I wake up with black circles on either side of my nose and blood staining the whites of my left eye in two patches equidistant from my pupils. I am more tired than I remember being when exhaustion caused me to lose consciousness four hours before, only that fatigue is deeper and hidden, like a pandora’s box buried under an old oak tree. A few circular motions with my fingers over my half-blinded eyes clears away 60% of the crystalized mucus that burns them. Thought, once a dull, inaudible hum, expands in my awareness to engulf me again.
How does this happen? The only way I can describe it even remotely understandably is by making an anology. Imagine being in a large room where many people are gathered. Suppose that tables have been set up in close proximity to each other around a point at the center of the room. Each table contains its own conversation, as they usually would in a large gathering. Now, take this environment and place yourself in the center of the room, yes even at the very center point around which the tables revolve. You first hear a tidbit from a single conversation unfolding at a table to your right. Then a second conversation overpowers it, until all you can hear is the second conversation louder than the first and all the others in the room. Now, as soon as you catch enough to get a vague understanding of the second conversation, a third overpowers it and the process continues. With each new conversation you overhear, the background noise intensifies as all other conversations match the loudness of the one most recently overpowered.
Now, allow this to run its course at a rate of one new overpowering conversation every five seconds. By the fifth conversation, or thought, the background noise has reached the threshold of a sonic boom, but it only esalates at an increasing rate. How long would it take for a headache to start pounding behind your eyes? How many minutes after that would you experience your ears bleeding and the headache becoming severe? Then imagine that going on for twelve hours without relief. At some point, your body would get used to it and dull the pain and replace it with some other manifestation, like a stress-induced reaction. What is my “stress-induced reaction”, you may ask? Restlessness and numbness, a disembodiment that deadened all feeling. It could be seen as a sluggishness or uncharacteristic calm in the face of surprises or a stoned-like facial expression. An intense stare into nothingness.
Now then, obviously these conversations are really thoughts, in the sense of a thought being a concise abstraction building on a single concept. Yes, that phrase contradicts itself; it has to in order to accurately describe the thoughts metaphysically. You can imagine that this process of overpowering thoughts with a louder thought drives memory to spin out, like a vehicle spinning its tires on ice. None of these thoughts are remembered unless it be the prevailing thought, which again changes about every five seconds. Imagine this mechanism whirring and spinning out one forgotten thought after another long after the sane world usually retires for the night, let’s say it is a self-sustaining process limited only by the endurance and stamina of its host. Exhaustion alone halts the system; an exhaustion deeper than is cured by sleep, no matter how long or short it is. Restlessness and fatigue in an unintended struggle; two sides of the same coin warring for the double stamping. Dark rings around my eyes and an earsplitting headache that rest can’t touch. Have I gone mad?
JA Menter 3
Rest is a weapon just beyond my grasp; Surrender a struggle too easily lost; Christ a calm in the midst of storm; Eternity a kingdom that will end this insanity.