I feel like everything about me has just kind of turned off. Strange, considering it’s a minute after a quarter after three in the morning and I’m still awake. How long have I been awake? I woke up early enough this morning to eat breakfast before work. Two cups of coffee. No other caffeine. But those things always work backwards.
I guess it fits, that I’m coming to the end of the day writing. It’s what I do. Sitting here, imagining myself watching myself as I write. Watching hands move across the keys, but it’s not my hands. My mom calls me a two-fingered typist. Hunt and peck, some people say, when you can’t keep your fingers on home row. I never could type fast enough in computer class, with my fingers locked into place. Instead I use one finger at a time.
Mom always said she thought I could play the piano, since my fingers were so long. I don’t play the piano, can’t even though I tried to teach myself, but I type a lot. I don’t often bring my laptop to class, but occasionally people have seen me crank out my thoughts. Sometimes, like now, when it is quiet, the typing sounds like rainfall. Crickets, cars on the highway, and the steady, soothing clack of keys as words flow from my mind to the screen.
It’s one of those things where if you think about it too much, it ruins everything. I don’t really look at the keys. Everything is in my periphery, mostly. I stare somewhere between the h key and maybe the g, a point on an invisible infinity, a horizon between two letters. Symbols that don’t mean anything until you string them together. I wonder if maybe life is like that too. Moments mean nothing and everything. String them together, add them up, see what you get. Wishing–past, present, future–where does it get you? Takes you in a circle, I think.
This is the second night in a row–or maybe it’s more, I’ve got a terrible memory–of my brain shorting out on me like this. Except. Brains short out different ways. Sometimes it’s like a skipping CD, mulling over the same lyric ad nauseam. My brain does that when it gets anxious. Part of it skips, and the other part breaks off to watch it. Sometimes it splits and there’s the watcher, the whiny one, and the other who tries to comfort or help. There are more, and they fight, but that’s not the point. That’s not tonight, although I did realize that maybe they might be coming to visit again. Soon, maybe.
Tonight it’s just the quiet. The nothingness. The realization that I should be tired but I’m not. Or maybe I am tired and am past the point of feeling it. It’s the strange, dead-space. But not really dead, because even though my mind isn’t glitching, and it’s not running at lighting speed, it nevertheless refuses to slow down. It doesn’t want to. I wonder if it’s afraid to. I wonder what is waiting, in rest, that is so terrifying. Maybe I’m just so afraid to die that even sleep feels like too big a risk.
I’ve written all this in fifteen minutes, including tiny spot-checks for editing. I feel like I could go on forever. Maybe some part of me is trying to. Maybe that’s why I write so much, restlessly trying to make meaning out of my limited supply of time. I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately, but that’s nothing new.
The season for remembering is almost here, but I never forget. The memories are scattered within me–some on skin, others in one brain lobe or another, a few stuck in my lungs or under my heart. I can remember. I just don’t remember coherently. I wonder what it is that is too terrible to experience, wholly. I wonder if I have forced myself so far outside…