It’s one of those I’d been especially prone to. I mean “long-standing” prone to. JAGS. The jag was always inevitably preceded by some quirky exercise of intellectual what-if-isms. Or if not preceded then it had occurred, was identified as having occurred, and once identified? Codified as a system. Eating food from the left side of the plate to the right side. Counting all the letter E in every letter. Not shedding semen. Eating tunafish every day and eschewing a mattress for sleep on the floor.
Dilettantes would do it for a week, I imagine.
Lunatics would do it for……as long as it takes, but not to NOT exceed months and months.
So it goes with me, and sleep. I discovered in the midst of a 4-day fast that you get a lot more done when you don’t eat. Getting food, eating food, cleaning up after you’ve eaten food, getting rid of the food you’ve eaten, it all takes hours untold from, well, things you NEED to get done. Usually connected to what you need to do to get food, eat food, and the whole rest of the prosaic rondele of hunting and gathering.
So, if you cut out food in a serious way, the only habitual behavior one must nearly be concerned with is sleep. Especially when you believe sleep to not only be an enemy of productivity but of LIFE itself. You start noticing them, slowly and not so surely at first, a trickle of stories related to men, and it’s almost always men, who die in their sleep. At first blush, this way of passing seems amazingly peaceful. Until you think of things like INTENT.
This man who fully INTENDED when he went to sleep to rise to brush his teeth, crap and shave would be nowhere near doing any of these things at all anymore. And the prospect of which I found terrifying. Moreover, if you believe, as I do, in laws of thermodynamics and the possibility of the continuance of consciousness, you have a functional equivalent of catalepsy [another sleep related-near-death tragedy where the decedent is buried alive after being confused for dead]: where the fuck I am, and why can’t I touch my face anymore?
Death is a thief that takes you unawares and sleep is the province of the unaware. So I don’t sleep. Call me anytime. I’m awake. Usually. And this continues until my inner circuit breakers start breaking. And I know they’ve done this when my ideas grow increasingly unsound.
1] Kill the plumber: you see, no one ever expects you to KILL the plumber. Making it almost the perfect crime.
2] Have sex with the oldest woman you can find, preferably one with a handicapped placard: the genius of this idea just speaks for itself. And old crippled women need love to. ESPECIALLY, perhaps.
3] Pumpkins look like people at night: shoot them.
And when it gets here, to this place, like with anything else, I back off a little. A nap in my car in the parking lot at work. No one dies at work. Not unless they’re shot. By another crazed employee. I even have been known to pull the car over and to sleep on the freeway shoulder. This helps too. And in the meantime I am floating a band [www.myspace.com/theoxbow], a book [www.eugenesrobinson.com/], a radio show [www.combatmusicradio.com], a porno website [www.skullgame.com], a job, a family life, and no fewer than three nameless criminal enterprises.
[Digression: a girlfriend once challenged me to a “sleep-off.” We stayed in bed for two days. Fucking, talking, everything but sleeping. Into the second day she started to give up the ghost… “I’m sleepy. And dizzy.” Well go to sleep, if you must, baby.]
So you see: I am busy. But more importantly, I am productive. And alive.
Leave the dreaming, and the dying, to the losers. I’m on a no-sleep jag and I intend to stay on it, at the very least as long as I’ve been on it: 10 years, almost 11, now.
Creeping while you’re sleeping.
And the unintended and curiously extended consequence? I fantasize about sleep the way many of you fantasize about sex. Or money. I want it sooooo bad. So bad, that I’ll continue to deny myself the same until I don’t want it anymore.
And call it preparation. For being a super soldier of the future.
And think of all the books I’ll be able to read.
Oh yeah….over and out, Cap’n.