Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sometimes It's Yellow

Shut the bathroom door before turning on the light. Darkness. Accidentally turned on the exhaust fan. It growled. Thought it was a monster and jumped. Tripped and fell into the shower door. Startled again. Sat in the dark, confused and taking deep breaths. Slowly, things calmed. They began to make sense as a rational appraisal of what just occurred unfolded. Things came back. For the moment, I became me again. I stood up and turned on the light. Where had I gone? What momentary limbo had I stumbled into? I brushed my teeth feeling present, but as I watched my milky spit descend into the drain I felt myself begin to dissipate again. Fumbled the light switch. More darkness. Wandered down the hall. Bed looked familiar, kind of. Sat down at the desk. Stared at a blank white screen. Letters on the keyboard looked up like police walking in on a crime. Everything froze. A piece of me swam to the surface and spoke, "Tell me what happened."

"I can't," echoed my reply.

"Just type," it said.

And so I began, "Shut the bathroom door before turning on the light."

…Where am I in this narrative? Why do I keep losing time? Past, present, and future. It's all blurring together. I cannot even remember the story that I'm telling, but sometimes it's yellow…

In bed, the melatonin began to take effect. My eyes struggled to keep up with the primer on epistemology I had selected for my coming courses. Classes had not even begun and I already doubted my ability to do this. Perhaps, the detoxification was taking more of a toll on me than I expected. However, in a way, that gave me confidence. How many other students would have the perseverance to lie in bed reading epistemology while trudging through the delusional, writhing maze of delirium tremens?

In fact, earlier in the day, a bee had landed on my bed (maybe a wasp). I am never good at that—figuring out what something is. I suck at naming things so I guesstimate. I approximate. But I never delineate. Triangulate—maybe that's the word I want. Oh well, you get the basic idea. It was some sort of flying insect with a stinger. I thought it came from the shed (storage closet) on my deck since I had found a bee-wasp-hornet nest out there when I had moved in. Then it dawned on me that it was late December and snow-cold outside. There were no flying insects with stingers. Was it real? I swatted at it and it had flown away. I still wasn't convinced of its reality since it had so easily absconded. About thirty minutes later, I felt it flutter on my head. My hands flapped wildly, but there was nothing there to swat. I didn't even see it fly away this time. Had I imagined it? It felt real. But is that enough?

I don't know, but now I see that the incident had prepared me for this book. Here I am studying the nature of knowledge—what does it mean to know—and here I also am questioning the certainty of my experiences—experiences undermined by the delirious nature of my detox. The word serendipity comes to mind (which happened to be the movie I watched with lunch—also earlier today). Or, do I mean synchronicity? Oh well, you get the basic idea. Whatever the word, moments like this make me stop to ponder the bizarre and often surreal interconnectedness of life, experience, and thought. After all, how did a possible bee-wasp-hornet hallucination lead me (transition)-(segue)-(move)-(shift)-(evolve) so smoothly to a delusional meditation on epistemology? And how am I lying in bed reading that book if I’m sitting at my desk typing this summation of my day?

…Shit, I do believe that I've lost my self again…