I'm having trouble with words lately, among other things. I walk out of buildings and I don't know which way to turn, where I came from. I stand outside and stare, hoping that a directional sense will return to me.

But it's the words are what bother me the most. Words are my life, my livelihood, my . . . here I am, looking for a triad of words, and I can't find the third. Source of pleasure? I can't find words anymore. I end up saying the wrong words. Not just wrong, completely opposite of what I intended. If I disagree I accidentally laud my opponent's arguments. When I agree I insult them. It is really quite distressing.

I wish I could blame something. Insomnia, drugs, alcohol, women, anything. But I've been clean. I've been working out. I've been eating healthy, sleeping well, and generally just keeping myself in shape, for what good it's done me. And what's worse, I can't express what's wrong with me when I need to.


i've been here before

The radio was playing this very song yesterday morning when my alarm went off. My morning routine felt somehow more familiar than usual, as though it were not merely a set of actions that I repeat but as if I were performing the very actions I performed yesterday. I got on the bus and noticed that the faces were all familiar. The driver said the same thing, in the same tones. I think I gave him the same dollar bill as before. The woman across from me smiled the same smile at me, and returned to giving the scenery the same wistful gaze as she did yesterday. The cars were the same, the traffic lights the same, everything, today, was the same.

I said "I've been here before" as soon as I walked in the door to my office. The receptionist gave me a look and said, "No shit, idiot, you work here."

I don't think she gets it.


dreaming of heaven

As soon as I died, I was quickly escorted to heaven. I've had the opportunity to meet all of the important residents, talk with them, discuss philosophy over coffee. The people here are all very friendly and all of them have the exact same beliefs when it comes to philosophy. Some of them emphasize different aspects, but nobody disagrees with anyone. There's no conflict.

I was invited to a wonderful dinner. The food was divine (ha ha), but the entertainment, I found, was lacking. Not a single song the band sang had any trace of darkness. It was pure, unadulterated happiness. The speaker was not so much encouraging as he was simply flattering the audience, telling everyone how great they are, and especially how great the host was. His jokes were flat and lacking in variety or edge.

After the dinner I accompanied some of the greatest minds of heaven to a small lounge where we continued our philosophical discussions from earlier over drinks. They had nothing new or interesting to say. Eventually I spoke up, and they were, of course, polite enough to listen.

"Why is it that in heaven, all the interesting people are missing?"

Thanks, Nietzsche.


of restful sleep

It must be ages since I've last slept. And for what? My waking hours I've been slaving over it, and when I try to sleep my mind is restless, thinking of it. And why? For art's sake? This isn't even my best painting.

Alcohol doesn't help, and sleeping pills only make the insomnia less bearable. At least the alcohol lets me enjoy myself for a time. But I still can't sleep. It won't leave me alone. Even when I'm so drunk I can't form a coherent sentence, I can still see it: the Painting. I've started calling it with a capital letter now. It doesn't have a title. It's not even untitled. It's just the Painting.

It's big. Bigger than anything I've ever done. I rented a studio just to paint this one. I don't even go to my old apartment anymore. They might have evicted me. The Painting is taking all of my money, all of my resources, all of my life.

I've stopped trying to sleep. I used to think maybe tonight would be the night, but it never will be. Not until I've finished the Painting. I only pause to eat, and then only every couple of days. I look like shit. I probably smell. But the Painting needs to be finished. I don't know why, I'm not sure I even understand what it is, but I can't do anything until I've finished the Painting. My mind won't let me.

If nothing else, I need to finish it just so I can get some sleep. I will rest eventually. Soon. But not yet. Not until I'm done with the Painting . . .