Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Suicide Watch


No, this is not a product to be marketed to Islamic extremists. Still less something to be confiscated at airports.

"Suicide Watch" is what I call the morning hours, and this is an example of my dark (yet hilarious!) sense of humor. (I hasten to assure anyone reading that I have never, ever attempted suicide, nor do I intend to do so in future. Temptations abound, to be sure, but responsibilities more than outweigh them.)

It begins when I awake in the morning, very first thing. I'm more thoroughly exhausted than when I went to bed the previous evening, my sleep has been disturbed by uninterrupted dreaming (most of their endless content being deeply disquieting), and the first thing I think is, Still alive. I hate this. I'm advised that this is not normal. (I am advised this about many things.)

The second thing I do is feel ill. I'd cite Sartre's nausee were it not for my revulsion at that penseur's pathological idiocy. Life, prior to any coherent thought, is a series of deeply unpleasant sensations, from my toes to the tip of my scalp. As the day proceeds, I will make some sort of adjustment for the dreadfulness of pure sensation. For now, waking, it's new, new for the millionth day. There are some things one never gets used to; I seem to have a lot of them.

The third thing I do is regret everything I did the day before, or failed to do. It's quite the indictment, and although I realize that on a realistic level it's banal and exaggerrated to the point of a Congressional inquiry combined with a Calvinist reprimand, this realization does not help. If I'm particularly impatient with yesterday's high crimes, I can move seamlessly into a condemnation of my entire life -- or what of it I remember. (Amnesia will be covered here later.) Most of this is sheer nonsense. (The rest is ambiguous. If left alone long enough within my self-feedback loop, I can turn a bland conversation with an acquaintance into the transcript of a war crimes tribunal, with myself in the glass booth.) The fact that this is nonsense is irrelevant to the process. My brain spurts endogenous neurotoxins even as my mind analyzes the absurdity of its own thoughts.

It passes. I take my medications, which may have a marginal effect (it's difficult to tell), I drink coffee, and I run out of energy. Self-indictment in its most inclusive form is too exhausting to maintain for more than a few hours. Later, I'll pass into a state of omnidirectional confusion, racing thoughts, and dark sensations throughout my peripheral nervous system. Suicide Watch provides certain bizarre recurring themes for this later period, but upheavals of thought are now reflexive, and the darkness all-encompassing. If I turn my mind to anything, anything at all, it will prove to be deeply discouraging, highly uncomfortable, conducive to despair, and direly pessimistic.

This will continue until l'heure bleue, when things will abruptly take a turn...for the worse.