Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Diēs caniculārēs

In these dog days of July, I feel the heat dissipating every ounce of strength my body once contained. My mind has grown stagnant. And for the past six months, I have felt an anxious midlife crisis creeping in. Memory works against me, too: I no longer trust unquestioningly what my mind tells me is true.

When I woke up the day after my twenty-third birthday—after drinking vodka throughout the night, dropping acid, and saying farewell to a lover for the last time—I felt somehow changed, transfigured, as if my feet were squarely on the proper path. But now I feel that I’ve followed that trajectory long enough. I long for disruption, interruption, corruption.

I believe that my chronic insomnia and strict training regimen contribute a majority of fuel for this feeling of disaffectation, of indefinitude. How could I not feel shattered when I wake up at 5:35 AM five days a week in order to run in 80-degree heat and humidity, especially after a night of not sleeping well? People half my age feel worse for doing much less. And the remainder of my day I devote to writing and working, which only approach in hours of relentless diminishment.

Chapter Three has finally released its death grip; I am almost ready to release it into the void and begin to take up the challenges of Chapter Four. I started reading an article this morning, but needed to nap before finishing it. My insufficient nap makes me as tired as a full insomnious week, and when I woke up, I was possessed by the need to write a few words here before getting back to the life at hand, to the work already underway.

From my childhood, I remember acres and acres of watermelon and having the pick of the patch, playing with action figures in the clay of a drying tank, cobwebs and dust bunnies under the bed with metal springs, and what seemed like a hundred days over 100 degrees during the heat wave of 1980. Most of my friends and colleagues weren’t born by then.

By the time I turned twenty-three, I already felt like I had already lived a full life. This was before moving overseas, living on other continents, falling in and out of love like a decadent aesthete, composing and producing three albums, and finding myself murmuring incoherently in the snow among the birch trees of Brzezinka. This was before apple tea in Istanbul and Porto in Montreal, before hikes across Okinawa and train rides to Venice. I only hope now I’ve reserved a few things for after.

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