Saturday, May 10, 2014

Avoidance 101

I've been playing a game on my iPhone that is causing my brain to shrink. Or at least as I'm driving in the sunlight after longish bouts of playing this game I get this odd sensation of something constricting just behind my eyes and somewhere near the top of my skull. I can envision my brain's wrinkles. This could be deemed "a headache" but I prefer to call it "avoidance pains". I've never been a video game person, apart from that one summer circa 1992 when I played Sonic the Hedgehog in between trips to the library for more reading material. I never aspire to reach the next level or rescue the princess or find a beating heart in the middle of the statue of liberty (wtf is up with video games?). I can only surmise that this is because after a short while, well, shorter for me than most people apparently, all the colors and constant movement make me feel the wrinkles in my brain and not in a good way. In case you are wondering, there IS a good way to feel that.

Someone logical would say to me at this point, "Just stop playing the game." And I would just counter, "You are absolutely right." I'd definitely say that. And during the waking hours, when I'm up to here with things to do, menial tasks that need completing, people to watch and observe and frozen yogurt to eat, "just stopping" is easy. When it is 2am and I cannot sleep and everything is terrible in the half dark that dulls the edges of everything and my glasses are off and what I can see of the world is amorphous and I feel that dread creeping up on me with not one other person to distract me, it is less easy to just stop. It is a really stupid game but it keeps my hands busy and my eyes active and its clear, two dimensions are oddly comforting. And sometimes I just want to do really stupid things. Even if they shrink my brain.

Not helping my brain shrinkage sensation is the fact that I have some kind of blockage in my ear. It is a feeling that never strikes until after Memorial Day when the pools open and I'm overzealous about the amount of time I spend floating in chlorinated water or jumping waves in the Atlantic. It arrived early this year. What makes it different is that it is disturbing, since I have yet to go swimming and haven't dunked my head in any water that I can remember (I've cut back dramatically on my alcohol intake.) I tried that Debrox stuff where you put drops in your ear and then do your best "Detective Goren" while you wait for magic to happen.

I always expected him to keel over.

The process did nothing for me this morning, apart from being orgasmic and pleasurable. The "water" remains. I feel like I'm getting half the sarcasm of the library patrons today. Just as well, I'm working with a small amount of sleep.

I've been streaming entire series of shows, been cooking elaborate meals for one, been taking walks through town and drives around the block, been cleaning my closets, shredding old documents and giving things away and I want things emptied out. It's my mantra of late: Empty empty empty! I have scoured my kitchen and bathroom twice this week but there are little black, round bugs that sneak in on warm days and scatter, unafraid on the kitchen floor and sit immobile, in defiance of mortality, even as I approach them with a paper towel of death or a spray from the pesticide bottle. I am repulsed and humbled by their tenacity. Mostly I just want them out of my kitchen. I spend a handful of moments at work or driving in my car thinking about those stupid bugs. Wondering if they've gathered for a summit in my ear.

I'm definitely avoiding something. I just can't figure out what it is and the game, the water/bug summit in the ear, the incessant streaming of several seasons of shows at one time the cleaning and getting rid of...are just a freshman survey class in Avoidance. I've become so adept at this that I'm convinced that should I take the leap and strip away all the distraction I'd just end up hearing and old man's heartbeat under the floorboards. No one wants that.

And that's where I've been. Where have you been?

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