I often fantasize about taking a hand-crank drill and opening a small hole in my skull, directly between my eyes. I imagine it as a release of pressure, like letting a little air out of a taut balloon. I guess this is a little bit like a prefrontal lobotomy. My cousin, who died of schizophrenia, might have had the same thoughts before he went. Schizophrenia can feel like a massive increase in intracranial pressure. I wouldn’t know, unless of course this is exactly what I’m experiencing now.
It happens the most when I’m unable to sleep. Insomnia is like a crushing wave of aimless guilt. It’s not the same as a lack of tiredness; you’re exhausted, your brain pulses pain, the lightless air caresses your open eyes like sandpaper. But sleep, the ultimate release, won’t come, affording you plenty of opportunity to meditate upon your own shortcomings.
Is this what I’ve become, though? A nonfiction writer? A memoirist, for crying out loud? I won’t accept it. I used to have what felt like boundless reserves of creativity, and goddammit, I worked it until it could no longer walk straight. But it seems that sense for the absurd has left me. I blame it on whatever illness makes me think of puncturing my skull, the flat area between my stomach and pelvis, the base of my penis, and only those three spots, over and over as I dry up in the dark like a used paint-roller.
It’s pointless, though. There’s the rub: it’s all become pointless now. Nothing comes naturally anymore, not least the things that are supposed to bring me pleasure. My days have become tackleboxes filled with carefully rationed activities, not because there’s anything I want to do, but because I have to do something until I’m too tired to keep myself awake anymore. And not a single fucking point to be found among them.
This has been a transmission from the reality police band. You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.