i’ve written about insomnia before. it’s such a strange malady, and one from which i suffer pretty regularly, but only when i do stupid things like fly from california to switzerland.
it involves breaking my agrarian bodyclock. i’m convinced that my bodyclock wanted me to be a farmer. simple, up with the chickens, to sleep with the sun. better than up with the sun and sleeping with chickens, i’m assuming.
insomnia is so odd, as it’s so self-destructive, but yet solely the product of the self. it’s only the self. the self at war with itself. the brain deciding it somehow knows best, even though it’s crippled by delusion. the delusion that somehow being awake in a comfortable bed in the middle of the night is better than being asleep in aforementioned comfy bed in the middle of the night. the brain says, in it’s reptilian core, ‘oh, you are trying to trick me, see, you’re telling me it’s time for sleep but i know better, i’m the responsible one, so i’ll keep us awake to make sure we’re not eaten by bears or giant sharks.’ you try to reason with your brain, saying, ‘but brain, look, we’re in a hotel room, it’s 2009, you are being given a prime opportunity to sleep, why are you keeping us awake? and, for the record, it’s been awhile since anyone has been eaten by a bear or a giant shark while staying in a hotel in paris.’ but the brain, in its atavistic intransigence, thinks it knows better. the higher learning centers (the nouveau riche johnny-come-lately yuppies of brain architecture) take a back seat to the lizard brain, the limbic brain, the amygdala or whichever tiny peach-pit sized part of the brain decides that sleep is optional.
and then the quasi-hallucinations start to kick in (usually when you’ve had less than an hours sleep in a 48 hour period, and then preceded by another 48 hour period with 3 hours of sleep). the floor starts moving on its own. people’s heads look larger than they actually are. lights move of their own accord. and the eyelids, or the inside of the eyelids, take on the consistency of a dogs tongue. a sandpaper dog, made out of coconut husks. insomnia is a red demon, like anchovies with teeth, filled with revenge.
the idiot pushes his stupid self to the breaking point and is then surprised when things break. the parents eat sour grapes and the childrens teeth are set on edge. assuming the insomniac is also the same person suffering from insomnia. that could only possibly make sense if you, too, haven’t slept for a long time. and with the insomnia comes the wide eyed panic. the ‘i’m never going to sleep again’ panic. the ‘this is going to kill me’ panic. but it’s an unreasonable panic(s), as insomnia is invariably followed by sleep. at some point. when the brain stem decides that it’s finally ready to give in. when the bars are removed from the windows and the sleep gods come and whack you on the head with angelic ball peen hammers, resulting in perfect and god given cold sleep. here are some pictures. one of an empty venue and one of a street in paris as seen from a car.
and a word of warning, never offer to shoot an insomniac in the head, as there’s a very good chance they’ll happily accept your offer in order to finally stop being awake.