(Me right now, listening to Once and Willard Grant Conspiracy’s Pilgrim Road, feeling slightly strange.)
It’s been a weird ten days since I got back from Australia. As long as I was sleeping from about 11 p.m. to noon, I woke up refreshed and feeling stunningly good. Ever since I’ve tried to break myself of that cycle so I wake up at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., my life has been a living hell of insomnia and failure and horrible nightmares. The last three days in particular I’ve felt invincible, invisible, deranged, like I was going to cry out all the water in my body, and like physical objects around me had some kind of secret life.
My dreams have included man-headed panthers, huge ravens with human feet, and the return of the manta ray from “Strange Case of X,” which entered my subconscious mind from an early Piers Anthony novel but had been gone for a long time. I’ve felt like every hideous, inexplicable image hiding inside my brain has been pushing out into the light. One nightmare was so vicious and insane I had to get it out onto paper immediately because no effing way was I going to go through that again. When I woke from it, I got up with my baseball bat and patrolled the house for a half-hour, just in case. And I was still convinced there was something in the walk-in closet.
Jonathan Vos Post says this about jetlag in a comment on my Facebook status:
Circadian rhythm in humans is a myth. Without 24 periodicity in noise, light, heat, you begin to drift away from the astronomical reality. People kept in deep caves for long time with no clocks have proven this. Keywords: “entrainment of oscillators”
Seriously, that’s why jet lag is disrupting. Different organs and tissues drift back to local periodicity differently, and you body/brain are in uncomfortable chaos, in literal mathematical sense. Top expert on jet lag explained this to me at International Conference on Complex Systems.
I think it’s made worse in this case because of coming off two deadlines and then going right into a teaching situation (not that I’m complaining–just observing): going right from long-term isolation to communication, and then back again. Or something. My thoughts aren’t really right in my head at the moment. Have cut back on emailing and making decisions because I feel like I’m in the middle of a storm.
Still, I’ve got it easy. I don’t know how people like my wife, who experiences periodic ongoing insomnia, deal with it. Because it’s only been three days of real hell (one of them enhanced by the retarded decision to have two large coffees with espresso shots) and I’m already toast.
Today I didn’t sleep until 5 a.m. and got up at 2 p.m. Expect inconsistency on Ecstatic Days for awhile. Yee-haw…