If you have ever had a long drive after a loud rock concert you know the feeling. The energy, the noise, that feeling of full throttle nonstop emotion and then… It’s a feel fall of sorts and I can’t get a handle on it. My mind is racing so fast right now I can barely type. It’s like being in one of those stadium theaters with three glasses and all that is showing is static. It’s a monochromatic Niagara Falls of the psyche. There has to be a brake handle on this thing somewhere and I am running out of ideas as to what to pull next.
The physical part of this feels like needle pricks on the skin on the back of my head, my face, and a tingling in one foot. I’m nauseous and I’m grinding my teeth. This feels like I’ve done a shot of espresso for every hour of the day so far and my mind is ramped up with it. The underside of my jaw itches as if some phantom insect is burrowing there. My vision keeps focusing in and out of the things in front of me as if I’ve lost control of my ability to see correctly. I take deep breaths and that keeps me from panting.
Just underneath my field of vision are images, shapes, and colors from the nonstop slide show in my mind. The jugular vein of creativity has been slashed wide and now everything comes out all at once in a nearly visible display. I can see this all clearly when I close my eyes. Sleep come hard in the best of times and this will not go down as the best of times unless what happens next involves a comet the size of Sumer hitting Lake Huron. Being at work beats the hell out of being somewhere in an uncontrolled environment. But what I need to get done versus what I can get done is not exactly similar as the day wears on and it is not wearing on nearly quickly enough.
How wild is this thing swinging? The first part of “Steal My Sunshine” by Len is going through my head then the last part of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath is there. The ear worms are out in force today and pieces of lyrics run together like my mind is changing stations faster than it can hear the music.
I know better than to skip a meal right now so I have take out Chinese for lunch. I can’t eat a lot but I have to eat something. No caffeine, lord no, get thee away from Starbucks, please. It’s a tempting thought for a moment, off and on, to toss some gas on the fire and see how it burns, but no. Before I randomly accelerate this I have to learn why this is what it is and how I can control it a bit better than what I am doing right now, which clearly isn’t working very well for anyone.
In this world or any other.
I didn’t sleep well at all last night, but it was better than the night before and I was off today. I went to the Y and worked out for over an hour then soaked in their whirlpool for another half hour. I find myself vaguely irritated at people today. There are only three elliptical machines and all three of them were inhabited by people clearly unaware on their proper use. One woman was standing on the machine reading a magazine and putting enough motion on it to work up a sweat…in fifty years. One of the machines was occupied by a man who looked to be about a hundred years old and I wonder if one day that will be me.
The physical workout and the hot water drain me. The sleeplessness has already put my energy level at a lower place than I like and I needed a hard and hot hour burning calories instead of brain cells. But there is still this odd current in me that demands movement of mind. I cannot still it. I take deep breaths and soak in the hot water. Be still, mind, allow the moment… The Y is pretty good about sending someone in to check if there is a dead body in the whirlpool so after about fifteen minutes a very polite yet very young man asks me if I’m okay. He came through as I got in and now he’s thinking his next trip in will mean I’ve been in for half an hour. He knows I’m a regular and I can tell he’s torn between asking me to get out, because the rules say so, and letting me stay in, because he knows me. Both are strikingly arbitrary values to make a judgment in this case, and I am on the verge of mentioning this to him but he comes right out and says it, “You look tired, sir.”
It isn’t what he wants to say and I know it. I look more than tired. He’s been trained by his employer to be polite and he’s was raised by his parents to respect those older than he is, but he doesn’t like what he sees. And he’s right. I know it, too. I ease out and promise him I’ll just soak my feet for a while, and let my swimsuit dry a bit, but the truth is I can’t stand up right now. The field of vision tilts ever so slightly and I plop down on the side and sigh. “Damn that feels good!” I say, and I can tell he doesn’t buy it, totally.
On the way out I see him and he seems mildly surprised that I’m up and running the way I am. But the truth is I do feel better. I got what I came for and it is likely a good thing I didn’t boil any longer than I did.
So now, my body and mind and spirit are spent. I haven’t written anything since that night and I am not sure I can. This may be all I have for a while. I feel as if someone pulled a plug and let something out of me.