done by the end of the day -- I'm gonna try and work through until I have at least the start of another composition.

Maybe I'll sleep tonight. I'm not gonna bet on it, though.


robp said...

I recommend clicking on the picture to zoom in and see the size of that grasshopper; can't really tell what it is in the small shot.

And that's what you do to the cd's I give you?

I haven't looked at the link you've included and insisted no one should look at. I have a feeling I'll get to it. Avoiding the horrible isn't good for my writing.

Oh, and "I yam that I am" is best left unsaid. Will just lead to too many number fives.

Sean Craven said...

It's probably not all that bad, just some promo stuff for an upcoming comedy flick that happened to his my personal queasy zone around issues of imposed physical deformity.

And Rob, that's what I do to everything. Everything gets covered in bugs.

Hmm. Maybe instead of, "I yam that I am," we could have, "Couldn't be helped." Or possibly, "Yeah, and so what?"